A century ago, Mother’s Day was just another day as the Earth slowly inched its way around the sun. Then, in 1905, a brilliant daughter, Anna Jarvis, decided to honour her mother’s memory by turning it into a day of celebration and appreciation.
Now, take note, kids – because Anna managed to raise the bar pretty darn high. In fact, she aced the best present for Mother’s Day – the day itself.
A decade later, Mother’s Day became an official US holiday.
Now everyone had to make it special for their mums. There was just no escaping the day.
Enter Hallmark, the company that made it mandatory for you to send Mum a card and some flowers. Eventually, that became the bare minimum because now companies knew we were willing to put a price tag on the love we felt for our mothers.
So, brands jumped in, and slowly, tear-jerking commercials popped in between every show and YouTube video, reminding you of the sacrifices your mum made for you. Don’t forget the #hashtag.
And now every year, as May rolls in, they pop in your feed and remind you that it’s time to celebrate your mum – and what better way than through grand gestures and expensive presents? Of course, they’ll throw in a discount to lure you in first, all the while assuring you that, ‘This is all a mother REALLY wants.’
But as a mum, let me tell you, they have no idea what they’re talking about. In fact, here’s a simple list of all the things I, as a mum, do NOT want for Mother’s Day:
1. Scented candles and bath bombs
I do not want another scented candle that I will burn only when expecting company or when I’m trying to get rid of the smell in the kitchen because “someone” forgot to take the trash out!
I do not want bath bombs for baths that I will never take. Don’t get me wrong, I would love those any day, but as a mum of young kids, that’s not what I want for Mother’s Day.
2. Breakfast in bed
I would love breakfast in bed, but I don’t want it if it comes with a messy kitchen that I will have to clean up later. So, unless you are willing to clean up the mess you made in the process, and also do the dishes after, please hold off on the (lovingly) overcooked eggs. .
3. Home and kitchen gadgets
Thanks, but no thanks. If it is designed to clean the kitchen or help with any task that has to do with cooking, cleaning, or looking after tiny humans, I really would rather you didn’t categorise it as a present for me.
Because it is not for me.
The commercials will have you believe that it’s a Roomba that I dream of every night. They will let you believe that a KitchenAid will make my day.
I assure you, it will not.
These electronic home and kitchen gadgets are nothing but a reminder of the invisible load of motherhood.
It doesn’t celebrate motherhood. So, repeat after me:
The KitchenAid is a gift for the kitchen and not for mum.
4. ‘World’s Best Mum’ merchandise
Nope. Place it back on the shelf right now. If you so much as reach towards one of those “Best MUM” mugs and tees, so help me, God.
This cheap merchandising should be banned, and I’m surprised that mums around the world haven’t started a movement yet. But then again, it’s probably on their endless list of things to do, once they’re done with the pick-up and drop-offs.
Also, whoever is manufacturing the “Cooking for the ____family since 20xx” apron, please stop. The world doesn’t need that stuff anymore.
Side note: If I ever get an apron as a present, I will burn it—accidentally, of course.
5. Skin care
Oh, so the internet suggested I needed to lather myself in expensive concoctions and potions that cater to the needs of mature skin and come with the promise of eternal youth?
Are you trying to imply something at this point?
Let me make this simple for you: if it says, “anti-aging” anywhere on the packaging, it doesn’t make for a great gift.
Also, why would they suggest vitamins and supplements for Mother’s Day? And how come no one ever suggests walking down the supplement section for chewable tablets for Children’s Day or as a birthday present for 5-year-olds?
Things I would like for Mother’s Day
What I would like instead would be to sip on a nice **hot** cup of cocoa or coffee as my children play and communicate in decibels only audible to the human ear.
And I dream of a day when I could talk on the phone while my children waited for me to hang up – without interrupting. Also, I would appreciate it if you could start with little habits that would make my life easier—clothes in the hamper, the toilet bowl flushed—I’m not even talking about the seat.
If you want to get me something, I wouldn’t mind some candy as long as you don’t want them too, because, as a mum, I can’t refuse to share them with my babies as I control my calorie intake.
If it’s a confectionary I love, which would explain why you got it in the first place, I will ration it so it lasts me months. A nice perfume would be lovely, and maybe a tub of ice cream we can share as we watch home videos. Stains and spills excluded.
If you feel like spending a little, buy me trinkets and jewellery and a bag that is not a baby bag. I wouldn’t mind a spa day either. But not if the woman assigned to help me relax is an overworked mother herself. And of course, a little bit of me time thrown in, but not an entire day.
Then, maybe we can end our day together with a nice dinner at a lovely café with you on your best behaviour. But you know what, I would love for Mother’s Day—this year and forever— long, warm hugs and sloppy kisses to remind me why I became a mum in the first place.