My life is busy and sometimes I feel like I’m on duty 24/7. Between full-time work, kids, family events and blogging, I feel like a hamster on a wheel. Shalini and Shivam are 13 and 9 and even though I’m not needed in the same way as when they were younger, I still have to be hands on.
My day is split in to three; there’s the morning shift, followed by a full day at work and then I return home to start on the evening shift. This is all before I can even take a couple of precious hours for myself. By then, all I want to do is plonk down on the sofa and watch TV (although some evenings I’m working on my blog).
So this Mother’s Day there is a specific list of things I want. I don’t want flowers. They will just die after a few days. I don’t want luxury candles or bath bombs. I have plenty of those. And I certainly don’t want chocolates or jewellery either because I can get those for myself if I want them.I spoke to at least ten other mums while preparing this post and discussed my simple wishlist with them. They were in agreement with a lot of it and I was quite surprised at how little us mums actually want. In fact, most of us weren’t after materialistic things on Mothering Sunday.
So this is what I really want this Mother’s Day:
A GUILT-FREE LIE-IN
I would love, love, LOVE a long lie-in without having to get up to prepare Sunday morning breakfast. I try to have a lie-in on Sundays as much as I can but the guilt gets me all too quickly. It means I can’t actually sleep, knowing Shivam’s been downstairs for a while and most likely needing breakfast. Shalini isn’t usually up before 11 on a weekend and neither is Sukh.
I’ve tried getting Shivam to fix his own cereal at least but he’d rather go hungry than have to do something for himself! He’s been spoiled, to say the least. I will have to make an active effort to teach him the basics. Shalini was already doing so much for herself by his age.
NO CHORES OR ERRANDS
A day off from any housework or chores whatsoever would be amazing! That means no laundry, washing-up or ironing the kids’ uniforms. It means a day off from running errands or doing anything that means getting my hands dirty.
I don’t want to have to shop or put anything away, to chop, peel or cut anything. I don’t want to be booking school dinners online or sorting out Shalini’s dinner money. A work-free day, that’s what I want. These jobs still need doing but I don’t want to be the one doing them.
It’s not an unreasonable request to expect the kids to just clean up after themselves or tidy their rooms without being asked over and over again, is it? Normally when Shivam is done with his food, he leaves his plate where it is until one of us nags him to take it in to the kitchen. Shalini leaves her bed untidy until she’s told. The dishes pile up in the sink until Sukh or I wash them.
It would be amazing if the kids, just for one day, washed up or picked up after themselves, instead of leaving everything wherever they dump it during the day – because of course, Mummy will do it eventually.
KISSES AND CUDDLES
I would absolutely love for the kids to shower me with tons of kisses and cuddles – but they have to be voluntary. Shivam rarely gives me hugs anymore unless I ask. Sometimes he will surprise me and give me the sweetest cuddle. And he will give me a quick kiss when he’s in a good mood (and when no one else is watching!). He can be a really sweet boy when he wants to be. But most of the time, he tells me this is not what big boys do.
Shalini gives me at least one hug a day but on Mothering Sunday, I want lots more! A little affection from the kids is the simplest, yet sweetest thing in the world. If I’m having a bad day, just some attention from the people who mean the most to me, is enough to turn it around.
I can’t remember the kids being friends all day long for years. Even when they were both younger and got along better than they do now, there would be the odd row. That’s the norm in most households, I’m sure. But I just want one day without a single argument, where I don’t have to step in to referee. And if there is a fight, I don’t want to have to deal with it and be accused by one child of loving the other more.
As most parents will know, you can never win this particular battle. Even when I decide to leave them to fight it out and totally step away, I get accused of not loving either of them because I don’t care enough to stop their fight. That’s something that brings them together for a few short seconds, I suppose. But wouldn’t it be bliss, if there wasn’t a single raised voice in the house for just one day?
A LOVELY WALK
Sometimes we like to go for a walk in our nearby park/nature reserve. For the most part, we enjoy it but it doesn’t happen as often as I would like. When we do venture out though, there’s usually a bit of bickering along the way and when we pass a dog, all hell breaks loose. Both of the kids are scared stiff of all dogs, whatever their size. Sukh and I have tried really hard for them to overcome their fear but nothing works.
Shivam would rather run in to the road than pass a dog on the street. We need to find another way of sorting this problem out – but it won’t be on Mother’s Day. It doesn’t put Shivam off from going for a walk, but it can be stressful whilst we’re out and that’s something I want to avoid at all costs.
A LEISURELY LUNCH
It would be so lovely to have a nice family lunch where I don’t have to worry about those household chores or a long to-do list that needs completing as soon as we get home. If I get everything I desire on my wish-list, I won’t have to. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive and I’m not even fussed about where we go. I just want to be able to sit with Sukh and the kids, laughing and joking, discussing our lives and making plans. Those are my favourite times, when we just chat about anything and everything and just get along.
FAMILY MOVIE TIME
Saturday nights are usually movie nights. Sometimes we have family events to attend or one of us is out but we try to make it happen as often as possible. It would be nice if we could do this on Mother’s Day. It would have to be in the late afternoon or early evening as it’s still a Sunday night.
We usually struggle to agree on the film we want to watch and sometimes movie night takes ages to get underway. It would be great if we could all decide the film we want to watch a few days before so there’s no time-wasting and everyone is happy. And of course, a lovely evening meal not cooked by me, would be great.
It would be heaven for Shivam to just go to bed on time without creating a fuss or throwing a tantrum. Sunday nights are the worst because he’s so relaxed at the weekend, he’s not tired when the clock strikes 8pm. Then it’s an uphill task of getting him to do his night time routine. Asking once, twice or three times is simply not enough. We have to physically go upstairs sometimes to make sure he brushes his teeth, gets in to bed and read for a bit before lights out.
As he delays the inevitable, I find myself getting angrier by the second. And then we say good night with him not being my friend. I hate having him go off to sleep believing I’m the world’s worst mum, so for once, I really wish he will just say ‘OK’ and get on with it.
NO REMINDERS OF MY MUM FAILS
I’m human and of course I make mistakes like everybody else. Sometimes I forget to do something for the kids’ school or say no to something the kids want to do. They resent me afterwards but that’s called being a parent. As most parents will know, kids just tell you how you’ve failed them. They don’t care whether they’ve hurt your feelings or that you’re trying your best. They don’t understand you’re saying no because their safety comes before everything else.
On Mother’s Day, I would like my kids to tell me all the things I’ve done right, instead of pointing out the things I’ve done wrong. I’d like them to tell me why they need me, why they appreciate me and the things I do that make them feel safe and loved. Just for one day kids, don’t remind me of my mum fails.So there it is. It’s not too big an ask, right? These things don’t cost money (except for lunch and even then I’m not expecting a slap-up meal). I’ve written the list and put it out to the universe. Let’s see what Mothering Sunday brings.
Have you read my post on ways to strengthen your relationship with your teen yet? Click here.