In this weeks blog, I moan a lot about things people enjoy. No real parenting tips either. Or funny bits for that matter, just me moaning about nice things.I hope you like it.
I struggle with Mother’s Day, the same way I do with Fathers Day, Valentine’s Day and sending cards to each other for Christmas or Easter. I also struggled to write a blog that doesn’t make me sound like I’m an utterly miserable & tight fisted jerk that occasionally waves his fist at the moon, but here goes.
As my kids are too young to earn money or make conscious decisions, the burden of making their mother happy falls squarely on my shoulders, so off to town I went with Faith in tow. It was a lovely spring day, and the 6 mile round trip would count greatly to the daily task of wearing her out before bedtime (allowing me to get drunk in peace). Despite her daily chaos, Faith is my little best friend, and we had some wonderful chats along the way, including how she’d save me if my plane crashed into water (she thinks she’s a mermaid), and what she’d say to any cats she caught crapping in our garden. She also told me to shave my beard off “for mummy” which I did the next day and have regretted ever since. I loved that beard, and now I have to look at my stupid face, but I guess that’s the least you can expect when you let toddlers give you life advice.
Mother’ Day in western culture isn’t a real thing, thus making it stupid. Some parts of the world will make reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary, but not us here in the UK. Oh no, we do it to conform, because we were told we have to by our parents and loved ones, because they were told to by the generation before them. It all started for us in America (obviously) in 1905 when a young peace activist called Anna Jarvis lost her mother to illness. Spurred on by her loss, Anna – who was helping care for wounded soldiers in the American civil war at the time, appealed to congress that there should be a national holiday to recognise the work of mothers of America. In 1908, congress rejected this appeal, citing it as a joke, but that didn’t stop Anna. She carried on campaigning, and by 1914 most American states had agreed to observe the second Sunday in May as Mothers Day.
Fast forward to the 1920’s, and some evil, American version of Theo Paphitis from the past twigged that they could cash in on this ‘holiday‘, as nearly everyone on Earth has a mother. And there on that dark day, Hallmark Cards was born. The wheels of the never ending cash cow we now know as Mothers Day began to turn….
Fast forward again to 2017, and there I was, stood in B&Q watching Faith terrorise the stand with all the packeted seeds on. Part of me was thinking as the adult, I should probably stop her as she threw countless packets over her shoulders in a delightful fit of joy. But the rest of me was enjoying watching her destroy something for no real reason, her childish grin beaming ear to ear. A member of staff shot me a look to say ‘aren’t you going to do anything’ but we both knew I wasn’t. Aims is a big fan of flowers, but I can never see the sense in buying something beautiful just so you can watch it die in your house, so I’d decided to buy her potted flowers that she can enjoy year on year in the garden instead. They’ll still die, but at least they’ll have had a chance. B&Q is on the outskirts on the town centre, and was quite a calm place to shop. Next stop was the bedlam of the town centre, where it seemed every other dad within a 50 mile radius had decended, all of us doing the textbook man thing of leaving it until the last minute and assuming it’ll be ok.
I’d bought a nice personalised card from each kid off’ the Internet in advance, but in my haste to escape for the weekend, I’d managed to leave the bastard things at the bastard office, so our first job was to buy a replacement. Upon entering the shop I briefly mistook my surroundings for that scene in Aliens where Sergeant Apone confiscates everyone’s ammo and it all turns to shit. Men with children off all ages frantically paced the aisles, slinging cards about in the same way Faith threw seeds but without the smile. In the days of social media, where everything ends up online to be compared and judged, you could see that the pressure to get it right was causing grown men to think spending £80 on a candle was a good idea (I’d already bought Aims one for her birthday 🙈). The place had been ransacked, and the best I could find amongst the leftovers was a card with a monkey on the front. Everyone loves monkeys, right? After that, copycat battles were fought to buy chocolates and booze and I was done.
What I’m really trying to say amongst all of this gibberish is; celebrating mothers should be encouraged. The work they do to raise our young is a tough, thankless task. And I think as a man (maybe even as a women), you never fully appreciate your own mother until you have kids of your own and see the daily horrors that they put us through. We should all make as much effort as we can to worship the mothers in our lives, and as often as possible – not just when Hallmark Cards tells us to.
Am I the only one that thinks like this? Let me know;