When young, my kids would often find little treasures around the home, wrap them beautifully and offer them to me as presents. Their faces would beam waiting for the joy I would express at their generous gifts. As they grew older, their present-giving became a much more commercial affair.
Shopping for a new gift is how our kids show us they love us on Mother's Day, but sometimes there are just some things that a mother really wishes her kids would find again, wrap up and hand over as a gift. Here's what they are.
1. Hair of its natural colour. The jury is out on whether stress from raising children can turn your hair grey, but it seems quite a coincidence that as children get older and head into their teenage years, the greying rate of a mum's head increases rapidly. (I refuse to acknowledge the possibility of this being related to increasing age).
2. To use the rear view mirror to keep an eye on traffic, not to make sure her screaming kids haven't killed each other.
3. The ability to fully relax. In our modern world much more emphasis is placed on mums caring and looking after themselves. Current advice is for mums to find some 'me' time, to pamper their bodies and to become more mindful by learning meditation techniques. Experience has taught me that when a mum does try to meditate, telepathic waves are sent out to the children letting them know exactly when mum is enjoying some peace and quiet. Specifically, so they can ruin it.
4. A television remote that she is in control of.
5. A television actually connected to said remote.
6. The leisure of eating slowly and enjoying a meal. I admit that this is possible when you have kids, but having to scrub spaghetti off the kitchen walls because you were imagining yourself dining in a fancy Parisian restaurant while your kids had their food fight around you, sort of takes the joy out of it.
7. The ability to relax at times, other than when the whole household is asleep.
8. An actual time when the whole household is asleep.
9. A cup of coffee to be enjoyed at the temperature that God intended. And preferably while still in its cup and not all over the floor.
10. A body where all of its parts are back to where they started pre-kids. Oh what joy it would be to have all ligaments functional, pelvic bones nicely aligned and breasts further north.
11. A good night's sleep. 'In about eighteen years' the older and wiser mums will tell her whenever the topic of sleep deprivation comes up. THEY LIE. At that age it gets worse.
12. Privacy to perform basic human functions without being questioned. She really would like to spend the time on the toilet reading a novel like she used to, not a picture book with Miss 2 on her knee.
13. The right to not have 'Mashed Potato, Mashed Potato' stuck in her head the whole day.
14. 100% of the space inside her handbag reserved for her own things. To be able to grab the keys out of it the first time, instead of the baby rattle, would be awesome.
15. Personal space. Just a little. Say, maybe ten kilometres?
16. The ability to walk freely along the corridor without the risk of twisting her ankle on a piece of Lego.
17. The enjoyment of a time when she only needed to know how to do Grade 5 Maths, in Grade 5.
18. The ability to splurge on a special hair treatment involving a style cut and colour, not one involving lice destroyer and scalp-scraping nit combs.
19. Time to lie in bed in the morning without pillow fights and hiding under covers with kids. Then again, it's Mother's Day. Stay in bed and enjoy the battle!