My daughter’s old childcare came up with a shocker last year…a stress ball. Seriously? How will that stand the test of time? Answer-it didn’t. I was talking to my colleague, listening to our tasks, but at the same thinking of my sick son and guiltily thinking it should be me at home with him, not my husband. (I had used up all of my leave.) Squeezing. Squeezing hard. And then the ball burst in my hands, sand cascading over my fingers, hands, into my palm, onto my lap and dress and onto the freshly laid carpet at my work. I carried my skirt like a maid of old to dump the sand in the bin. I tried to scrape the sand off the carpet and onto a piece of paper to discard. Strangely, I didn’t feel less stressed after this experience.
To give you all a helping hand I’ve come up with a ‘What not to buy for Mother’s Day’ list. (Unless specifically asked.)
1. A cookbook. It’s just a reminder that we probably aren’t coming up with as many nutritionally balanced meals as we should. And finding recipes is what Google is for. And its free.
2. Appliances of any sort. These are tools to make the household run efficiently. Hence, they come out of the household budget. Not a gift.
3. Perfume. Half the time the kids won’t like the smell of it because it means she won’t smell like Mummy. So if she wears it at all…it will only be for date nights. And how often do you have those? That’s your metric.
4. A book. We barely have time to read an Aldi catalogue, let alone a book. Most of us have accepted we just won’t get time to finish a book for the next 20 years. We don’t need a reminder.
5. Lingerie. Remember the gift is supposed to be from your kids…they think bras are a funny accessory to be worn on the head as a helmet. So save it for another occasion.
6. Sporting/Fitness equipment. Unless it is a pre-existing interest (i.e. a sport they have been doing for a while), just don’t. What it says to a Mummy isn’t ‘I support you in what you want to be/do’ rather it says ‘I wish you were fitter/did more exercise.’ How can that ever go well?
As Mothers, what we want is simple. We want a memento that when we receive it…and look back…it will make us misty eyed with how much time has passed and how our baby has grown into a bright and happy child. It’s not hard. A scribble in rainbow colours. A cliched and over used poem, which will still make us melt because our child’s smeared prints are under or over it. When you receive a present which temporarily freezes time for you…where you can be reminded of the tiny people they were…gratitude seems too weak a word for that gift.
So Daddies, I have told you what not to buy. But I can also tell you what to do. If your child’s school/childcare hasn’t delivered…send your wife out for a pedicure. Or a coffee. Just some time alone. Then buy some paint. Do the footprint/handprints of your children. Google Mother’s Day poems. Make it a project. Make it an experience. More importantly…make it a memory.
Because that’s what Mummies want…beautiful, pure, memories of our gorgeous children frozen in time when we knew we were their entire world…while hoping we always will be.
Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net