What would make YOUR perfect Mother's Day?

>> Sunday, 20 March 2011

We had International Women's Day here a couple of weeks ago. This is a big deal here in Russia; it stands in for Mother's Day, and I suppose is better in a way since it celebrates all women, mothers or not. (For a full explanation of how Women's Day works in Moscow I recommend you pop on over to fellow blogger Jennifer's site Dividing My Time for a tongue in cheek examination of what it means for the female population of this city. Note: she's not exaggerating about the extra traffic...)

It got me thinking about Mother's Day back in the UK. I've noticed that there are already some bloggers posting on this subject, so rather than re-inventing the wheel I'm recycling the post below which I originally wrote for a local magazine when we were based in London, a couple of years ago...

So it’s Mother’s Day very soon, and I bet you think it’s yet another made-up tradition to help stationers sell more cards, and garages more carnations, don’t you?

Far from it. This day has heritage — its roots in the UK go back at least as far as the 16th 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 (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 you're very 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…

All 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 Dutiful Daughterhood
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 buy some flowers to drop in to Mum on my behalf.

2 Glorious Gifts
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’ DVDs, and a road atlas of Europe are not amongst the presents deemed acceptable on this occasion).

3 Bathroom Monopoly
Being able to take as long as I like in the bathroom. To spell it out clearly; there will be no interruptions by husbands looking for spare loo rolls or small boys flying Playmobil airplanes and/or needing their bottoms wiping.

4 Chocolate
Ignoring a healthy breakfast in favour of a large box of Rococco chocolates. And not having to share them.

5 No chores
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 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.

7 But bigger still...
I’ve just worked out what the ingredient would be that would really make My Perfect Mother’s Day. My Mum. Here. With me. In spite of the fact that of course if she were I would need to be doing all those things in Point 6 (washing, laundry, humdrum decisions, cooking) for her rather than having them done for me. Which rather negates the whole thing, now I come to think of it... Still. I think I could live with that.


Jen 20 March 2011 at 18:50  

Very similar to you, a perfect Mothers Day would be made up of: remembered to send flowers to my mother, breakfast in bed, some small token of a present from my kids. Then best of all, the no humdrum decisions and chores, but those decisions and chores still being taken care of rather than piling up for mothers day +1.

Knackered Mother 20 March 2011 at 22:04  

Lovely, lovely post. An uninterrupted bath, with no small people jumping in, or phone calls, or wailing....bliss. Never knew the tradition, feel I'm better placed to demand a fuss is made of me!

Muddling Along 21 March 2011 at 12:36  

You are right, it is the humdrum decisions that get to me most - what to feed everyone, what to get them to wear, when to do this, that or the other

Oh and I'd like 12 hours uninterrupted sleep too

Potty Mummy 21 March 2011 at 16:57  

Jen, 'Mother's Day +1' - like it...

KM, oh, the bath, yes please!

MAM, 12 hrs of uninterrupted sleep? Now you're just being silly.

The mum of all trades 21 March 2011 at 21:15  

I am dropping big hints for a babyliss big hair, I hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears!

The mum of all trades 21 March 2011 at 21:15  

I am dropping big hints for a babyliss big hair, I hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears!

Potty Mummy 22 March 2011 at 09:52  

MofallT, good luck, I hope you get it!

Anonymous,  22 March 2011 at 18:28  

I think your family shop for Mother's Day gifts at the same place as mine...

Road atlas will at least come in handy when you decide to leave them after one crap present too many...

Steuben 21 April 2011 at 18:01  

A personalized Mother's Day gift that lets me know I'm appreciated is all I ask for. Be it doing the dishes or a card with a special message, I'm not hard to please! My favorite Mother's Day gift from the younger years was a macaroni picture frame from the kids.

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