An alternative Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day everyone, or Mothering Sunday if you’re the traditional type! I hope you’ve all managed to get a lie in (what that means with the clocks going forward I don’t actually know), some version of breakfast in bed and have been presented with multiple homemade cards and presents. 

This year I’m definitely getting a lie in as I don’t actually have Charlotte for most of the day. 

I heard the shocked gasps then but it’s ok, I  promise.

My ex and I have Charlotte alternate weekends (with me doing the bits in the middle too) and this year Mother’s Day fell on ‘his’ weekend.  I didn’t realise until quite late on in the proceedings and wondered if I should attempt to barter to keep her for myself or shorten his weekend with her so I could see her. But then I thought… 

What does Mother’s Day mean for me? 

…and thinking about it, for me as a mum it doesn’t mean very much right now.

The first Mother’s Day after I split with my ex I had three cards from friends and family and multiple presents and flowers. It was nice as I wasn’t expecting anything, especially as my ex and I were not in good terms, but the past two Mother’s Day’s have just been a bit, well, depressing. 

Mother’s Day isn’t just about Mother and Child bonding. It’s meant to be a full family experience and I remember it so fondly from when I was younger. The Father is meant to take the child(ren) out to carefully curate the best present/card combo. The breakfast is made with help from the Father so no fires ensue or coffee isn’t spilt down the stairs. The Sunday Lunch is a full family affair whether out or in but, for better or worse, that’s not how it works in our little family of two. 

Crazy curly haired lady!

But I realised that, where we are now, I don’t need presents or a soppy Hallmark cards from Charlotte. I definitely don’t want presents brought begrudgingly by my ex. It melts my heart when she brings me a drawing home from school with a lady with crazy hair in the middle surrounded by hearts and flowers and says ‘I made this for you mummy’, but I am lucky that they happen every week for me, not just on one day of the year. 

I don’t need a lie in because I generally get one every other weekend and, believe me, I usually make the most of it. I know I have got it good compared to a lot of mum’s in that respect so I take full advantage! 

Last years attempt at breakfast in bed – the wine wasnt part of it, promise!

I don’t need breakfast in bed. She’s five. That would be a disaster and I’d have to go downstairs to find out what the crash was and supervise at some point therefore defeating the point entirely.

Our day trip to London last summer
I do, however, need quality time with my daughter. Like playing a new card game with her that her grandma taught her, and listening to her cackle when she’s on a winning streak. Like having tickle fights on lazy Sunday mornings. Like going on road trips to see something a bit different or Film Night Fridays with pizza and a movie. Like cuddling up in bed every evening and reading books. Just the two of us. 

And I realised that I am ridiculously lucky that I get that most days of the year, not just the one. 

So Charlotte can have her Daddy weekend because she needs and wants quality time with him too, and we’ll just pick up where we left off when she gets back. 

NB: I also know I definitely have two homemade cards hiding in various conspicuous places, so all is not lost.

Happy Mother’s Day

I have a confession. It’s not even 10am and I have already shouted at Charlotte. She managed to walk along the back of the sofa and stood on my hair, ripping it out from the root. I screamed and she started to cry. I shouted at her to get down and she cried even more and she has just told me she doesn’t love me…and this is our Mother’s Day so far.

Charlotte opened my card that her and her dad bought for me yesterday (more than last year so a shock to say the least) so I didn’t have anything to open this morning. I got a flower arrangement and poem from nursery but picked it up on Wednesday. Charlotte making me breakfast could go horribly wrong so it all really just felt like another day.

I would say that, for the most part, I am a good mum. I love my daughter with all my heart and would do anything to keep her safe but sometimes tiredness or stresses or something else means that everyday between Charlotte and I cannot be sweetness and light. She needs to learn her boundaries by pushing them and I have to say no to stop her pushing too far. I’m also learning that I don’t have all the answers but some people do so I should let go of my stubbornness and pride and accept help and listen to suggestions. The past few weeks on our sleep programme has taught me this a hundred times over. The change I have seen in for both Charlotte and myself is amazing. I’ll be sorry when it ends but I have developed a new toolkit to use for years to come.

So I guess this is just a happy Mother’s Day to everyone. Happy Mother’s Day to the mum who has a loving partner, happy Mother’s Day to the single parent, happy Mother’s Day to the mum who’s had a crappy day, week or month. Happy Mother’s Day to the mums who are overwhelmed or struggling or lonely and happy Mother’s Day to the mums who have been through this period and are starting to see a better place. I send my love to you all as we all have that one thing in common – we made a person who demands time, love and energy from us constantly and we give it because they are our child.

So please, make this day about you, it’s not selfish it’s a necessity. Have a glass of wine, have a long bath, have that extra bit of chocolate or just have some quiet time. You deserve it. You really, really do.