I have always loved my job as a mother.
It will be the best gig I’ve ever had. I like looking after my children, taking care of their physical and emotional needs, even when they say things like, “You look pretty good for an old person.” What I like best about Mother’s Day is that we take time to be together.
I have always looked after my kids on my own. I am lucky—I know my kids will make a fuss of me on Mother’s Day, especially because they are developing kindness.
I wish there was someone to give me a cuddle and help the kids make breakfast in bed. I imagine households celebrating Mother’s Day with partners showing their appreciation in their own way, (as it is on Father’s Day, too). I imagine the burnt toast and the tea that is almost undrinkable because it is 40% milk.
I don’t have that.
My daughter suggested I get a boyfriend to help her pick out a present for me. My kids make me smile every day. My to-do list for the next day included, “get boyfriend.” I have tried to find him, but it’s obviously not that simple.
So how can you enjoy Mother’s Day if you are a single mum without the support of a partner or father who appreciates you?
1. Pick some thing you love and go and do it together.
You could go hot air ballooning, for a drive in the country or to an art class. This is your day so pick what you love. For this special day, the kids can do your favourite activity, when so often we accommodate whatever is happening in their lives.
2. Get them to choose a gift for you when you are out.
Whether it’s a delicate bunch of flowers picked during your picnic, funky jewelry from the market or something from a traditional store, give your kids some money and let them choose—kids love it when you like what they’ve chosen.
I take my kids to shops that are fool proof, where I like everything in the whole shop. Wait while your children organise it, and be prepared to be blown away.
3. Know that they will appreciate all that you did for them when they are older.
Kids don’t need to feel guilty about the time and love that is bestowed on them. They are cute, right? So how could we show them anything but love and adoration? However, they will appreciate what you did for them when they are older. They will look back and remember the time you stayed up with them when they were sick or drove them to the edge of town for that special instrument they wanted learn.
4. Remember the highlights from your previous year.
This is fun. It is your reward. Make a point of remembering those times your heart sang, or giggled, or burst. It could be the time your eldest child delivered a cracking commentary when you were sitting in the Royal Children’s Hospital at 1:30 a.m. and you couldn’t stop laughing. It could be the time one of your children got an award for their maths, or when you watched them help each other.
5. Lastly and most importantly, appreciate yourself for what you are able to do for them and that you are an awesome mother to these wonderful children.
I’m amazed with some of the things I’ve done as a single mother.
I cheerfully carried on conversations with my daughter while throwing up for five months with morning sickness. I’ve had pap smears with babies crawling around the doctor’s floor. I’ve regularly caught the bus to school with a baby, a reluctant toddler and a prep child. I’ve assembled a whole house full of Ikea furniture (I even had fun in Ikea with the kids while shopping).
I’ve loaded the top of a Toyota ute full of timber for my house and driven it home with no brakes. I’ve changed locks and replaced toilet cisterns, removed dead possums and held bleeding heads on the way to hospital. I’ve held them as they cried when their hearts broke.
I’m sure all mothers have wonderful achievements. Celebrate and appreciate your contributions this Mother’s Day.
Author: Paris Purcell
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: David Saddler/Flickr