This Mothering Sunday I have mothered. The day started with cuddles at 5.30/6.30am (the clocks went forward), followed by gifts, breakfast and a lie-in. Lovely. When I got up, I discovered the children had watched a movie and were starting on their second, breakfast half-eaten and the house a state.
I started my usual morning routine of making beds, carrying laundry downstairs, putting the washing machine on, emptying and re-filling the dishwasher, letting the dog out, clearing the breakfast things away and making a second cup of tea. Then I helped the children plant seeds and baked pain au chocolat for everyone. Eventually the kids went out to play, and I realised that – with the clocks changing – it was too late to go out for lunch.
I had only one request for Mother’s Day – that we could go out for a roast lunch so I could eat a meal I hadn’t had to cook. When it was decided that we weren’t going to go I was pretty cross and stomped round the kitchen preparing a roast lunch, to make up for the one I missed.
I even made a kebab on request for my daughter (that she didn’t eat) and carrots for my son (which he didn’t eat.) By the end of lunch my mood hadn’t really improved. In an effort to buy some time to read my book, I opened and raked over the sandpit, before clearing away the dishes.
Somewhere admidst it all, I realised I was enjoying providing for my family, making yummy meals and watching the kids cause carnage in the garden. I gave in to domesticity and made an apple crumble for after dinner (hubbie’s favourite, because he needs cheering up.) I did all the ironing. Finally I snuck upstairs to read my book for an hour, until a screaming child took me back downstairs.
While I was preparing lunch I felt irritated that I was having to cook, rather than being taken out, and I wished for a family who pampered me on Mother’s Day, who bought chocolates and flowers and booked a table for lunch. But then I realised this is our first day at home for weeks, because of all the birthday parties, and it was lovely. Hubbie pottered round the garden, building a makeshift climbing frame for the kids and sorting out the accumulated junk. The kids ran and dug in the sand and played with water. Unwatched and unfettered (mostly) as I want them to be.
And do you know what? I’ve enjoyed my domestic day much more than I would have enjoyed a day alone to read (too guilty! Besides I can do that tomorrow) or a day out (too stressful, noisy, busy, expensive.) Homemade apple crumble was just as nice as chocolates and the last flowers my daughter bought me ‘just because’ are still (dead) in the vase.
Mothers of small children don’t really get a day off. But I got a day to do my thing, up to a point (cooking curry for dinner while watching Homes Under the Hammer without being pestered by children IS a day off!)
So, thank you family. Today I have felt useful and nurturing, like a mother. I feel loved.