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Two weeks ago my over-tall teenager came downstairs mid-Sunday morning and gave me a bunch of flowers. “For you, mum. You’re the best mum in the world and I love you!” he mumbled as he thrust them into my hands. I was gob smacked. The gesture was out of the blue and he had managed to hide them in his bedroom overnight – even thinking to pop them in water to keep them fresh.
About an hour later my oldest, who has just started uni, rang me “for a chat”. He does call occasionally but NEVER in the mornings and whilst he is a good boy his calls are generally of a practical nature. Something was fishy.
It seemed churlish to ask, but I did. “Toby, why did you give me flowers this morning? Is there something you want to admit to? Have you got into trouble at school?” I ventured.
“No mum – silly. It’s Mother’s Day.” He replied.
“Erm…I don’t think it is, are you sure?” I said. I’m not great at keeping in touch with the marketing calendar, but I of all people should know when Mothers’ Day is.
It transpired that for some reason their father got the date wrong and very kindly reminded them to make a fuss of me. The sad thing is that once I knew this I was disappointed. The unexpected flowers and phone call were somehow cheapened. The totally unexpected, impromptu moments now seemed to be no more than ticking the box. They did not WANT to be nice to me they felt they HAD to. Or maybe I was being hard on myself?
I’m confused by what I feel about these landmark dates. Have they been over exploited by retail and the media? Is it just a way to encourage, coerce and blackmail the consumer into spending more money? You may notice that we, at JoJo, don’t ram these dates down your throats. This might seem a waste of a good marketing opportunity, but we just don’t like the hard sell.
What I really loved when my boys were little was a handmade card, a little bunch of flowers (generally daffodils picked from the garden) or an offer to bring me tea in bed as they got older. It’s a great way to get our children to show us some appreciation and it’s a great way for us to sit back and let them look after us. I’m going to make a pledge to myself that I will let my son do the cooking this Sunday – a good opportunity for him to be creative in the kitchen and feel he is pitching in. I will not interfere (as I generally do), but leave him to learn through his mistakes (making as much a mess as necessary of my lovely clean kitchen) and I will appreciate the offering – I hope!
Mother’s Day was invented about 100 years ago as a day for us to remember our mums of all ages. Showing appreciation does not have to cost money. Time and a little effort is all that’s needed. I will be thinking about mine, who I still miss hugely despite the fact she died 18 months ago, and I hope my boys will be thinking about me.
Happy Mother’s Day to all our wonderful new mums reading this. I’ll be shedding a few tears with any of you who have lost your own mums in recent years. Let’s look back with love and fond memories of those amazing women who sacrificed so much to make us happy, just as we are prepared to do for our own children.
P.S. We’ve got a very cute mother’s day card template for your little ones to colour in. Simply download and print it from our Colouring Corner.