It’s nearly Mother’s Day; Marks and Spencer’s is awash with elaborate bouquets and Clinton’s Cards is doing a roaring trade.
As you know, I run a gift company too, but for me, Mother’s day is about more than just the ready-made Hallmark sentiments and presents – it’s about actually being present.
When I was a little girl, I loved to make my Mum gifts for Mother’s Day; little clay or Fimo brooches, or ‘perfume’ that I’d made out of rose petals and water.
As I got older I’d lovingly create handmade cards and at art-school I even remember hand-weaving her a wall-hanging.
But these days I find Mother’s Day gifting tricky.
My Mum isn’t a huge fan of cut flowers and wouldn’t thank me for a box of chocolates (self-moderation around sweet things being a trait that neither of us possess).
She’s the kind of person and at a stage in life where she happily buys herself the material things she really wants, but doesn’t really want much more than that.
She has drawers in her bedroom full of gifts I’ve given her which she’s genuinely appreciated – but never used. Maybe some of you can relate to this!
These days I always try to get her something small and meaningful, or a wee, non-committal luxury like a lovely candle or fancy body lotion. Much more importantly, I make sure to spend part of the day with her and let her know how much she means to me.
Let’s not sugar-coat it, being a Mum can be hard. Goodness, having a Mum can also be hard. But as we all know, it’s in the hardest things where we often find our greatest inspiration and greatest joy.
My own Mum was in the vanguard of working women who aspired to have it all. She ran a couple of successful ladies fashion boutiques, looked fabulous at all times, competed at a high level in equestrian events and cared for my brother and I. Mum was (and still is) a total pro at everything she undertakes.
She has taught me the importance of hard work, unwavering loyalty, standing up for what you believe to be right, even when it’s uncomfortable to do so. She has modelled a life where it’s ok to make your own rules and be your own person – and where compassion manifests itself in action over mere words or thoughts. And, she has helped me more than words can say in building my business and brand.
When I became a Mum myself for the first time 6 years ago, I suddenly understood with terrifying clarity what I’d put poor Lorna through in my teenage years (sorry Mum) and how she really feels about my brother and I.
There are few things sweeter than being on the other side of childbirth; holding in your arms what you’ve been carrying on the inside for so long. The emotional vulnerability that comes with motherhood hovers between joy and pain and I doubt it will ever leave me, no matter how old my boys are.
This week, as part of a training course I’m doing I asked some people whose opinions I value what my best 3 qualities are. My 6-year-old joined in with; ‘strong, happy and good at drawing’. Thank you Rufus!
Then little Angus (3) chimed in; ‘pretty, good at making peanut butter on toast (he’s right there) and gives nice cuddles’.
Let me tell you boys, no Mother’s Day present necessary – you’ve just made Mummy’s year.
And that is the essence of what I’ve come to realise about Mother’s Day since becoming a Mum myself; it’s not about giving material gifts, but about giving your Mum the alternative gift of time, thought and appreciation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always lovely to receive beautiful presents, but it was my boys’ adorable (and not altogether successful) attempts to make me breakfast in bed last year that really melted my heart.
So, here is my suggestion for Mother’s Day this year. Whether you give your own Mum a fancy gift, a little token or a hand-made card, why not also take the time to tell her the 3 things you value most about her, the 3 things she does best or her 3 best qualities.
Write it in a card or tell her in person. It’ll make her day – and isn’t that what Mother’s Day is for?
Till next time,
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