Since having children, I have stopped thinking of holidays as holidays. In my head, I have re-defined them as the-same-thing-but-in-a-different-location; so actually harder work. The same sort of thinking is required with Mother’s Day when you have small children. Unless someone has offered their babysitting services as a Mother’s Day gift, it is actually the same as any other day, but with the added pressure of knowing it should be special.
My day started reasonably well, with the smallest boys enjoying a lie-in until 6.15am rather than their now regular 5.45am. This gave me a whole 30 minutes of extra sleep. I let my husband get them up and dressed and I stayed in bed – this was a treat. I attempted to read my kindle and drink a cup of tea. It was all rather nice until 7.10am when one of the 2 year olds, dressed in his George Pig costume, clambered onto the bed and sat on my head. Then I decided I might as well get up. At 8.15am husband and I were trying to mediate a squabble over a cardboard cupcake. At 9.30am I was in a tangle on the floor trying to break up a scrap over a copy of Cinderella. So far, just like any other Sunday.
Would I prefer the RAF museum or a large family fun farm, asked my husband on this rainy Mothering Sunday. Now, obviously a family day out is a lovely thing; but I can’t pretend that, if it weren’t for my children, I would seriously be considering spending a Sunday in a large hangar in north London looking at military aircraft. I quite like the more traditional Mother’s Day idea of someone cooking me a roast whilst bringing me tea and cake; but that is never going to go down well with three small boys. So ‘Mothering Sunday’ ends up, much like any other Sunday, being centred around whatever will keep the children happy because you would rather wander around an aircraft hangar than deal with tears, tantrums and soul destroying whining.
Actually we didn’t go for the aircraft museum, because our boys still have a way to go before understanding that they are not allowed to climb on every single aircraft on display. Instead we went to the farm where the boys had a whale of a time whilst we stood shivering by a bouncy castle. All around me I could hear red-nosed and blue-fingered mums complaining that they couldn’t feel their toes. It seemed they had all done the same as me, and wrapped up their children but forgotten to bring any warm items for themselves. Then we sat in a freezing cold marquee while children drove around on mini JCBs and it hit me that this is what Mother’s Day with small children means.
We ended the day with an early dinner at Giraffe – my boys’ restaurant of choice solely because of the mini giraffes they are given there. Unfortunately, whilst perfectly pleasant, our local Giraffe is also located inside our Tesco mega-store. This meant I started the day with the 6.15am wake-up call and ended it in Tesco’s, with some fights to break up, a couple of loads of washing to do, and some lovely cards to open in between – surely you can’t get much more of a mum’s Mother’s Day than that?