Do I have to spend Mother’s Day with my kids?

What I wish someone had told me before I became a mother...

What I wish someone had told me before I...






The thought of going out for Mother’s Day lunch with my entire family and all seven children makes me want to blow my brains out.

I know I’m being dramatic, but I can’t think of a more unpleasant day than chasing after my three children who tend to run in three different directions. My sisters can’t help because they have children of their own and if I’m lucky, I’ll get to eat a bite or two of my expensive lunch and if God is on my side, I might even be blessed with a hurried sip of my now-cold cappuccino before one of my children (usually my four-year-old) decides to climb up on a table and jump into the fountain (picture me running towards him in slow motion yelling ‘Noooooooo’ and catching him by his jumper just in time).

Do I have to spend Mother’s Day with my children? I’m with them every day. I think Mother’s Day should be a reward for what I’ve been through all year. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. They are very funny and very cute but they are kids and when I’m there, I’m the one who has to tend to their every need. The only way for me to get a real break (and I think I should get this one day a year) is to have breakfast with them and then after breakfast get a day out with some adults and linger over lunch or a movie. I will try very hard not to take off in the car too fast just in case the squeal of my tyres reveals my excitement at a day or night off!

Breakfast in bed isn’t pleasant. It’s horrible. My husband actually ruins toast. He toasts the bread okay but for some reason seems to think he needs to grind the butter in, reducing the bread to a flattened mess. I’m fussy about my coffee – he doesn’t have a hope of getting that right. And then the kids jump in and join me, making sure to spread crumbs and jam all over my sheets which gives me one more thing to do that day (wash the sheets, change the sheets or lie down on a crumby, sticky bed and night crying because I am too tired to wash/change the sheets).


I work most weekends and I have resorted to a white lie to rescue my Mother’s Day for myself this year. My mum rang to enquire excitedly about our lunch destination for Mother’s Day and I said I couldn’t get the day off work as we are currently short of staff (despicable liar!). I suggested they all go ahead without me and I’ll pop in to see her after work.

I hung the phone up on her disappointment. My mum loves the chaos of family events. She knows she only has to help with the kids if she chooses to and she gets to go home to a clean and quiet home (her reward for raising four children with no help and less convenience products than we enjoy now).

I started thinking, why not start a new tradition this year? I’ll be the bad one and suggest that my mum, sisters, brother and I go out without any kids and see a movie together. I seriously can’t remember when I last saw a grownup movie. Don’t get me wrong, Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 was excellent, but really!

I logged onto the cinema website and found a Gold Class session of The Five-Year Engagement with Devonshire Tea for an extra five dollars. Hell-to-the-yeah! I felt my determination set in. I was going to make sure this happened if it killed me.

Everyone was surprisingly cooperative (ha, they don’t enjoy our Mother’s Day lunch incidents either!). I’ll take the kids out for breakfast and then go to work. After work I’ll spend some time cuddling and kissing the kids and I’ll do my best not to check the time on my watch every five seconds. As soon as the clock strikes 6.45pm I will say my goodbyes (lots of tears but not from me) and race out of the driveway singing and laughing at the sheer enjoyment of my brief escape.

I will stuff my face with scones, jam and cream. Everyone there will be able to put jam and cream on their own scones and nobody will steal my sugar or dirty my popcorn. I’ll watch the movie uninterrupted with no need to take anyone to the toilet (we have all been toilet trained for a while). And the best part of the night will be coming home happy and relaxed and kissing my angelic, sleeping children on the cheek before slipping quietly into bed and dreaming of my next Mother’s Day night out.

Jo Abi is the author of the book How to Date a Dad: a dating guide released by Hachette Livre Australia.  You can read more about her many and various exploits here and follow her on Twitter here.

What are you doing for Mother’s Day? Seeing your Mum? Hanging with your kids? Do you have any traditions?

What do you think?


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