I've come to the realisation that Mother's Day is the day on which you do what you do every other day, only you begrudge it more.
I got to spend my mother's day visiting my mother in law. I like my mother in law. She deserves a visit on Mother's Day.
However, it does mean that I got to spend 3 hours on Saturday and another 3 on Sunday trying to entertain small boys who were unwillingly strapped into the carseats as we hurtled up and down British motorways. I got to break up fights about whose hands were on the wrong side of the invisible dividing line on the back seat. I got to provide an endless supply of snacks and rummage in my bag for something suitable to catch carsick with (which luckily ended up not being needed but the continual 'I feel sick' whinge from the back seat had me on tenterhooks for most of the journey). I got to play 'eye spy' and 'guess the animal' on repeat cycle. And I got to answer the question 'Are we there yet?' more times than I care to remember.
Once there, things didn't improve. My mum-in-law is of the WW2 generation so the use of central heating is strictly for days when polar bears actually stroll through your garden. At all other times, the wearing of several jumpers (and coats) is the way to stay warm. She lives in a part of the north that could be a poster child for reasons why old mining towns should have been shut down when the mines were. It has no redeeming features. You don't want to venture outside. But sitting inside doesn't provide a myriad of exciting things to do, unless you count telling your children not to juggle granny's china.
Upon arrival, my husband sat in front of the TV and watched two six nations rugby matches back to back, leaving me to entertain the children. Again. By the time bedtime came, I felt thoroughly deserving of some Mother's Day R&R.
Despite getting up twice in the night to deal with crying children, I did actually get a lie in. Till 7.10am. At which point the boys came in and thrust cards at me. This was the highlight on the day. They were sweet and gave me cuddles. And one of the cards included a voucher for a day spa. Hooray!
However, the rest of the morning was spent with me trying to reclaim some time to myself, while being well aware that my husband was sighing a lot. I know how he feels. When it's father's day I'm just as happy with life. Why the hell should he get to sit and be lord of the house while I do everything, again? So he was no doubt feeling the same way. But tough. It was Mother's Day and I'd already forgone doing what I wanted to do, so an hour to read my book alone shouldn't be too much to ask for right? Apparently it was.
We spent another morning passing the time waiting for lunch, which was very kind of my mother in law to lay on given she's a mother too. But I still would have preferred to go to a restaurant, instead of feeling that I had to help with the washing up.
And then we left. Had a repeat journey. Upon arriving home, I got stuck into tidying up the house in preparation for the week ahead. Dinner was a bowl of cereal. And that folks, was it. Woohoo!
Now had that been any other weekend, I would have thought - hard work, but visiting granny is important. But on Mother's Day weekend, as I said at the start, I just begrudged it a bit. I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone in feeling this way. This morning there are no doubt mothers up and down the country wondering what happened to their day off. Don't worry ladies, there's always next year!
On a less selfish note, please spare a thought for all the mothers out there who don't ever get to enjoy a mother's day as they very sadly die in childbirth. The White Ribbon Alliance and Mummo, have launched a Million Mums campaign to raise awareness of maternal mortality and are hoping to get a million mums to donate a pound to this worthwhile cause. Visit the website here and read a fab mag created by Mummo, written by mums for mums. Please spread the word about the Million Mums campaign and pass the magazine link on to whoever you can.