Monday, 23 February 2015

How to survive Mother's Day

Sometimes, when I find myself in the middle of a restaurant saying things to my little girl like "Ava, do you like seafood?" and then showing her the contents of my mouth, I wonder if I was really ready to be a mummy. I also have these thoughts when I spend entire evenings screeching at the top of my lungs "watch my wine child" and basically bribing her with money to get her to put her pyjamas on.However, when those little chubby hands grab my cheeks unexpectedly and she lays one on me out of nowhere or when she tells me how much she loves me, I can pretty much be found as a massive puddle on the floor, gooey and melted and so grateful that this crazy, cute, opinionated little tyke is actually mine. And it's with that in mind that I have composed a little Mother's Day gift guide for you. Whether you need inspiration for buying your own mother a pressie or you just want to drop massive hints to your other half, this is the guide for you.
NB: If you are going down the dropping massive hints to your other half route then I find actually tearing things out of magazines and attaching them to the fridge works wonders.
Afternoon Tea
This is my go to Mother's Day present for my own old dear. Not only does it take all the thinking (and wrapping paper) out of the equation but it's a great way to not only say 'I appreciate you' but to also say 'look I actually genuinely want to spend time with you too'. Just don't say 'I am really just here for the cake'. Look out for good Groupon deals and always opt for the ones that come with fizz or cocktails. Just be careful with those cocktails. Too many and you might end up telling her about how you used to sneak out of your bedroom window at 1am every Friday night and what really happened with Colin from drama club on her brand new John Lewis sofa.
The Traditional Route
Given that this is a day for women, probably created by a woman, it's pretty much a fail safe to always go down the traditional route. What woman isn't going to appreciate flowers, posh chocolates or jewellery? Particularly if you yourself are now a mother and that glimmer of romanticism you had in your early twenties has been beaten out of you by a husband who can barely remember to put the toilet seat down never mind the date you got married. You start to realise that the kids aren't going to get you anything better than a pencil sharpener and you start to look at your own mother with a new level of respect. Suddenly you get it. And when it gets to the point that gin becomes a lifestyle choice rather than a Friday night tipple and you are starting to have inappropriate thoughts about certain members of One Direction, it's nice to get a bunch of roses or a nice scarf and be reminded that someone appreciates you.
The Cheap Option
If the kids are too little to buy the Mother's Day pressies themselves then it is usually left to the man to sort out. If you are a man who finds themselves burdened by this huge responsibility then sometimes the cheap option is the absolute way to go. It's not that we don't love presents. We do. Personally, I like to think there is no situation that cannot be fixed by throwing money at it. However breakfast in bed, him doing the Sunday roast, a bath being run and a glass of wine being poured are more than enough for some stressed out mamas and if you men can actually keep your promise for the whole day (and not disappear to the pub just in time for kick off), then ladies, you have bagged yourself a winner.
Nice Toiletries 
One of the biggest sacrifices I have found since having a baby is how much less I spend on myself. Suddenly treating myself to some nice new underwear or some expensive foundation brings with it feelings a complete and utter guilt because I should be spending my money on her. Gone are the days I would happily spend half my wages at the local Mac counter or splurge on Clarins products to my hearts content. Nowadays, you can usually find Ava sporting Hunter wellies or a new pair of Converse whilst I kick around in £14 New Look gutties and T-Shirts so old they probably have holes in them. But us girls do love a posh face cream. So going down this route is always a winner. But men - don't buy her underwear. For one it's meant to be from the kids and if you buy her underwear for Mother's Day then you are really missing the point.
Spa Day
 If you are flush, or have a mother that helps a lot with childcare, then a spa day is a great way to say thanks. And an even better way if you can get Dad to foot the bill for the pair of you. Relax, unwind, float about in the tranquility pool and let all the day to day stresses of life dissipate with an hour long Swedish massage. Then end up talking about the children/grandchildren all day. Unfortunately that bit's probably a given. But this is a fab way to say 'thank you for being a great mum'. Just make sure you go home.
So there you go, five great gift ideas for Mother's Day.
However, if your teenage years were anything like mine, then it might be better to just give your Mum a bottle of vodka, a block counselling booking and to  just keep saying sorry.
A lot.
This post first appeared on the Half Pint Chic Blog in March 2014.

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