This time last year, I’d just had my first Mother’s Day. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but knocking out the bath panel and a day spent running errands for Mr Lighty and Daddy Hatchy as they tried to fix it, certainly wasn’t on my agenda. It definitely wasn’t how I would have chosen to spend my first Mother’s Day, but that’s ok; as I said in my post this time last year, Mother’s Day is overrated, anyway.
But if that actually is the case, why was I then looking forward to my second Mother’s Day more than I thought I would be? After all, as I have said before, in the Hatchy side of the family, we don’t really ‘do’ occasions (except when it’s a big birthday, and then we go all out and throw big parties just to really confuse our stance on this matter; last year was certainly interesting with a 30th birthday, a 60th birthday, an 80th birthday and Baby Lighty’s first birthday!), and we aren’t big gift givers, or even card givers sometimes. Yet this year I felt really quite excited about Mother’s Day.
Maybe it’s because, as I felt with Baby Lighty’s second Christmas, he’s more aware this year and I could ‘do’ more with him this second time around. Every day we marvel at what a little character he’s becoming, and it’s lovely to spend time with him away from the chores, actually enjoying some quality time together. In the run up to Mother’s Day this year, I’d already enjoyed a bit of crafting at our Thursday baby group, where all of the mums were given a potted violet as well as helping their little one to create a masterpiece out of tissue paper and glue.
Then on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, Baby Lighty and I enjoyed a craft session of our own at home, painting, ahem, beautiful plant pots to give to the Nans on Mothering Sunday, before enjoying lots of play and gardening in the beautiful March sunshine with Baby Lighty’s older cousin.
The big day itself dawned bright and sunny after the clocks sprang forward. 7am arrived (really, 6am with the clock change) and Baby Lighty started complaining over the monitor that he wanted to get out of his cot. Normally he’ll come in with Mr Lighty and I for a bit of a cuddle while we come to our senses, but not on Mother’s Day; no, that would be too much of a treat for Mrs Lighty, wouldn’t it?! No, on Mother’s Day, Baby Lighty decided that he was going to whinge from the off. And that would pretty much become the theme for the day.
Baby Lighty was whingey and screamy and just generally difficult all day long. We forgot that we were going to have bacon sandwiches (our go-to treat breakfast) and even the Mother’s Day card that had obviously been lovingly hand crafted by Baby Lighty and his childminder had broken in the envelope by the time it reached me. We went out for a walk, and that too was hard work, with Baby Lighty refusing to walk the actually route we were supposed to be walking, and becoming intent on trying to escape Mr Lighty and I to delve into stinging nettles, piles of logs or deep water ponds.Then we did the rounds, visiting the Nans, and whilst it was lovely to see them all in one day, we barely spent an hour with each of them before heading off to visit the next. It was tiring, Baby Lighty didn’t know if he was coming or going, Mr Lighty started to get hangry from the lack of lunch (we often say that the writers of the Snickers’ ad tagline “You’re a right diva when you’re hungry!” wrote it with Mr Lighty in mind) and we didn’t end up getting back home until gone 4pm, when we wolfed down a hasty bite to eat before Mr Lighty started to make our evening meal. Baby Lighty hadn’t napped, and then fell asleep on Mrs Lighty during a serious danger nap while Mr Lighty was cooking dinner. It was all a bit fraught, really!
This year, however, we also had the luxury of Mr Lighty being on annual leave the week following Mother’s Day, and so on the Monday after Mothering Sunday we had another day out planned. And actually, without all of the rushing around of the day before, and with just the three of us on our own schedule and a well rested Baby Lighty, our trip to Lee Valley Farm Park, followed by a coffee and cake pit stop at the Lee Valley White Water Rafting Centre was just lovely. The sun shone, Baby Lighty sat and ate his lunch nicely then went on to play nicely in the park area of the farm, before having the time of his little life feeding the animals and going on a tractor ride. And Mrs Lighty got to enjoy tea and cake at one of her favourite spots at the white water rafting centre afterwards; I love how summery it feels sitting in the sunshine on the terrace there, watching the canoers row past. The perfect end to a lovely day!
With this in mind, why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect day only on set days, like Mother’s Day? It’s a bit like Christmas really, isn’t it? Trying to make sure that everyone’s happy, trying to ensure that our little ones are on their best behaviour, trying to fit visits to everyone in. Trying to make it all perfect.
A lot of it comes down to that pesky social media again, I’m sure; how many of us see one of those posts on there from a loving husband, telling the world how great a mother his wife is, usually accompanied by a beaming photo of said wife with their gorgeous children? Or how many of us see the posts from the grateful mothers, sharing their Mother’s Day haul from their super generous family? It’s lovely to see our friends and family loved and in love, of course it is, and I know that I’m often guilty of only sharing the positives on social media too, but we must remember that all families have the days with the tantrums and tears, the snot and the sick and the “will you just go to sleep, pleeeeeasssseeee?!” moments, too.
And I guess, bearing in mind what I’ve said about the days before and after this year’s Mother’s Day and how much we enjoyed that family time, that’s what it boils down to for Mrs Lighty really. It’s not always about grand gestures, and big gifts. It’s not always about the ‘perfect days’. It’s better when it’s not about smashed bath panels, à la last year, that’s for certain. But the main thing is: it’s all about spending time together, Mrs Lighty and Baby Lighty, mother and son, enjoying the good and realising that when the bad happens, there will be other days. Better days. And if they don’t fall on Mother’s Day? Then so what: I’ll take a hundred better-than-average non-Mother’s Days over one perfect Mother’s Day, thank you.
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