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  • Writer's pictureRusty Pencil

What do mothers want for Mother's Day? Not to be mother, for a start.

Updated: Jan 20

Two men in a 1950s kitchen talking about housework

The kids are whining, the cat’s puked up a hairball on the carpet, there’s a sock in the bathroom sink, a lego brick in the teapot, and to compound her despair, the husband has left the toilet seat up. Again. Doesn’t he ever listen? Is it any wonder mothers want to turn to gin? Or to murder?

Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. And what does she get for it? Bugger all by all accounts. According to if she was in a full-time paid job her salary would be more than £108,000 (2019 calculation).

Motherhood is a daily grind. Those coats on the floor don’t find their way onto the coat hangers by themselves. Mum puts them there. Those shoes don’t get cleaned, paired up and neatly tucked onto the shoe rack on their own. Nope. Mum puts them there. And when she puts a plaster on that scrapped knee and kisses it better after the husband has fallen off his fancy tricycle, what does she get out of it? Who knows?

Your mother hates being a mother.

Well, not really, but nearly. The point is the last thing a mother wants on Mother’s Day is to be reminded of being a mother, but somehow this concept seems to be lost on many.

I propose we have I’m not a Mother Day. We’ve all seen those ‘I don’t fancy adulting today’ cards, so how about the ‘I don’t fancy being a mother today’ card? #winner. Actually, all this is not far from the truth.

7 simple ideas to help her forget she’s a mother.

According to surveys conducted by @parents and Mumsnet, there are many things a mother wants on Mother’s Day, and none of them has anything to do with mothering. These include, in order of preference:

Sleep. The only bags a mum likes having are made by Louis Vuitton.

The day off - alone. Space. It’s the final frontier. Oh, the joy of being able to have a pee on the toilet without a little someone banging on the door asking where their other sock is.

Relaxing me time. Slip out to a spa and slip on some dodgy loose clothing and a pair of fancy slippers to do bugger all and let the mind wander aimlessly. Ooo…heaven.

Someone else to do the cleaning. The killer app. To have a sparkly bathroom and kitchen without enduring raw hands and backache. Bliss.

Breakfast in bed. The Full Monty would be appreciated. Sod the calories. If not, just a glass of bubbly. With sausages, perhaps. Or smoked salmon. Or a croissant. Or a pain au chocolat. Or just chocolate. Or maybe all of these.

A haircut. There’s no place for split ends even in a pandemic. Wham bam, glam mam.

A bottle of gin. OK. I made this one up, but there’s always a place for a damn fine bottle of gin.

Of course, this list varies depending upon the mother, but the main point is she wants a break: a break from the daily hissy fits, the meltdowns, the cleaning up other people’s shit, being treated as a bouncy castle while trying to drink a mug of tea, and eating cold dinners.

Give her what she wants, not what you think she wants.

Fancy expensive presents? Pah! Over-priced posh-smelling candles? Poo! When asked, you’ll be surprised what a mother really wants. As we’ve discovered, it’s a lot simpler than you think. So ask her ­– and deliver.

While you’re at it, give mum a proper Mother’s Day card. And a cuddle, but not necessarily in that order. And nothing pink.

Where are all the good Mother’s Day cards?

Yeah, where are they? All too often you’ll find the usual tiresome jokes: ‘Mum, can I borrow a tenner? Sorry, I mean have a great Mother’s Day’ or ‘Like mother, like daughter. Oh fuck’ Original, eh?

There are also tons of traditional cards but I find that they're all very clichéd and slip into stereotypes. Mum deserves better.

With all the crap she has to put up with the last thing she wants is a crap card. Stump up an extra few pennies and give her a proper card. The fact you’ve gone out of your way to find something more original, charming and interesting will mean a lot more.

I’ve selected a few from publishers I’ve met at trade shows.

There’s nothing like a charming moo card for the ahh factor – or should that be moo factor. Lovely simple illustrations with simple salutations by Jo Clark Design.

A good old verse always goes down well with the romantics. Shmuncki cards are very popular, so much so some people have plagiarised her cards. Naughty people. They’ve all had a ticking off from her lawyers.

Funny and daft. And that’s Tim and Annie Gould of Objectables who dream up these highly original cards. Available from their lovely shop in Folkestone or online.

Kim Garrity does simple, neat and strong graphic styles. Full of colour. Ideal for the mother who’s equally colourful and bold.

Delightful cards from Cardinky. Light-hearted illustrated puns from Danny the dacshund man.

Daft fun puns beautifully illustrated from an equally daft and funny punny person that is Iain from Bewilderbeest. Check out his website for more daft puns.

I thought I would slip this one in simply because I love it. Sweet and delightful. There are more lovely such illustrations by Helen Wiseman that can be found on her website.

Well, I can’t leave out my own designs. Last year’s best seller by a doggy mile.


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