I wrote the piece below for a local magazine. It's two weeks early, I know, but it details 'My Perfect Mother's Day'. I was rather hoping that once the proofs arrived here, as they did this week, my nearest and dearest would take note and that this would give them ('him') plenty of time to deliver. However, despite the fact that Husband has seen it, last night he asked me twice what I would like to do on Mother's Day... Ho hum... It appears that selective memory is kicking in, so I thought I would take this opportunity for a pre-emptive strike and pin this up on my 'online fridge', so he can't claim not to have seen it...
And, in the interests of full disclosure, I'm also entering it into the Mother's Day competition that Melissa at 'More to Life than Laundry' is running over on British Mummy Bloggers for Mama Baby Bliss...
My Perfect Mother's Day
So it’s Mother’s Day on March 22nd, and I bet you think it’s yet another made-up tradition to help stationers sell more cards and garages sell more carnations, don’t you?
Far from it. This day has heritage; it’s roots in the UK go back at least as far as the sixteenth century, although not until Victorian times did it start to assume the form it has now. Then it became the date when domestics were given a day off to go and visit their families. Housemaids would travel home to visit their mothers, Simnel cake in hand (think; similar to traditional Christmas cake, but without the icing), before haring back to their employers at daybreak next morning to black the grating, iron the newspaper, and kiss the postman. (I have clearly been watching far too much ‘Larkrise to Candleford’).
Nowadays, Mother’s Day consists of a card, and possibly being let off the washing-up (which you just know you are going to have do again later to get rid of the grease spots on the glasses). And if lucky you might even avoid the grease spots hazard altogether with a family lunch out, assuming the credit card isn’t being crunched too hard…
And that’s very nice, of course, but really? Could Do Better. So this year I am giving due notice to all and sundry that My Perfect Mother’s Day would consist of...
1. …waking up secure in the knowledge that I have not – as has been known – forgotten to send my mother a card. (Clearly, this one comes under ‘note to self’ category). This will then remove the need for that traditional last minute panicked phone call to my sister (who handily lives in the same town as our parents), to beg her on bended knee to get me out of the proverbial and buy some flowers to drop in to mum on my behalf.
2. ... being presented with suitably relevant and low key gifts by my husband and sons (family please note; egg timers, a boxed set of ‘Best of Top Gear’ DVD’s, and a road atlas of Europe are not amongst the presents deemed acceptable on this occasion)
3. …being able to take as long as I like in the bathroom. To spell it out clearly; there will be no interruptions during the applying of eyeliner by Husbands looking for spare loo rolls or small boys flying Playmobil airplanes and/or needing their bottoms wiping.
4. …ignoring a healthy breakfast in favour of a large box of expensive chocolates. And not having to share them.
5. …the general absence of cooking and tidying up duties. Not that those things shouldn’t get done, you understand. Just not by me. Not on Mothering Sunday.
6. …the big one. The Holy Grail for all mothers everywhere, if my straw poll on the matter is anything to go by. Please; no humdrum decisions. I would like one day of the year when I don’t have to decide what the children wear. One day when I don’t have to plan (or cook) dinner, or decide whether today’s is going to be a dark or a light wash. I still want these things done, mind you, and I want them done properly… Just – again – not by me.
I’ve just worked out what would make My Perfect Mother’s Day.