I don’t have any photos of my boy on the walls of my house. There are 32 of my firstborn, as I’m frequently reminded by my son, who is a second child. I’ve been meaning to do it for 10 years – I’ve just been too busy. Being a mother. It’s not that I don’t feel guilty – believe me, I do. There just always seems to be something more urgent to take care of. I even bought a frame, just like the one I did for my daughter, but it’s gathering dust under my bed, where it’s been since we moved in 9 years ago.
Why am I telling you this? Because it’s Mother’s Day soon, and gorgeous gifts company notonthehighstreet has asked me to explore what exactly makes a mother. How do you celebrate Mother’s Day? And possibly more to the point, who do you celebrate, and has that changed over the years? As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve found myself contemplating a whole host of women I wouldn’t have labelled ‘mother’ before I had my own children.
There are the obvious mothers, the ones that fit the stereotype, who will be spending the day with their young children. If that’s you, the odds are you’ll be up quite early, in that strange grumpy-but-overjoyed place that happens when you’re dragged from sleep to contemplate a pasta necklace and the most adorable phonetic spellings in the world, ever. (I will never forget the day I was given neklisis, perthyoom, and shampain by my 4 year old daughter, who – by the way – still rocks at gift shopping)!
But when you think about it, there is more than just one type of mum. There are the mothers-to-be, like my nephew’s wife who is expecting her first baby this summer; there are the elderly mums who want nothing more than a roast dinner with their family and maybe a bunch of daffs; and there are the mums of teenagers, who – again – would quite like a roast dinner with their family, but who are more likely to spend the day ferrying their kids to their various social engagements (hint – the champagne is a must for this type of mum)!
Then there are the mums who are no longer with us, the mums who have lost a child, a baby, and those women who long to be mothers, but are unable to have children of their own. There are mother figures – a foster parent, a teacher, or relative who’s taken a particular interest in a child, supporting them and inspiring them in life. I knew one of those myself. I can still remember being consoled by Mrs Wade 40 years ago when my best friend sent me to Coventry for a week and stuffed my desk full of sweet wrappers! And my teenage daughter loves the form tutor who hands out wipes to the girls wearing make up, argues their case if they get a detention, and holds all the latest relationship gossip on her students.
Mother’s Day is for all mothers
Mother’s day is a chance to celebrate all these women, and to me that includes being kind to yourself as a mum. Mothering is without a doubt the best, and the hardest job I’ve ever had. Even with teenagers, I still spend my evenings ticking off task after task, after task, collapsing eventually into bed around midnight, and never getting to read the rest of that book I was planning to finish. Did I send that email? Does my child need ingredients for tomorrow’s food tech lesson? Have I signed the diaries, organised tomorrow’s dinner so I can go out, ironed a shirt, and completed the work deadline I had to drop when someone needed help with a broken saxophone? It’s relentless.
Which is why this Mother’s Day I’ve chosen to give myself a gift. Notonthehighstreet have taken one thing off my very long to-do list by producing this Personalised Framed Baby Photo Print of images from my son’s first year. Rather than having to sift through all my photos, get them printed in awkward sizes, and go through the very fiddly process of mounting them in my oh-so-designer-but-ever-so-reportage dusty frame (which is frankly why I’ve been putting it off!) I simply filled out a form, sent them some image files, and three days later, was the proud mama of this beauty:
Isn’t it gorgeous? You can choose a small or large frame, with several options on number of images, lots of background colour choices, and a white frame if you prefer that. There’s also a customisable wooden plaque carved with your choice of baby’s name, birthdate, and special words. It’s completely perfect. My son was absolutely delighted with it when he came home from school, and I can finally ditch my mum guilt – at least until next Wednesday, when I will undoubtedly deliver my kids a meal of chips and beans as the post-school mayhem of music lessons, maths homework and diary signing gets the better of me!
I’ve often used notonthehighstreet to buy gifts for friends and family. They usually have something perfect when I’ve run out of inspiration, and Mother’s Day is no exception. I adore these personalised ten reasons you are wonderful cards; and just how cute are these matching pj’s for new mum and baby? There are also some gorgeous ideas for the woman in your life if you’re a Dad-to-be, and for those who’ve played a special role for you as a mother figure. As with everything notonthehighstreet, parcels arrive beautifully packaged and labelled, so they’d even be lovely to have delivered direct to your recipient.
Take a look at all the Mother’s Day suggestions for beautiful, thoughtful gifts on the notonthehighstreet website. I hope your Mother’s Day is special, however you choose to mark it!
This post is a paid collaboration with notonthehighstreet. All opinion and imagery of our gift is my own.