1 Get Dad in on the act in advance
Let’s face it, he can be pretty forgetful, so it’s important you remind your dad well in advance that Mothers’ Day is on the horizon. This is not only because it’s essential he remembers too, but so that you will have a partner in crime on the day – and you’ll also be able to wangle extra pocket money for your mum’s gift.
2 The week before
Decide on a present. Whether it’s home-made or shop bought, don’t leave it until the last minute. There are lots of ideas for home-made and ready-made gifts that you can find online, from recipes and cards to jewellery making or even personalised ceramic prezzies. Research your idea and make sure you have everything you need to carry it through. For example, home-made fudge may seem like a simple solution, but don’t forget the gift box and the tissue paper – and you’ll have to shop for all the ingredients and take over the kitchen without Mum knowing too.
3 The night before
Wrap your gift in advance so you’re not faffing about with scissors, tape and paper while trying to get your mum’s favourite pancakes for breakfast on the go. Do a pantry check and make sure all ingredients will be to hand for the next morning. It would be a shame if her favourite fresh organic blueberries were not on the Mothers’ Day menu.
4 On the morning
Get Dad to set his alarm so he can get you up and give you a hand. Set the breakfast tray with a napkin, the newspaper and small flower vase (with a flower – if you’re stuck, a snippet of Bougainvillea works well) and suitable cutlery. While Dad’s whipping up the pancakes, take Mum her cup of tea and leave it on the bedside table. Do not forcibly wake her up by poking her, or jumping on her, or loudly announcing your presence in any way – especially if it’s before 8am.
5 Breakfast’s up
Hopefully, your dad will have cooked up a delicious storm that your mum delights in – and will help you carry the tray in. But if things are a bit charred around the edges, don’t make her feel she has to eat every mouthful in front of you (she’ll consume it in her own sweet time). Once she’s opened her presents and doled out the hugs and kisses and thank yous, pass her a magazine or the TV remote and leave her to it.
6 Do your bit
You’re a messy pup the rest of the year – but you need to rein things in today of all days. Make your own bed, put your pyjamas in the linen basket and don’t empty the Lego box all over the floor just so you can find the ‘two bits’. And, while you’re at it, help Dad clear up the kitchen while your mum enjoys her relaxing breakfast upstairs in bed. If this means you crawling under the table with the dust pan and brush to sweep up all the Rice Crispies the baby dropped from his highchair at 7am, then so be it.
7 Keep the little ones occupied
One of the best things you can do to help your mum relax on Mothers’ Day is to entertain your younger siblings. And when we say entertain, we mean nice, peaceful play, like some quiet story-telling or drawing. Getting out all the pots, pans and cooking utensils and entertaining them with a pretend rock band, or a game of ‘who can scream the loudest’ does not count.
8 Be a kind kid
Put your thoughtful cap on and make a point of saying ‘yes’ to everything your mum asks you to do. Example: ‘Darling, please can you put on your shoes?’ should be answered with a willing, ‘Of course Mum,’ followed immediately by the appropriate action. You can also be more pro-active by fetching her glasses when she asks for them, bringing her chocolate to eat in front of the TV (and not badgering her for bites of it every five minutes) and leaving her alone if she decides to have an afternoon nap on the sofa.