Mother's Day Revelation

I had a revelation recently which I think - I hope - is going to stop me from spending Mothering Sunday (this Sunday, for those of you who live elsewhere on the planet. Or who needed the reminder) feeling simultaneously disappointed, resentful and filled with self-loathing because of my disappointment, resentment and general inability to cherish every moment and remember how lucky I am etc.

And I'm sharing it here for those of you who might benefit from it, too.

It is this: Mothering Sunday is NOT the real Mother's Day.

Mothering Sunday is for your kids and for your partner/any grown up who's fulfilling the "wrapping a box of chocolates and buying you some tulips" role this weekend.

Mothering Sunday is about feeling proud as you present the card you've put time and effort into making. Mothering Sunday is about using breakfast in bed (which nobody who needs to change crumby sheets actually appreciates) as an excuse to bounce around and stop your mum from having a lie in. Mothering Sunday is about scrounging all the good chocolates. Mothering Sunday is about going for lunch somewhere which does milkshakes and enormous desserts and your mum not being able to tut about your sugar intake because her food's all free. Mothering Sunday is about getting your mum to watch Frozen or play Pop to the Shops for the twenty-nine millionth time under the guise of "lovely family time".

Mothering Sunday is all about the kids, and most mothers I know spend much of Mothering Sunday feeling a bit put out because they've been told it's their day, and, if it's their day, why aren't they getting to spend it in the pub/spa/mountains/peace? With an added dose of guilt because some women don't get to be mums and some people don't have mums and how can they be so damned ungrateful that they don't even appreciate sharing their day with their little bundles of caterwauling joy?!

But here's the thing: it's not your day, mums.

Your day comes before Mothering Sunday.

I had my day last Saturday. I spent the morning lounging around the house, all on my own, in absolute silence, reading a fairly decent book. I spent the afternoon eating a cafe lunch and strolling along the beach with one of my child-free friends. I had a glass of wine when the kids were in bed. It was lovely.

And I didn't have to feel any of the "I'm doing my own thing when I could be helping my kid to colour in Elsa pictures" guilt because it was non-optional non-parenting time.

In the morning, Steve took the kids into town to buy my Mothering Sunday present, so I couldn't tag along. In the afternoon, Steve and the kids made and hid my top secret Mothering Sunday card (which I guarantee will feature a drawing of a queen in a tiara and an icy blue dress), so I couldn't be in the house.

My eldest didn't even resent the non-optional non-parenting time because, as far as she was concerned, I had been ushered out of the way to allow for gleeful secrecy.

And, that, mums, is Mother's Day.

Mother's Day is the day when your kids prepare for Mothering Sunday.