It sucks balls. I dread it every year because it’s yet another reminder that our family is not a normal nine-to-five family where everyone sits around the table at the same time telling tales about Bigfoot sightings and camping adventures. We’re a tag-team family that works hours unbeknownst to many, and sometimes our hours clash and we panic.
Mother’s Day is a day on which I avoid all family locations – zoos, lunch spots, picnic areas, day spas (ha) – because I want to cry my face off when I see parents together with their kids celebrating all things ‘mum’.
My husband left for work this morning at 7am. He gave me a kiss, passed me a little gift and off he went – gone for the next 12 hours. He’s a chef and days like today mean that he will be super busy, so it’s ridiculous thinking he will have a day off.
Alfie woke at 5:30am, but as my hubby worked a triple shift yesterday, I got up nice and early in a very pre-menstrual state wishing everyone who received a sleep-in followed by breakfast in bed to fuck off.
A quick rainy day visit to my next-door neighbour’s house retuned my attitude. Why was I so shitty? I had a beautiful, healthy and happy little boy, playing away with a truck on the floor. I have a safe, warm (and very pretty) house, loads of sweet pals, a great job, veggies in the fridge and, of course, a very loving husband… who just so happens to work when all the other dads are playing at the park with their kids.
It made me think about my own superbly awesome mum, Julie. She lives three hours away, but we talk on the phone and visit each other all the time. It’s amazing how having a child can bring you even closer to your mum.
Growing up, we lived on a hippy self-sufficient 11 acres in regional Victoria. I am a middle child, stuck between two brothers. We didn’t care about TV; we had a trampoline, bikes, cubbies, fires, land to run on and, of course, stacks of chores.
We unexpectedly lost our dad when we were little – mum became a widow at just 38 (five years older than I am now). Mum trooped on because she’s a legend, and still got us to school, fed us and, as she had been a stay-at-home mum this whole time, she even headed to work for the first time since before she was married. The self-sufficient lifestyle became hard and we were introduced to the likes of Chicken Tonight and Kantong. We didn’t care, because mum was always there – always happy to do stuff with us and support us in what we wanted to do: tennis, cricket, netball, theatre, baking, music video making, BMX jump creating, helmet designs, fire starting, spear making, pushing stuffed stockings into jars to make pickled people (google it), sewing, cross-country running, dancing (my brothers dance better than me) and even making a flying fox.
Years later, mum met an awesome dude (who was also our science teacher in high school) and remarried, becoming a mum to two amazing girls, who also became our rad sisters.
My mum is the type to tell it how it is; there’s no beating around the bush with her. She’s probably the only person to tell me that I’m highly strung (which I am), or to tell me to chill out and go with the flow (which I should). When I was 12, she told me what being gay was using Elton John as an example in the same way she would explain what Neapolitan ice-cream was. Everything is straightforward with her and there is never any judging (except when it comes to what newsreaders wear), which is why she is the best mum ever (and also because she packs sneakers when she comes to visit because my son doesn’t sit still). My mum is the best inspiration.
After telling my neighbour all about my mum this morning, I headed home and saw the little present my husband had left for me this morning. A little book titled Craft for the Soul by Pip Lincolne. It’s perfect.
So, on this year’s Mother’s Day, I took inspiration from this book and doing what my mum would do if she was in a mood like mine. Today, I am making pomp poms.
I hope your Mother’s Day was filled with pom poms, too.