Photo by Lisa Jay

This might sounds strange coming from somebody who does a parenting blog, but I’m not really sure about this Mother’s Day caper.  I adore my Mum, and I love the fact that I have an excuse to write to her and tell her as much, but really what is the big deal about being a Mum?  Yes I know we Mum’s sacrifice a lot, but it’s not really all that hard when it’s for your own flesh and blood.  I think instead they should have ‘Anyone-who-puts-up-with-a-man-Day!’  I’m not saying this because I don’t like men, I just happen to think they’re more hard work than children.

I mean children make a mess, but at least you can rouse on them to tidy up.  Children are inconsiderate, but at least you can teach them how to become more considerate.  Children are quite time-consuming and expensive, but at least they move out at 21… or 28.  Men on the other hand are completely un-trainable.

Over the last ten years of marriage I have tried to teach my husband to be a bit tidier. TOTAL LOST CAUSE.  He always dumps his keys, wallet, mobile phone, i-pod and work lanyard on the kitchen bench with a pile of coins.  To try to contain this spread of junk, I bought him a special little box to go on the kitchen counter to put his keys, phone, wallet, etc in.  So what does he do?  Every day he dumps the said keys, phone, wallet etc on the counter right next to the special little box for the keys, phone, wallet, etc.  And every day I move the keys, phone, wallet etc back into the little box for the keys, phone, wallet etc.  Every day.  Every day.  Every day!!!  And every day he comes home from work, empties out his pockets and puts his coins on the counter right next to the coin jar.  And every day I pick up those same coins and put them back in the coin jar!  Like I said, completely untrainable!

I have the same problem with the clothes that my husband has worn once but thinks he’s going to wear again.  These half-dirty clothes are deemed too dirty to go back in the cupboard, but too clean to go in the dirty clothes basket.  So I got my husband a director’s chair to casually drape these half-dirty, half-clean clothes over.  And you know what happened to that chair?  It broke.  It was completely weighed down with half a wardrobe of clothes.  So I bought a box with a lid to go on top of our blanket box.  I thought a box with a lid would be tidier, so the half-clean, half-dirty clothes could be out of sight, under the lid.  And you know where he puts the half-clean, half-dirty clothes?  On top of the box with the lid.  Yes, in a great, big messy pile ON TOP of the box with the lid.  One word.  Untrainable.

And this is why I think there should be a special day for every woman who labours over a man.  But then I have to rebuke myself.  Last Sunday, at a Mother’s Day High Tea, I was seated next to a friend who lost her husband very suddenly many years ago and raised her kids on her own.  I know she would give anything, anything, to have those messy clothes on the blanket box and that pile of coins on kitchen bench.  So let’s forget about Mother’s Day.  What about just Cherishing-Everyone-You-Love day?  Or Appreciating-Everybody-In-Your-Family-Day?  Being a Mum is an incredible journey, having a loving mother is an amazing privilege, losing your Mum might be an overwhelming heartache.  But we can all cherish our loved ones, regardless of whether we are a mother, have a mother, or are still longing to become one.

What does Mother’s Day mean for you?