Mum’s The Word

By Carrie Foster

Mother’s day, if you believe the advertising, is Mum’s day off.  In Wales there are wistful images of Mum being presented with a breakfast tray, with the requisite daffodils, cards and presents by grateful offspring fill our minds with the perfect image of Mother’s day.  It evokes the idea of the 1950’s housewife who works hard at looking after everyone else in the house, so one day a year Mum gets a day off.  One. Day. A. Year.   

Although no doubt I’ll be woken up on Mother’s day morning by my kids with a card that my husband has bought and made the kids sign, that is where the picture perfect Mother’s day idyll with end.  


Mum isn’t a job

For a start Mum isn’t a job, it’s not even a job role, it’s who I am, and as far as I am aware, I don’t get a day off from being me.  In our house, my husband takes on most of the traditional Mum jobs that have to done around the house.  I gave up having anything to do with making meals for the family years ago, after my children complained one too many times about the food I cooked.  That task and all meals now belongs to my husband, who also has the task of tidying up the kitchen.  So having my breakfast made for me in the morning is an everyday thing.  The only time I cook is high days and holidays, like Christmas, to give my husband a day off.

We have chosen to invest money other people might use going to the pub (we don’t) into having a cleaner.  So I don’t have any cleaning tasks either.  My household tasks buying the groceries (online), sorting the finances and I manage the Foster Family diary.  The only ‘Mum’ things I do are the washing and sorting the kids activities and school stuff.  If I don’t do the washing on Mother’s day, it will just be a bigger pile on Monday, so I will probably throw in a couple of loads.


I’m so lucky

Now you might be reading this and thinking I’m a lucky so-and-so to have a husband who admittedly polishes his halo on a daily basis.  However, in being asked to write this blog it made me realise what an anachronism Mother’s day is in the 21st century.  If you walk around the shops in Wales in the run up to Mother’s day, the mother’s day gifts are surrounded by lots of images of flowers and pink, and what are the perfect presents being sold to spoil Mums?  Teddy bears, perfume, chocolates, flowers, baking kits, candles, scented bubble bath, photo frames, spa days, Gin and Prosecco.  Talk about putting Mother in a (scented) tissue lined box and wrapping it in a pink ribbon.  Compare that to typical Father’s days gifts; experience days, golf or football embossed gifts, leather wallets, belts, BBQ gift sets, whiskey, tech and socks.  Dad in a leather bound box.

They are gifts aimed at the generic, gifts you buy someone you don’t really know for Christmas or for their birthday, they are based on the sex of the person and nothing to do with who they are.  

Which brings me back to being a Mum. 

I often describe myself as Mama Bear.  I’m protective of my kids, especially in regards to helping them releasing their full potential and Mama Bear roars at school quite regularly. I clear the path so they can run free and unencumbered, without fear, encouraging them to challenge themselves to be the best they can be.  I snuggle them when they are hurt or tired, I listen to them and encourage them to express themselves.  Finally, I provide for them.  I provide fun, I provide discipline, I provide a home and I provide opportunities.  Mostly I provide unconditional love.  That’s not something I can take a day off from, and no flowers are needed.

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