I am not known as being a terribly sentimental parent.
I don’t keep piles and piles of frankly poor quality toddler paintings, I am easily distracted and I don’t even remember the minute my children took their first steps. That I blame on my memory though – it’s not like I have actively tried to forget or anything.
You’d think then that Mother’s Day might not be terribly high on my agenda, but actually I quite like it, if only because children seem to enjoy it and of course it’s always nice to legitimately lie in bed reading a magazine rather than washing up. Belle gets very excited about occasions where she gets to wrap something up from her bedroom and present it to me as a gift. I sometimes think she likes my birthday more than hers.
(Belle will probably tell me off for mentioning her ‘wrapping up things from her room’ habit, but actually it is adorable, and if I didn’t get a bedroom gift I would be quite sad. I can picture her now, 37 years old, presenting me with a used lip balm.)
Gifts are tricky for Mother’s Day – flowers and chocolates feel a bit lame, but you don’t want to go too thoughtful and set the bar too high for subsequent years. One compromise could be a One4all gift card. You might think that nothing says ‘I forgot it was Mother’s Day until this morning in Tesco’ like a gift card, but these are different because you can personalise them, proving that you thought about it in advance.
I was sent a One4all gift card to buy myself some Mother’s Day treats and mine was personalised with one of my favourite ever pictures of Belle – the one where she is a baby and eating a sandwich as big as her head.
You can spend them in loads of different places, from House of Fraser to Pizza Express, so your mum can treat herself to some new clothes, make-up, a meal out or whatever else she fancies. As we were off on holiday last week, I took mine the week before up to my local shopping centre and picked out some holiday related treats. Is was incredibly easy to use; you just hand it over at the till and the balance gets deducted.
Shopping purely for myself got me thinking about all of the little things I like about Mother’s Day. What’s your best bit? Here are five of mine:
1. Breakfast in bed
Mother’s Day breakfast in bed isn’t about the quality of the food, it’s all about the presentation. Forget smoked haddock and poached eggs, nothing beats a bowl of milk, with lumps of cheese and herbs floating in it, presented by a small, chubby, beaming face.
I love reading, but there is something about reading a magazine that somehow feels much more decadent. I went to WHSmiths with my One4all gift card and picked up a couple of favourites. I’m not a fan of Cosmo style magazines, where you are left feeling like a poverty stricken heffalump because you can’t afford a £249 belt and don’t look like a famine victim, but I do like magazines that make me think about myself or inspire me to try new things.
Whereabouts on your list of things to do does ‘pamper self’ come? Probably not number one. I’m guessing it’s somewhere below ‘hang out washing’, ‘make packed lunch’ and ‘deal with the thing at the back of the fridge that’s been there for three weeks now’. It’s important though to take some time out for you – you have to love yourself first right? After WHSmiths then we popped over to Boots with our One4all card and Belle helped me choose a new nail varnish.
4. Actual little things
Nail varnish chosen, we then worked our way through our holiday shopping list, spending quite a lot of money on miniature toiletries. This might seem like an odd thing to treat yourself with but this was one of my best bits for two reasons – firstly, did I mention that these toiletries are miniature? And who doesn’t like tiny versions of things?? They are adorable. Secondly, it’s easy. We spend so much of our lives as mums trying to save money and organise everyone that once in a while it’s nice just to say ‘sod it, I can’t be bothered decanting shampoo into small bottles that I’ve used dozens of times before, I want adorable custom made miniatures. Let’s make my life easy for once dammit.’
5. The cards
I’ve saved this until last because this really is the best bit isn’t it?
I said that I wasn’t sentimental, but I do have two old suitcases under the bed filled with bits and pieces and now and again I get as far as sticking them into my one special scrapbook. I don’t have every single love note my kids have ever written me but I have enough to remind me that regardless of how many magazines I read or what colour I paint my nails, Mother’s Day is about being a Mother.
Why not slip a One4all gift card into your Mother’s Day card this year and show your mum how much you love her?
What’s your favourite bit about Mother’s Day?
Disclosure: I was sent a One4all gift card for the purposes of this post.