When did Mother’s Day become such a big deal? I don’t remember it being a big deal when I was a kid. Or was that just because I was a kid and therefore selfish and self-centred and a day dedicated to the person whose job it was to do everything for me didn’t really register?! We made a card at school and gave her a shop-bought card (purchased by my Dad), but Mother’s Day wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t think about its meaning.
But as soon as I became a mum, it became a big deal. Had it gradually been growing – pushed by Clinton Cards and Beefeaters – while I hadn’t been looking? Or did it just become a big deal because now it mattered to ME?
A whole day about mums! A whole day for mums to do nothing and for people to look after them! What’s not to love?! I became very excited about Mother’s Day.
Of course it wasn’t and isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I should know if you build something up too much or expect too much, you are always going to be disappointed. I don’t get excited (or disappointed) about Christmas for me any more, because Christmas isn’t for me. But Mother’s Day is! It’s like another birthday. But it isn’t.
I don’t want much from life. I don’t want spa breaks. The thought of ‘pampering’ fills me with horror. I hate baths and smelly stuff. I hate people messing with me. I don’t want presents (although they are nice), all I really want from Mother’s Day is the unattainable, the thing I can never have. All I want is a BREAK.
I want to get up when I want – and if that’s 6.45, that’s my choice. I want to make no breakfasts. I want to do no washing. I want to organise no clothes. I want to go running without working it round what four other people ‘need’ to do. I would like a stress-free day out with my family – for which I do no organising.
But I am always disappointed. I make the breakfasts and clear them away – like I do every other day of the year. I get up first and nag my husband to get up. I do washing and sort out what the kids will be wearing for the day. I don’t get a day out.
The one job I hate more than any other is changing the beds. I used to do that on a Sunday. One year I was changing the beds on Mother’s Day and I started kicking up a fuss. Why was I doing this? The one job I REALLY hate, on MY special day? I complained to my husband and said he should be doing it because it was Mother’s Day. And what did he say? ‘You’re not MY mother.’
NOT YOUR MOTHER! I’M JUST THE MOTHER OF YOUR CHILDREN, WHO ARE TOO YOUNG TO CHANGE THE BEDS, THEREFORE ON THIS ONE DAY OF THE YEAR, YOU SHOULD CHANGE THE BEDS!
That didn’t go down well. We went round to my Mum’s for lunch basically not speaking. So that’s my reward for slightly raising my expectations on this day which is after all just another day and I am after all just a slave to my family 24/7 365 days a year.
And here’s another thing – what am I supposed to BE on Mother’s Day? Because I am a mother, but I’m also a daughter. My mum still gives a huge amount of support to me and my kids, so I need to celebrate her while my kids and husband are (or aren’t) celebrating me.
Every year I want to go for a nice meal on Mother’s Day, but how to balance what my Mum considers a nice meal with what my kids consider a nice meal (Pizza Hut or Frankie & Benny’s)? And do we invite my sister and brother? In the end I usually fail and we end up eating at home on our own with the usual Sunday arguments at the table because that’s preferable to an argument at a restaurant.
As it happens, my Mum won’t be around for Mother’s Day this year, so maybe a trip to Pizza Hut will be in order. But you can bet a pass-out from breakfast preparation and clothes organisation won’t be.