Mandy Nolan: This is what mums actually want this Mother's Day.


I love the sentiment of Mother’s Day – a day to acknowledge our years of domestic suffering, honoured with some ugly slippers or a dressing gown. This isn’t what we want. What we want is much simpler than that, and you don’t have to go anywhere to get it.

You’ve already got it. It’s called engagement. We want you to see what we do. We want you to praise us for what we do and then we want you to start doing it too. Don’t just make us breakfast…give us a BREAK!

I don’t want slippers. I don’t want flowers. I don’t want a shitty card with a dumb poem written by some weirdo at Hallmark. I want you to write one for me. With your sweat.

I want you to wipe the bench. I want you to put your stuff away. I want you to take out the bins. When the bin is full, I want you to change the bag. And if the bin is filthy and covered in weird unidentified rubbish goo, then I want you to wash it out. This will make me love you more than the others.

Don’t believe us when we say we don’t have favourites. If you make me a cup of tea, and then put the milk away, you are definitely the fave!

best mothers day gift
Don’t believe us when we say we don’t have favourites. If you make me a cup of tea, and then put the milk away, you are definitely the fave!" Image supplied.

It’s not rocket science. If it was, then men would be doing it. Put that toaster down, I don’t need it. It won’t stave my resentment in the way enacting grovelling gratitude will. I want you to see that washing does not magically appear in your wardrobe. A woman you know well put it there.

I want you to stand for five hours and do my ironing... which is actually your ironing and everyone else’s, but somehow mysteriously ‘mine’. I want you know how to iron something other than your hair. I want you to know where the vacuum cleaner is and how to turn it on and that when it stops working it's not because it's broken, it's because the bag is full and needs replacing. There is a shop that sells them. The same woman who does your washing has to remember the model number and to drop by the store.

This is the kind of meaningless drivel we mums keep in our heads. Along with how many lightbulbs we need, what wattage, screw or bayonette, halogen or LED… I want you to notice that we’re out of toilet paper before someone resorts to using paper towels and the toilet jams up.


Side note - Meet the sexiest man in the whole entire world in this video. Post continues below. 

I want you to pick up your wet towel. I want you to feed the dog without saying ‘I’ll do it in a minute’ and then half an hour later ‘I’ll do it in a minute’, until I give up and feed the dog or the dog gives up and leaves home.

I want you to take the plates and cups from beside your bed and put them in the sink. I want you to take the stuff in the sink and put it in the dishwasher. Then I want you to put the dishwasher on and then come back an hour later and unpack it.

I want you to change your sheets. I want you to make your bed look pretty like I do. I want you to see that stuff that doesn’t seem important actually IS important and that it makes living your life so much more fluid because your MUM knows where EVERYTHING is because she puts it AWAY!


I want you to pick up your undies - but not just your undies - other people’s that you find discarded on the bathroom floor. I want you to think about dinner at breakfast and how to make a meal for a vegetarian, a vegan, a meat eater and a gluten intolerant. These are the days of my life.

This maternal indenture is what I do every day before I do everything else. It’s the reason I am angry for ‘NO apparent reason.’ It’s why I want EVERYONE to notice how much I do and how GREAT everything looks when I’ve done it. I want you to see this boring mindless and endless array of things that I do every day and realise that I actually don’t want to do it either.

best mothers day gift
"This maternal indenture is what I do every day before I do everything else." Image supplied.

It’s the unseen unvalued unpaid work of women. It’s boring. It’s work that diminishes you. Not straight away. One morning you find yourself standing in your undies and t-shirt at 5.30am while everyone sleeps thinking ‘what the F am I doing? Is this my life?’ Why isn’t this on instagram….#perfectlife?

I guess that's why they call childbirth ‘labour’. It’s a warning. Not about the piercing 12 hours of 10cm cervix dilation. In comparison, that’s easy. Pushing a head out my twat was nuthin’.

I’m talking about the following twenty-plus years of service dilation, where I continue to trudge the floors of my house doing the same jobs over and over and over. That is labour. That is where you find the brightest, most ambitious, most creative, most amazing of us on a sunny Sunday on all fours scrubbing doggy do from a carpet.

‘She could have been anything she wanted’ the crowd whispers ‘but look how good she is at sh*t removal!’

If you do nothing else, please, NOTICE what we do! And praise our enduring selflessness. You’re crazy not to, because with a little bit of acknowledgement we’ll keep at it for another decade. Remember, there’s no point suffering if no one sees.

Happy Martyr’s day!!!