What mums don’t want this Mother’s Day
By Gabriella Munoz
If it hadn’t been because I checked my calendar, I would have forgotten my wedding anniversary—again. I had less than 24 hours to buy a present for my 11-year anniversary and wanted to make it special after all this is the man with whom I share my day-to- day, who is patient with me, cooks my meals, and is a wonderful father to our two babies. After a couple of hours, I stumbled upon a shop I know he loves and found what I thought was the perfect gift—and he loved it, which is the most important thing. But in the two hours I spent walking around Melbourne Central and QV like a headless chicken, I caught myself about to buy things I would dislike if someone gave me, for example, a gift voucher to the movies, a shaving kit, cookies, clothes with funny sayings or coffee mugs, which is what I got for Mother’s Day last year.
This will be my third Mother’s Day. I had extremely high expectations for the first one. My materialistic self was expecting a lot but, to my surprise, I got pretty flowers 24 hours after Mother’s Day. I was grateful but resentful.
My second Mother’s Day started with my two children giving me cuddles and then going to a nice restaurant for lunch. But the huge effort my husband made to get me the perfect present was in vain. In fact, I would have preferred not to get any presents and just enjoy a delicious meal with my family.
This year, after exploring all the stuff that most shops have prepared for Mother’s Day, I was appalled—and I forgave my husband for last year’s fiasco. Who in his right mind thinks women who work non-stop raising kids and at an office want pyjamas that say ‘Best Mum Ever’? I get it, sometimes there is no time and one just goes to the nearest Coles and buys the crappy coffee mug with chocolates, but there has to be a better way. In fact, if I have to choose between the crappy coffee mug and nothing, I chose nothing.
My friends feel the same way. After talking about my traumatizing shopping experience, they agreed: no pyjamas, no t-shirts, no slippers, and no pink things that say ‘You are the best mum’. Here are a few other things mums don’t want this year: Chocolate. Fathers and offspring, please, as tempting as it may be—and even if you have heard us say chocolate is always the perfect gift—don’t do it. Chocolate is a mother’s best friend: it has much-needed sugar and caffeine but, despite its goodness, chocolate is so no bueno for us. Some of us are still struggling to get rid of the baby weight, others have a stash ready to use in case of emergency—and it’s big enough to last a year. Clothes with funny sayings. As desperate as we may be because we haven’t had time to fold those five baskets of clean clothes, or because we washed everyone’s clothes except ours, we will never use that piece of clothing for work. We won’t use it to go to the gym. We won’t sleep with it, so don’t waste your money.
Tea or coffee, or coffee mugs. Another great idea! But perhaps for when we have children over 18. Most mums are only allowed to drink tiny quantities of hot and delicious beverages when their offspring are young—they cry, fall, forget their homework, get sick and need us 24/7 so we don’t drink fancy coffee or tea every day and if we do, it’s cold and has a layer of dust because it has been sitting on the kitchen top for at least five hours. And chances are little hands will drop the gorgeous mug you got at the fancy vintage shop.
Wine. As much as we love wine o'clock, wine is a pantry staple when there are toddlers or teenagers at home so there is no need to buy an extra bottle to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Spa vouchers. Unless it comes with a nanny voucher attached, these are no good.
Who will take care of the children while we are away having a massage on a Monday morning? Who has time for a massage on a Monday morning?
Flowers. These shouldn’t be a Mother’s Day staple. Buy flowers for the women and men in your life as often as you can. They make everyone feel loved and valued every day of the year.
Household appliances. Nothing says 'thank you, mummy, like a blender, right? Well, you are wrong. Need a blender, washing machine or iron? Don’t assume this a good present for your mum. Think it’s great? Save it for Father’s Day and then ask your dad how much he liked it.