Time – the Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift

I read so many articles every day as the big day looms. Headlines splashed all over my personal news grid. The ultimate gifts for Mother’s Day from Yahoo; Elle; The Mail. I even sneak a peak at some of their ideas – chocolates and flowers of course, but also a weighted bathrobe (I carry enough of my own weight already thank you) a foot bath (who has time?), a de-puffing eye mask (yes, OK, I need this), a Kardashian style slim jersey night dress (Really?  After a baby??).

As a mum of 37 with two under 2s I’m aghast at the media frenzy that surrounds Mother’s Day. But maybe that’s because the idea of finding a minute in the day to devote any time to myself is nigh on impossible. The truth is I’m thoroughly exhausted, washed out, fully bagged under the eyes, greasy haired and inextricably bound to my trusty, baggy PJs. 

Last Mother’s Day (when I still had just the one), my partner (who is a saint) tried so hard to make my first ever Mother’s Day a truly special occasion. As I lay in bed, with my 10-month-old daughter’s ravenous mouth on my left nipple, he appeared with a breakfast tray – tea presented in my favourite bone china mug, spring daffodils in the milk jug, my favourite sourdough toast spread with my save for special occasions Pip ‘n Nut Almond butter. A wrapped gift of Neals Yard Rose Balm – my go to cure for sore, cracked nipples and something I don’t go anywhere without. This was followed by a walk in the park, I recall it was one of those rare, crisp and sunny spring days  – just us three – feeding the ducks, and then coming back to a warm cosy home to a proper Sunday roast for two, complete with all the trimmings  – Yorkshires and home-made gravy and all.

Little did I know that on that first, special Mother’s Day, a second tiny being was unfurling and forming deep inside my womb.

As Mother’s Day looms in 2024 my first born is now approaching two and my second, a gorgeously handsome, smiley and blue-eyed baby boy, is three months.

And, whilst both of them seem to be healthy, happy, perpetually hungry and endlessly boisterous, I am properly wrecked.

Boys playing with cushions on the sofa above mums head

I know I’m not alone. Billions of mums all over the world are doing it too, which helpfully makes me feel less alone. I’m also aware of my privilege – with a roof overhead, good health and enough money in the bank to enable a decent lifestyle. But it doesn’t make me feel any less tired – from literally months of disturbed nights and constantly attending to the needs of others.

I know it will pass – everyone reassures me – but right now, in the moment, it feels like forever.

So what do I really, really want for Mother’s Day? What will make me consider my wonderfully caring and hardworking partner and my two little angel children the most generous, thoughtful and giving people in the universe?

I’m sorry to say that it’s not spending time together with my beautiful family.

The ultimate, most wonderful gift I could ever receive is time to myself. Pure and simple. No frills.

This is the fantasy;

Partner arises at 7am, scoops the baby away from my breast, as well as the two-year-old and leaves the room and subsequently the house. He then doesn’t return until 7pm. He doesn’t call. He doesn’t come back because he’s forgotten something. He has a do not disturb sign firmly imprinted on his brain.  

Oh and a couple of additional nice to haves – kitchen is left sparklingly clean, dishwasher emptied, bathroom devoid of children’s toys with bath shiny and poised, ready for running, laundry done, basket empty and each little adorable item of clothing perfectly folded into his and her piles, the TV already set to Netflix. Charlie Bingham fish pie in the fridge, an unopened bottle of Bread and Butter Chardonnay and possibly some popcorn ready for popping as I sit down luxuriously, having languished in a bath full of expensive essential oils, wrapped my clean hair in a turban, and lathered my saggy belly with stretch mark creams. I’m going to watch the entire box set of One Day – uninterrupted, from beginning to end. 

Lady in dressing gown placing a bath shelf over the bath with oils and a candle on

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m so happy and endlessly grateful to be a mum – it’s everything I thought it would be in every way, not least the love I feel for both my children that prior to their births, I had no idea I was even capable of. And equally, their devoted love for me. My life feels replete being part of this fully formed, idyllic family. 

But for now, and undoubtedly things will change as they change, and grow, I would sacrifice everything – from a Tiffany heart engraved with ‘Mum’ and EVEN a vintage Chanel bag (although I’m hesitating slightly over this one) for a day utterly, completely and entirely selfishly – to myself.

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