Mother’s Day, a day of joy for most, a day of disappointment for some.
My very first Mother’s Day, W (5) was still on oxygen in his 4th NICU (that’s neonatal intensive care unit for those who don’t know). I made an effort for both his grandmothers, bath sets, chocolates, flowers and cards and yet I woke to nothing. Quietly disappointed, I made my way to the hospital where I received a card of his footprints – cue emotional snotty wreck. When by the end of the day, nothing had materialised for me, despite a Sunday lunch at ex-MIL watching her and ex-SIL open presents, be gifted flowers etc I asked my then other half if he had bought anything for me on behalf of our son he replied ‘you’re not my mother and I don’t believe in commercialisation anyway.’
To say my first Mother’s Day was ruined would be an understatement. There I was a first time mother yet not really a mother because my baby was in intensive care and on the day when I need to feel like a ‘proper’ mum the most, I was let down. Subsequent Mother’s Days didn’t fare any better and as a single parent didn’t seem to hold much hope. 5 years later and I’ve decided to take charge. Too often I’ve seen single parents or mums whose partners aren’t much better than useless/thoughtless/inconsiderate (take your pick), but why do we mums settle for less than what we give on others special days? Create the day you want for yourself!
I invited a good friend (who also happens to be a single parent) and her son over for brunch (pink champagne mandatory). I also set up a Mother’s Day themed sensory science activity (bicarbonate of soda, rose petals, essential oils – rose & lavender, lemon juice) filling our home with a glorious bubble bath smell. The children had fun, the mums were laughing we all had a glorious day. The cherry on top was not only the unexpected gifts from my sisters and the boys as well as the cuddles and kisses galore, but that by taking charge of my day and my own happiness I had the best Mother’s Day that I’ve ever had!