children's stories

Mummy is a Nurse
written & illustrated by Grandad


My name is Hannah, I am 14 years old now, but when COVID started I was just 12 years old. I was a typical lippy 12 year old, kept my bedroom a mess, played my music loud, argued with mum and was always on my phone. There is just mum and me, my dad left us a long time ago, my mum is called Beth and she is a nurse.

At the beginning of COVID, I am ashamed I gave my mum a hard time, she was working longer shifts and I complained she was never home and didn't cook as much for me. This went on for a couple of weeks, until a friend of mine Jill, whose mum and dad are paramedics, told me what everyone in the NHS were going through. "Mum has never said anything." "Don't you watch the news, you need to stop looking at social media and realise what your mum is facing each day," Jill said. That was the day I changed and I was there for my mum. Yes I know, I should have realised earlier, but I am making up it for now.

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One thing that has made me really mad, was my mum used to go to work by bus, it saved her using the car and allowed her to put the money she saved by for special treats. At the beginning when everyone was clapping for the NHS, my mum and her colleagues felt wanted and safe travelling on public transport, then overnight it changed.

Mum is proud of her uniform, but people seeing her uniform, started to pick on her, blaming her for the delays in A& E and many other things. So mum at first, did her coat up, but sadly people still carried on picking on her and her colleagues, just because the bus picked them outside the hospital, they were considered fair game. Covid has shown the worst and the best in us, just wish my mum could see more of the best.

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My nan and I, were out shopping today and I came across this mug and immediately had to buy it for mum, as I want her to know how proud I am of her. You know people are admitted to hospital, go to A&E and attend appointments, they see nurses like my mum, but they don't realise, they have families, partners and are human beings. I wish they could see that nurses, doctors and all those who work in the NHS, have lost 2 years of their lives, same as their families. Mum never complains, she is like all her colleagues, dedicated and caring.

They don't see how my mum comes home exhausted, how on a number of times I have seen her crying, yes she hides it, but I see it and I wish the public, who are nasty to her at work, could see her at home. How many children, like me have seen and still see their mum or dad going to work, knowing they are putting their life on the line, but in spite of that, they continue to go to work day after day.

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When Covid started as I said I was 12, but even as a 12 year old, I knew what these adults were doing was wrong and cruel, how can you attack the people, who are risking their lives every day, to keep us safe. It made and still does, make me ashamed to be human. At the beginning of the pandemic, there was panic buying and long queues at the supermarket, mum was working long nights in a Covid ward and when mum got to the supermarkets, there were long queues and very little left on the shelves.

So she was happy when the government said there would be an hour in the morning for essential workers to shop. My mum only went once, as people shouted at her, said she was queue jumping and even spat on her. It really upset her, but our wonderful neighbours heard about it and were grateful for what my mum was doing and organised it, so we always had shopping. Mum's friends who are paramedics, also had the same kind of experience. As children we are told off when we do wrong, but who tells the adults off?


One morning, after a very hard night shift, my mum was just about to come home, when one of the nurses on the day shift told her, one of the patients wanted a quick word. Mum asked who was it, the nurse told her the patient was Emma. My mum smiled Emma had been very ill and now was recovering very well. When my mum got to the bay where Emma was, there she was, all dressed in scrubs, holding a cardboard heart which said, "Happy Birthday Nurse Beth." My mum stood there for a moment stunned, my mum had forgotten it was her birthday, that's the toll the past 18 months has had on my lovely mum.

Because my mum was currently working on a ward, that was not a Covid ward, Emma took my mum to the staff room, where all the night staff had stayed behind, decorated the staff room and even had managed to hide a chocolate birthday cake from my mum. Now that was no mean feat, as my mum loves chocolate. My mum had only been on this ward for 6 weeks, but everyone who worked with her, could see how dedicated she was and understood the toll working on a Covid intensive care unit had, had on my mum.

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You know, my mum, like all nurses, doctors, paramedics, health workers and all those who work in the NHS during this pandemic, don't have a special shield that cuts their emotions off from the patient in front of them. They find it really hard and yes it gets to them, they are only human, but they do their job, day in day out, to their best ability.

Mum told me at the beginning of Covid, that PPE was a barrier and wearing it, was a huge challenge for everyone. For most patients and family members it is unsettling to see her in her PPE and it can be a struggle for them to see her expression, especially when having a difficult conversation. For patients who are hard of hearing and those who are deaf and depend on lip reading, the conversation can get lost.

Mum is sad, she is not able to use touch as much as she was used to and finds it very hard, not able to hug a upset patient and a grieving relative. She said, holding a hand with a glove on, is not the same, not like it was before the pandemic. It's hard for my mum, as she loves to hug and used to always grab a person's hand, I know she longs for the day, when she can do it again.

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One evening mum came home in tears, I asked her what was wrong, she said nothing, but I could see there was. “Mum talk to me, please,” I said. She wiped her tears away and said, “seeing my patients deteriorate and having heart-breaking conversations with family members is an emotional nightmare. It’s never easy seeing my patients suffer, but I will never give up on them."

"Our patients need us and their families trust us, so like so many, I silence my fear, rise to the challenge and carry on. Hannah, I hold out hope and pray that each one of my patients will survive. I cheer and smile with joy, each patient that I discharge home and seeing them reunite with their family. Most of all, I appreciate the support I receive from you Hannah, that encourages me to keep going.” "Oh mum, thank you, that means the world to me," I replied.


We all jump into shower and think nothing of it. My mum and her colleagues however, come home to shower, not only because they don’t want to risk exposing us, but also, to try and wash off the trauma of the shift they have just finished. As well as, washing away the guilt of wondering if they could have done more and spent more quality time with their patients.

Every staff member on mum’s shift, listen to one another’s fears, cry together, support each other, raise each other’s spirits and find strength in one another because they share a unique bond. This togetherness can be felt throughout the hospital and it is a good feeling. Mum says the people she works with are truly incredible, that we really couldn’t do what we do, or what we have done, without each other. Mum truly values the powerful bond she has with her colleagues, her second family.


Mum has just come home and told me from tomorrow she is back working on the Covid intensive care unit. So for the second year I will be sharing mum, at Christmas, that's okay, because nan and I will do all the decorations, the shopping and cook, so mum has not to do anything when she comes home. I told her I would do the washing up and she replied "oh my, a early Christmas present." We giggled, we are going to be okay and each day mum goes to work I am going to tell her, how proud of her I am.

Although it may take mum years to process all these events, I know that every day she goes to work, she will give her all and strive to bring hope, peace, comfort, and joy to every single person she encounters. During the Christmas period, she will ensure every one of her patients, has the best time possible. That’s who mum is and all those who work in the NHS are, so please spare a thought for them over Christmas when you dig into your turkey dinner, especially for my mum.