Mother’s Day: more than just a card [hopefully]

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday. However you view it, it can be a good way to have a bit of a lie-in. Fingers crossed.

happy mother's day! child son congratulates mother on holiday and gives flowers

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday and the shops have been packed with cards and flowers since the last card-based event. Forget the cards and flowers though: all you want is a lie-in and for people to say nice things about you – preferably every day, but you can’t win them all. The chances are, though, that it will be mums organising the festivities – not only for their own mum, but dropping hints about the joys of sleep and the like to their offspring.

And who makes sure the kids make you a lovely card? Generally, their teachers or nursery workers, who are also more than likely to be mums. Is Mother’s Day a day of celebration of all things maternal, a sentimental throwback in the days of shared parenting or just an elaborate ploy to make other people feel okay about you doing most of the work on the other 364 days of the year? Whatever your views, there can be an art to wringing as much as you can out of the 24 hours that make up Mothering Sunday.

Be clear about what you want

The art of leadership is to guide rather than direct. Make a list of your top five Mother’s Day things and steer things in that direction. If you know that cleaning generally results in more work for you scratch all mention from the list. Stick to the easy stuff like letting you have a lie-in. Emphasise that ALL mothers get a lie-in on Mother’s Day and spell out what this involves in detail to avoid confusion. Spell it out in capitals with glitter if necessary.

Keep it low key

Do not exaggerate the importance of Mother’s Day. The chances are if you hype it that you will excite the younger members of the family so much that they will want to wake you up early to celebrate, thus completely missing the entire point of the day. Teenagers will probably allow you the lie-in on the grounds that they won’t get up till noon.

Rose tint the past

Talk about what you did for your mum in your youth and slightly embellish that to create some sort of sense of tradition, for instance, “We let her spend the whole day in bed and did a complete spring clean of the house.”

Breakfast in bed

If making breakfast is on your list, give a suggested hour, give them a clock and ask for a menu in advance. If not you could find the whole house turned upside down or yourself being force fed some combination of marmalade and Rice Crispies at 5am and then spend the rest of the day getting the crumbs out.

Thinking about it

Emphasise that it is not about presents, but about thoughtfulness. Let them ponder on that one for a few days, particularly the teenagers.

Celebrate it every day?

Discuss whether in an age of supposed equality Mother’s Day is just one big excuse to overload mothers on all the other days of the year. If Mother’s Day means getting the odd lie-in and sharing the housework shouldn’t it be celebrated all year round…?

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