My mother, my best friend
My mother, Donna Mclaughlan. A businesswoman, a hard worker, a wife, a best friend, a mother - that's my mum.
She is the biggest role model in my life and I am extremely grateful for all that she does for me.
At 22, my mum had a 5-year-old son, a 2-year-old daughter and had another baby on the way.
My father, a fisherman, was away at sea for long periods, so it was up to my mum to hold the household together.
She cooked every night, cleaned up after us, paid the bills, paid the mortgage, entertained us, educated us and loved us - and all while holding down a part-time cleaning job.
I am now 22 and I can't even begin to comprehend how my mother was able to do all this.
Hard work has certainly paid off for her as she progressed through various jobs without any formal qualifications, having left school in her mid-teens to take a job at the local bakery and soon after raise a baby.
She is now a successful businesswoman.
Four years ago, she took ownership of the TripInn hostel, a business where she had worked as a cleaner when I was a child.
She lives on-site and works every single day and night of the year. I have often heard her joke that one day it would be nice to be able to go home from work.
My mother is the most hardworking and deserving woman I know. She inspires me every day to be the best person I can be.
I only hope that I share the qualities that I admire most in my mother - great determination, strong work ethic, intelligence, quirkiness, kindness, willpower, responsibility, selflessness, beauty and an irrevocably strong love for those close to her.
I am now in my first year of paid employment as a registered nurse and I honestly would not be where I am today if it had not been for the support from my mother.
She has provided extensive amounts of emotional and financial support to me over the past four years of my tertiary education, even when she may have needed these things more herself at times.
My mother and I are planning to travel around Europe together for six weeks next year. I couldn't think of anyone in the world who I would rather experience this with.
She has shown me that no matter where you start in life you can fulfil your dreams and be whoever you want to be.
For that I will be eternally grateful.
I'm so blessed to have my mother as my best friend.
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