What do Mothers really want for Mother's Day? Harriet Rouse shares simple, thoughtful ideas that don't have to cost the Earth.
Ah, Mother’s Day. That day of the year when all around you sparkles, the world thanks you for your contribution to the survival of the human race, the piles of washing magically disappear, ‘normal life’ suspends, and all of a sudden, the children know how to lie in, not teeth, not need a wee in the middle of the night, and their rooms are magically tidy, they do everything you ask them to when you ask them to, and the home is tidy, clean, and it’s all about YOU and what you’d like to do.
Just kidding. Of course, it’s just like any other day, but with the added risk of crumbs in the bed, a child scalding themself when getting you a coffee or tea, and then – of course – the pressure of gifts. Added to the usual pressures of daily mumming, Mother’s Day can be tough on some people for many reasons. Whether relationships with their own mothers are strained or complicated, or they have been bereaved, whether they have children of their own or are struggling with loss or fertility issues, Mother’s Day isn’t always easy.
"It’s just like any other day, but with the added risk of crumbs in the bed..."
Stemming from the Christian calendar, when people would return to their ‘Mother Church’ where they were baptised shortly after Easter, it became synonymous with family get-togethers. After the First World War, Mothering Sunday became a way to celebrate mothers whose sons had not returned from the Great War and acknowledge their sacrifice.
So, with the history lesson set to one side, what do you really, really, really want for Mother’s Day (aside from the aforementioned magical pile of washing being done and homes being tidied)?
In this time of a cost-of-living crisis, there is real pressure on gifting for Mother’s Day, and if you know the perfect something for the Mum, please go for it. But otherwise, the pressure should be removed. We’ve come up with some ideas, as well as some other budget-friendly ones. Thoughtful gifting really can be simple (and free!); what most people really, really want is for us to remember, for us to help, and for the kitchen not to look like an actual flour/egg bomb has gone off when the kids have helped to make breakfast in bed… and for us to check in with those women in our lives for whom things might not be so easy.
Perfect gifts from younger kids
• Pick a posy of flowers. Daffodils are in season, and even two or three in an old glass jar, lovingly foraged by the kids, is the sweetest gesture. If you want to elevate it a bit, buy a small bud vase, and the kids can pick some flowers once a week.
• Make some cakes or cookies. Obviously, Mum will share (make sure you clean up afterwards!)
• An original piece of art – a.k.a a picture drawn by the kids. There are some fantastic and easy framing options, so if it’s something really lovely, it can be admired for years to come.
• Handmade card – almost essential.
Perfect gifts from teenagers
• See above• Breakfast or dinner (with table the laid, flowers, and no moaning about cleaning up afterwards!)
•A book of vouchers that can be cashed in with chores, room tidies, and nights off cooking (great to create yourself!).• If the kids want to pitch in some money together, a voucher for a massage or spa trip is a lovely gift.
Perfect gifts from grown-ups
• See all of the above