“My mother, daughter and I always make sure we spend Mother’s Day together. I’m very blessed that my mum and I are incredibly close, and I am able to have the same relationship with my daughter.”
Rachel remembers finding out she was pregnant like it was only yesterday as she and her husband were busy making plans for an overseas holiday.
“I was feeling quite unwell, so I went for a blood test. The answer came back… and I found out I was 25 weeks pregnant.”
“I was in complete disbelief – it was not something I had mentally prepared for at that time,” Rachel says.
“We were incredibly elated and excited but it took a bit of sinking in. I didn’t have nine months to come to terms with it. Preparing for motherhood was on accelerated time.”
Of course, the holiday was postponed and she gave birth to her beautiful daughter, who is now 17 and in her final year of school.
“The older she gets the closer I become to my daughter – she’s my mini-me…so similar in personality that it’s quite frightening. But she’s also a perfect hybrid of the best bits of me and my husband.”
Rachel is also a stepmum to her husband’s son, who’s now 24 with three children of his own and another on the way.
“My stepson and his family live a fair way away so we only see them intermittently – but our daughter-in-law is amazing. She sends us lots of pictures of the children on social media.”
Laughter mixed with tears this Mother’s Day
Sadly, this year is Rachel’s family’s first Mother’s Day without her cherished father who passed away from an aggressive terminal illness just eight weeks ago.
“Dad’s birthday is the day before Mother’s Day so this year will be a bit different. We will have two celebrations – one with just my husband and daughter – and then a joint celebration of my dad’s birthday so we can remember him as well.
“Even though our lives have changed so dramatically recently, we still need to celebrate family. Having such a small family, we don’t have the luxury of lots of siblings, lots of noise and lots of excitement – it’s more low-key but that little bit special.
“My father’s passing has shown me how fortunate I am to have raised my daughter to be a strong and resilient support for myself and her Nana. She has been the little backbone for both of us during this difficult time.”
According to Rachel, it doesn’t matter how old your children get, they’re always your babies.
“That’s how I feel about my daughter going onto the next chapter in her life, and my mum feels the same as me. It makes you focus on the things that are the most important, and we live by the motto that family is everything.
“This Mother’s Day I want to make sure my mum is feeling incredibly loved and honoured. I know my dad will be here with us.”
About: 'Those who mum' series
Meet 40 women across Australia, from as far as Cairns in North Queensland to Baldivis in Western Australia, as part of a 40-part editorial and portrait series that celebrates the faces of women and mums from across Australia.