The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday


- Fiona Gibson’s new novel, ‘The Man I Met on Holiday’, is published by Avon


h A lie-in (alone)

h Breakfast in bed – also alone

h Home-made card with a message more heartfelt than, ‘To Mum from [child’s name].’

h A raggedy bunch of garden flowers

h A cake made without my involvemen­t

h Zero clearing up of bowls, sticky goo, chocolate ganache, etc

h No one fighting/crying; no injuries or dashes to A&E

h At least one of my offspring saying, ‘I love you, Mum’


h Prompt phone calls (i.e. before noon) from adult offspring

h Cards written to express devotion – that arrive on time

h Time with my women friends

h No mention of faulty boiler/other appliancer­elated issues

h No moaning about my radio station choice

h A languorous soak without a reminder that it costs £££ to run a bath

h Dinner booked without being asked, ‘Where do you want to go?’ performanc­e reviews or much in the way of positive feedback. So we look upon Mother’s Day to fill that gap – which it cannot possibly do. “It can also bring up mixed feelings about mothering,” adds Catherine Hallissey. “Maybe you’re grieving the loss of your mother, or the relationsh­ip with her you never had. There can be many reasons why Mother’s Day is complicate­d.”

She recommends “filling your emotional cup in the week leading up to it so you feel more grounded. Do things that make you feel good to celebrate your motherhood.”

These days, as my kids have grown up, I don’t expect anything more than a call to show they’re thinking of me. Just as well, as my sons – who live 400 miles away – regard navigating the post office as “a logistical nightmare”.

In fact, the focus has switched from expecting presents and fuss to checking in with my fellow “mum friends”. We wish each other a happy Mother’s Day and tell each other how brilliant we all are. It’s a lot more boosting than chrysanthe­mums grabbed from a supermarke­t bucket, as Rachel Peru, a model from Halifax, would agree. Her podcast, Out of the Bubble, celebrates women in midlife – so it’s no surprise that she has Mother’s Day all wrapped up. “Three friends and I have kids who were all at school together,” she says. “Every Mother’s Day since they were little, we’ve gone away on a girls’ weekend to London together. They’re all in their twenties now and we still go – there’s no better Mother’s Day gift than some time for ourselves.”

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