Two words that mean so much. We are very eager to say them to our friends and also to strangers, from the person who serves our flat white at our local cafe to the person behind the counter, handing us a bag full of clothes that we’ve just paid for, but actually don’t really need.

So, why is it so hard to say thank you and appreciate what our mothers do for us?

We get easily annoyed, roll our eyes, say something in a harsh way, sometimes behaving like spoiled teenagers. But they persist. They want to be by our side no matter what.

Many of us have friends now, who are pregnant or have children. Do you remember the excitement it was when you friend told you she was having a baby? Maybe seeing the scan? Even getting to know if it was a girl or a boy? The pure joy of receiving a text or a phone call saying the little baby had arrived and everything was fine?

Your mother has been through that too. With you. Let me put it this way:

This young woman found out she was pregnant. She was happy, scared, insecure, thrilled, proud, all at the same time. She felt her body changing, her belly growing, heard a lot of old tails about pregnancies going wrong. She gave birth, which is one of the hardest things a woman can go through, both physically and mentally.

She took her little baby home. That little precious thing. The most beautiful and most important thing she had ever had, laying in her arms. Was she going to be a good mother?

The baby eventually becomes a child who runs into her mother’s arms when she picks her up at school, and gives her a drawing of them two. The child becomes a teenager who just wants to be inside her bedroom with the door closed, preferably with a sign saying “DO NOT DISTURB”, thinking about how embarrassing her mother really is. The teenager becomes an adult, moves out and lives her own life, relegating her mother to second plan.

Of course she calls her mother, but only when she is sad because she got dumped by someone who doesn’t deserve her, or she needs to tak about her horrible day at work. How about when she is happy, or she had a good day at work, or how about calling her mother just because?

That doesn’t happen.

It is not Mothers Day in Portugal. That will be in May. I just think we should appreciate our mothers more often, not only on their birthdays or on Mothers Day. It should be every day.

If your mother calls you and you really don’t feel like talking, take a deep breath and pick up the phone. This person, who you might find annoying right know, has given you life. Is it too much to ask for five or ten minutes of your time just to know how your day has been?

How about you call your mother and ask her how her day was? Send her a text and say thank you and tell her how you appreciate everything she has done for you? If you live close by each other, how about meeting for a brunch during the weekend? Or do a manicure together? Or just show up, as a surprise, and give her her favourite flowers?

I might sound dramatic. Maybe I am being dramatic. Just a tiny bit. Nevertheless, please promise me you will do something for your mother as soon as you have finished reading this.