When any national day like Mother’s Day rolls around you always get a few individuals piping up with complaints.
It’s just a holiday invented by the card companies to make money! It’s a total con to make you buy expensive food and flowers from the supermarket! It’s like having a second birthday with the cards and presents, what’s the point?!
Having been a mum for three very long years now I can categorically say that every single loving mum has earned her Mother’s Day.
Here are the reasons why those cynical anti-Mothering Sunday types need to be taken down a peg or two:
1. Mums just soldier on
No matter how bad a day we have had, we know that we just have to grit our teeth and keep on going. We are like the Duracell bunny – though a bit more bleary-eyed and requiring cups of tea and chocolate to keep our batteries going.
No-one else is waiting in the wings to step in, we are the linchpin keeping this family together, fed and happy.
So even if we have had zero sleep, or just don’t feel like it, we still get up every morning and parent, surviving on sheer determination alone.
2. Mama is the default parent
Kids are more demanding of their mum. They turn to you for snacks, help on the potty, nappy changes and when they have fallen over.
It is exhausting to have kids so very dependant on you for everything – though we won’t admit we actually wouldn’t have it any other way.
3. Mums put up with a LOT more crying
For some reasons kids just cry more for their mum. Perhaps they expect more, or perhaps they just enjoy the comfort that crying brings.
There is a reason why crying is used as a stress noise during military training. Because it makes you want to burst your own eardrums to make it stop.
While we don’t expect a war hero’s welcome for having coped with another year of tears and tantrums, a few chocolate biscuits might be nice.
4. All the nappies
Mamas wipe bottoms and deal with unspeakable mess on a daily basis. We face hundreds of nappy changes a year, but still we take on this thankless and unenviable task.
5. Mums multi-task like a boss
Forget doing one thing at a time. Mums can get some washing on, while cooking dinner, while reading a story, while answering inane questions about sharks.
We can juggle like nobody else. Keeping all those balls in the air is bloody hard work.
6. We endured pregnancy
The nausea, weight gain, discomfort, constant need to wee, back pain, swollen ankles, and let’s not forget the small matter of labour.
We went through a LOT to bring our babies in to the world. So a little pat on the back is definitely in order.
7. We keep everyone fed
Of all the thankless tasks this is perhaps the one that leaves us feeling the most unappreciated. We try to produce meals that satisfy little tastebuds and the NHS’ constant guilt trip about nutrition, but more often than not our kids barely get two bites in before demanding pudding.
The fact that this can then happen three times a day every single day would test the most patient of patient people.
8. We feel guilty all of the time
Even though the vast majority of mums are totally rocking this parenthood lark, we still beat ourselves up on a regular basis.
We worry that working is taking us away from our kids too much and we feel guilty about treating ourselves to anything, because we should be buying the children new shoes. Then we feel guilty about feeling guilty, because we should just be grateful to have our beautiful family. We cannot win!
9. Mums are never thanked
A baby who has spent all night crying will not give anything back the next day. They will just be really cranky, as if it was all your fault.
There are definitely no thank yous in the first two years, and very limited ones beyond that. The least we deserve is a card with a smudged handprint on it.
10. We survived sleep deprivation
There were times when we thought sleep deprivation may actually kill us. But we pulled through, just about, and remained sane, kind of.
There is no tougher challenge in parenting during the first year than the lack of sleep. While your other half has no doubt tried to pull their weight, it generally falls to mum to get up and attempt to assess why your kid has woken up for the 10th time that night.
We may have been mombies for a year, but we survived. There should be some kind of special merit badge to commemorate the first year. But we will also accept flowers.
11. We have endless patience
We may be on the receiving end of a lot of screaming, crying, demands and even kicking, but we still rise above it. We may at times lose the plot, have a yell back and have to leave the room to take a deep breath, however those times are rare.
Mummies take a LOT of s**t and still manage a smile, through gritted teeth, back.
12. Mums do not like soft play
Contrary to the assumption of all toddlers, we do not enjoy taking them to soft play. Actually we bloody hate it!
Soft play is what you imagine a post-apocalyptic world will be like. Everyone is acting crazy, there are germs everywhere that could take your entire family out of action for weeks and the chance of injury is high.
13. Mama never gets to eat in peace
The second children sniff that you have food on a plate, they will be demanding a bite, or 10. Even if they just ate five minutes ago.
14. Mama’s social life is non-existent
Unless you count coffee at the cafe next to soft play, mums do not get out much. Babysitters are expensive and we are skint anyway because our kids seem to grow out of wardrobes full of clothes every week.
15. Mama is a protector
No-one messes with your family and gets away with it when mama bear is on the case. Bullies beware!
16. Mama is a planner
We don’t want our kids to be bored, and we are constantly seeing things and events that we think our kids would like.
So we always have a little list of stuff to do with the kids. A zoo, Peppa Pig World, a new playground – these are not places we would be visiting if we weren’t parents! We plan our lives around stuff that would make the kids happy.
17. Mummy doesn’t care
Mamas don’t care if our kids grow up to be rocket scientists or brain surgeons. We just want you to be happy. Rich (and generous) would be nice, but happy most of all.
18. Mummies are proud
Mums never pass up a chance to show off pictures and videos of their kids being cute and silly. We are so so proud of our babies we could talk about them for hours and hours.
19. We remember
Yes baby brain is definitely a thing. But once we’ve managed to get over that initial brain freeze, we are like an elephant. We never forget. Even if we need our iPhone calendar to remind us.
School plays, birthday parties, outings and play dates. We’ve got them all covered. Though we may tear our hair out trying to cope with them all!
20. A mother’s love knows no limits
Mummy doesn’t care if you cry a lot, don’t sleep, puke in her face, stop her going out and steal all of her food. Mummy loves her babies with a strength that would move mountains.
That kind of love is special and it should absolutely be celebrated by giving some of that love back.
I think all of these reasons and many more make it absolutely clear that mummies do deserve, need and want to be celebrated this Mother’s Day.
So mamas you definitely should be brought a cup of tea in bed, wave off your kids for a very long walk while you have a bath and enjoy a delicious roast dinner – that you didn’t cook. Demand this day mummies! You have totally earned it.