A dads perspective of Mother’s Day by Joe from Mini First Aid Norfolk

I have a confession to make. I don’t like Mother’s Day…

Why?! Well mainly for two reasons. The first is that Mother’s Day seems like a cop out. I’m not against it in principle. I understand the origins of Mothering Sunday as a day when people would return to their ‘Mother Church’ for an annual service and this later developed into a day when servants, especially girls, were allowed a day off to visit their mothers. I accept that this has developed over time to become the day we celebrate today. However what I don’t like is that it is now accepted as the one day of the year when mums get a lay in, breakfast in bed and perhaps taken out for dinner. They don’t have to cook and clean for a day. One day! A year! It feels like allowing your mum this one day of rest makes up for the rest of the year where we expect mums to cook for us, clean for us, taxi us places, go to work to earn money to spend on us. Is this really acceptable in this day and age?

As a dad of three young children I want them to grow up accepting me and their mum as being very different but equal people. I don’t want there to be an expectation of what is mum’s role and what is dad’s role. I have daughters that I want to develop into whatever they want to be and a son who I want to grow up and respect women for whatever they want to be. So I don’t want them to have just one day a year where they treat their mum. I want them to help out every day and spend time with her doing things she enjoys throughout the year. This week we had International Women’s Day and I have to say I think this is just as important as Mother’s Day – celebrating the achievements of women from all around the world.

However I’m not against them making Mother’s Day a particularly special day too! I’m not that much of a killjoy. My children love it and so does their mum. But this leads me to the second reason I don’t like Mother’s Day… the gift. What is a suitable Mother’s Day gift? The problem in our house is we have Christmas, followed by my wife’s birthday in February, then Valentine’s Day and then Mother’s Day. I have run out of gift ideas by March and it takes me until the end of the year to think up some more! We don’t have loads of money so going out somewhere fancy isn’t always an option – especially with a lively toddler to keep entertained! There are chocolates but we are trying to eat healthily. There is wine but how is that different to any other weekend? There are pieces of throwaway tat from the shops that are overpriced and mean very little. We could send her off to spa for the day but she wants to see the children at the weekend. So what are we left with? Of course the ideal gift from your child… something homemade! What could be more special? Well just about anything!

I have tried over the years to guide the children into making nice gifts. Something that will last more than a day and mean something. Do they want to follow my advice? No, of course not. Last year one of my daughters told me she was going to make a card with flowers on – perfect. Not quite. “It is a card with flowers on Daddy but the flowers are brown and there are so many of them that they just look like a brown mess. I’ve also written Happy Mother’s Day on it but I couldn’t remember how to write so I made up my own letters instead.” It came out looking more like an ancient Egyptian artefact than a Mother’s Day card. This year one of them made her a pop up castle. “It doesn’t actually look like a castle Daddybut I know it is a castle so that means it will be special to Mummy.” Does it? Does mummy like pop up castles? Happy Mother’s Day Mummy here is a piece of folded up pink paper with a few bits cut off the top – I’m looking forward to her pretending to love it and then seeing how long before she sneaks off to the recycling bin

Ok I know that these pieces of tat do mean something to her really. So this year I really do hope that everyone enjoys Mother’s Day and I hope that children make terrible gifts that mums pretend to cherish. But I also hope that we all make sure we appreciate all mothers all year long too – mothers, mothers that are no longer with us, mothers who have lost their children and mothers who will sadly never be. They are all special so let them know it.

Written by Joe from Mini First Aid Norfolk. Jo has lots of upcoming classes in a range of locations including: Norwich, Thetford, Mattishall, Holt, Beccles and Hethersett or host a private class at home. See online for the full class list HERE