Monday, 27 March 2017

Mother's Day And Why It Matters To Us Mums

Every year on Mother's Day social media is covered with people sharing their love for their mums, Mother's sharing the gifts and cards they were given and a large group of disgruntled Mum's who feel there hasn't been enough appreciation shown.

A black and white photograph of me grimacing while hugging my two daughters (a 5 year old and a 1 year old)
This third group tend to be parents of young children where the pressure to provide adequate thanks falls on the Dad. It's tough because it's so easy to buy the wrong thing. Some want jewellery, some chocolate, some breakfast in bed, some gin (in or out of bed).  After the gifts and cards are handed over it often seems to turn into a normal Sunday and the moment has passed.

My ex didn't make any effort on Mother's Day. When my daughter was at nursery they made a card and a small gift with her so I received something, but in the words of my ex "Why would I buy you something? You're not my mother!". My partner tends to go to the other extreme at any occasion when presents could be bought and he spends too much money. Really all I want is a card and to spend a nice day with my family. Oh and some sleep, a tidy house and a big hug.

It's so easy to get the day wrong, but why does it matter so much? Mothers sacrifice a lot for their children. From the yummy foods we have to give up in pregnancy, to the lack of sleep in the early years, possibly a career, many nights out and a huge amount of money which could be spent on other things. We do it willingly, we chose to have children and being a mum is incredibly rewarding, but being a parent is also hard work. It's a 24/7 job. Even when you try and have time off you are always on call. It doesn't matter if your baby is a 5 weeks old or 35 years, anytime they need you you're there.

Often as a parent you don't get thanks for what you do. It's not that you aren't appreciated it's just that sometimes you are taken for granted. A while back we had a kindness chart on the fridge; when anyone in the house did something kind they would be awarded a sticker. After a couple of days I hadn’t received any, yet my partner had stickers for doing household chores and my daughter for all sorts of things. I had cooked, cleaned, washed clothes, wiped bums, done crafts, entertained, shopped, but no stickers. After a small rant about being unappreciated my efforts started to be recognised. 

I think as a parent you accept that you won’t get a lot of thanks, but Mother’s Day is the one day each year we want people to say “Hi Mummy, I see the effort you go to, I know you are always there for me, you cook, you clean, you provide for me, you find fun things for us to do, you give us cuddles, you do your best for us and we really appreciate that. Thank you”. Every other day of the year we may grunt that we don’t feel appreciated, but Mother’s Day people have a prompt. It’s a day people are meant to appreciate their mum’s and if you don’t receive thanks then it sucks. If you have a partner you need them to say they appreciate what you do as a Mother as well. 

It’s not about spending lots of money, it’s not about the quality of the gifts, it’s about the appreciation. And it can be a huge anti-climax. Of course if you have been dropping subtle hints for weeks that there is a particular gift you want and that doesn’t appear then that is upsetting. It feels like no one listens to you. 

A photograph of a personalised page in the Mr Men My Mummy Book. It says "My mummy is most like Little Miss...Huggles", "I love it when my mummy reads...gruffalos child...to me", "My mummy makes me laugh when... she tells jokes", "She always knows when ...to tickle me"

Despite me having to get up really early yesterday (the baby woke up an hour earlier than normal) we had a lovely day. My favourite gift was a Mr Men book called “My Mummy” because it has a section at the back where M completed various sentences like “My Mummy is very kind because… she gets me food”. Her responses were innocent and unprompted and I love them. The best thing about the day was we all spent it together.


However your Mother’s Day went I’m sure you are are all brilliant. And there’s always next year.
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