I have a confession to make.
I don’t really like Mothers Day.
It’s partly because I really don’t want more stuff. I don’t need a new fingernail buffer. I don’t need another mug, or slippers, or anything really.
I’m trying to reduce the amount of stuff in our house – not add to it. I’m also keen on saving money. And not contributing as much to the fast-food style cycle of rubbish. So gifts from the local $2 shop, while lovely, do go a bit against my broader values.
What I do want is experiences.
For my 40th birthday, my friends put in money so that I could tick something off my bucket list. I loved it. Best gift ever.
I took the family to China, climbed the Great Wall, toured through the Forbidden City and marveled at the Terracotta Warriors. It was an unforgettable life experience.
I’d love to sit, sipping red wine in the Hunter Valley with my girlfriends. I’d love to go to Uluru and watch the sunset. I’d love to ski New Zealand, or Japan, or France. I’d love to dive with whale sharks in Ningaloo.
I’d even just love to have a massage and a body scrub and some time to myself.
These are the things I really want.
And that’s the other reason why I’m not the biggest fan of Mothers Day – the reason that’s so hard to admit.
Mothers Day is like an intense version of every other day. On Mothers Day, it’s not OK to sneak away into the pantry with a cup of tea and scoop of Nutella for five minutes of peace.
On Mothers Day, I feel the pressure to be appreciative and spend all day with the kids. But I spend all day with the kids every day. Every day, is Mothers Day.
Case in point: Last year for Mothers’ Day my wonderful daughter bought me a pillow for the bath. It was a brilliant idea. If only I could have a bath in peace. I have had many baths since. I have a lock on the door. It doesn’t stop the knocking.
On the real Mothers Day there’s real pressure for things to be fun. For me to appreciate the kids and for them to appreciate me. But the best moments with my family are the ones that are unscripted, unplanned. They are the moments when everyone has fun and behaves well.
So this year, on behalf of all the mothers out there, please kids (and Dads) have a think about what Mum really wants. Let her have a shower uninterrupted. Eat your dinner with your mouth closed and elbows off the table. Don’t punch your brother as you are emptying the dishwasher. Or walk dog poo into the house. Make her life easy. Listen to what she says and actually do it. Because that would be the BEST GIFT EVER.
And then buy her a trip to the Hunter Valley. With her girlfriends.