Mother’s Day vs International Women’s Day

mother and child, flexible working, work life balance


It’s potentially a big week. Not only is it International Women’s Day, but there’s also Mother’s Day. I’m not sure if the two cancel each other out, given Mother’s Day is about thanking mums for doing most of the housework and so forth whereas International Women’s Day is in part about sharing the housework out a bit more.

In any event, I will not be doing much housework this week, not that I do much at other times, but this week there is a double excuse.

It is also daughter two’s 15th birthday. Fresh from her candle-making exploits – she has created a lovely two-tone candle in the shape of a bottle after filling said bottle with melted wax and chucking it out of her window – daughter two spent the last moments of being 14 commiserating with her sister over Timothee Chalamet being robbed of the best actor Oscar. We all now know a lot more about Timothee Chalamet than we did, say, a week ago.

It was a bit of a challenge getting only son to make a birthday card for his sister. “No way!” he said when I tentatively suggested the idea. “She is a maniac and she gave me a card with a poo on it.” He later relented and drew a rainbow, but refused to sign the card. On the reverse side he drew a profile of daughter two in a red circle with a line through it. Daughter three, meanwhile, stayed up late drawing a detailed portrait of T Chalamet on her card.

In between birthdays, IWD and Mother’s Day, there is a postponed World Book Day and costume making for the German village play. I have created a pair of lederhosen out of daughter one’s old shorts and only son is all set to dress up as Rodrick, Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s goth brother, for World Book Day. Someone has swiped the eyeliner, though, so it might be a very minimalist costume, consisting mainly of hair gel and attitude.

My partner has mentioned there is a strike in Europe for IWD, but he is off to Spain on Thursday, meaning the chance of me striking – at least from parental duties – is looking close to zero – as is the prospect of a Mother’s Day lie-in…

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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