My kids didn’t remember Mother’s Day this year, and you know what? I had a lovely day! 

I’m from the U.K., and we celebrate Mother’s Day in March. This year, my husband was on a ship in the Arctic Circle with no reliable WiFi or access to the internet. There wasn’t any way for him to “remind” the kids that it was Mother’s Day. 

I did get two lovely handmade cards which the kids made in school. Not on the day though! I’m sure the intention from the school was that these would be given to me on Mothering Sunday. However, my kids aren’t the best at keeping secrets, and they couldn’t wait that long.

Yes, it might have been nice to wake up to breakfast in bed and wished a “Happy Mother’s Day.” But I’ve learned that putting too much pressure on a day to be perfect is a recipe for disaster.

In the past, I have sometimes been disappointed that a special day wasn’t special enough.  In reality, I had built up the expectation in my head to one that was just not achievable.

I have always been very excited about birthdays. Not just mine; I also get very excited about helping others celebrate their birthdays. It’s a big deal in our house! Knowing this, imagine how I felt about celebrating my 40th birthday in lockdown in 2020. But guess what? It was one of the best birthdays because I hadn’t worked myself up expecting perfection. It was a lovely day, and I was made to feel very special. 

I also had a bit of an epiphany about birthdays and other special days like Mother’s Day. 

I realized that I had previously planned them in terms of what I would want to do, if I was alone. But it isn’t just me. I have two young kids and a husband!  My epiphany was that if we planned a nice family day out somewhere that the kids would enjoy, everyone would be a lot happier than if I asked the kids to do something more adult where they would be bored. And we all know that bored kids are not happy kids!

So back to Mother’s Day…

I had to get up and make my own breakfast. I made something nice, but I still had to make it and do the dishes. I hate doing the dishes, so I was feeling a little hard done by at this point. I kept waiting for the kids to remember and say something. I reminded that it really didn’t matter if those words were uttered. Whether it was a good day or not wouldn’t be impacted by those three words.  

Another cruel twist of fate is that on Mother’s Day in the U.K. this year, it was also the day the clocks moved forward to British Summer Time and I lost an hour’s sleep. Clearly that was old Father Time’s idea of a joke!

Even with that, we managed to get out of the house. We spent the morning at a deer park and adventure playground. The kids had a wonderful time running around while I sat, soaking up the sunshine.  

A 7yro girl is holding a paper bag and holding our her hand. Two deer are on the other side of a fence, eating the feed from her hand.
Family day out

I had been wondering what to do about dinner on Mother’s Day because I didn’t really want to cook. Unfortunately, I wondered too late and couldn’t book any of the local restaurants. Plus, eating out with young kids and no other adults isn’t that relaxing!

Thankfully, some of our wonderful neighbours came to the rescue. When they heard that my friend and I were flying solo on Mother’s Day, they offered to host a family and friends barbecue.  The weather cooperated, and we sat outside chatting and eating for hours while the kids all played together. I felt part of that mythical village that it is often said we need to raise children.

For a Mother’s Day that neither of my kids remembered, it turned into a pretty epic day. 

I remember that sometimes it is better to not put pressure on the day or even on acknowledging that it is a significant day. I found that if the day is focused on spending time as a family, it makes it even better. 

That said, I have already booked a belated Mother’s Day lunch after my husband has come home. And if he wants to make me breakfast in bed and pamper me that day, who am I to argue?

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Jenny is originally from Scotland in the UK but has recently moved to the south coast of England. Her husband's last posting with the Royal Navy was to Pennsylvania, USA and Jenny and her family enjoyed a wonderful three years there before moving back to the UK in August 2021. Jenny has two young kids (a girl and a boy) and they keep her busy most of the time. Jenny used her time overseas to get back to a childhood love of writing and creating a world with words. Jenny had never really considered herself a "Military Spouse" before the move to the USA, but now she is fully embracing the title and all that goes with it! In her spare time Jenny has been blogging about the highs and lows of her adventures moving across the Atlantic (and back!) and how she made a home in the USA. The blogs can all be found at: www.militaryspousenewhouse.com.

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