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When there's no-one to make you breakfast on Mother's Day.

Think about Mother’s Day in advertising, movies and magazines. Handsome man brings mum brekky in bed with smiling kids looking on. But when there’s no-one to make that breakfast…

Two years ago I received my first Mother’s Day gift.

It was a calendar made at pre-school, with a helicopter drawn in crayon and laminated by a kind pre-school teacher. It was my fifth Mother’s Day and my first one with a gift. It hangs above my desk, it’s out of date and curling at the edges and I plan to never take it down.

It can be lonely being a single mum on Mothers day. But I know I am not alone.

Spare a thought this Mother’s Day for those Mums doing it solo.

The 780,000 single mothers in Australia who don’t have a partner to help the kids pamper them.

The mothers on Sunday for whom Mother’s Day is something that might make them smile a little, but that really isn’t a big deal.

Mother's Day for many single Mums is just another day. There’s no one else to cook breakfast but you. There’s no one else to clean up but you. And the rest of the day is just another Sunday.

I’m not complaining. Every Sunday that I have my kids is a perfect specimen of a day for me.

I remember my first single Mother's Day. My kids were too small to know what it was all about and I’m not the type to head off to the shops to buy myself some flowers. I remember being incredibly grateful that I was a mother, that I was with my children and that we were safe, but aside from that it was just another day. We had breakfast together and went for a walk. There we ran into some of the families in the area who knew me a little but not so well.

“How’s your Mother's Day?” they cried. “ Did you get lots of lovely gifts? Were you spoiled?”

Again I smiled. I muttered something incomprehensible and went on my way. My children too young to understand the encounter.

Gifts? Who was going to buy me gifts?

Spoiled. I felt spoilt just to be safe.

The questions were meant well but no one really stops to think about how on Mother’s Day single Mums are still single Mums. If your kids are still little, there is no one to tell them it is Mother’s Day. There’s no one to bring them home cards to write. There’s no one to help them wrap gifts or deliver flowers.

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Advertising catalogues filled with sparking images of Mum, Dad and the kids tucked up for brekky in bed surrounded by gifts of slippers and soaps and scented candles ignore the reality for many hundreds of thousands of Australian mothers.

Those alone by choice. Those alone out of fear. Those alone due to a death or a disaster.

Now my kids are older, I’m grateful to get a school-made card or a tea cozy bought at the Mother’s Day stall at school. It’s a gift worth a million store-bought dressing gowns or slippers.

But it’s frustrating to scroll through Facebook feeds and online forums and read complaint after complaint of women who feel their Mother’s Day’s aren’t worthy as their husbands don’t pay enough attention to the gifts, or the lunch, or the day out on the harbour.

Posts asking, “What is your ideal Mother's Day gift?” filled with requests for massages, jewellery and designer handbags.

Posts complaining of having to clean up last year after breakfast in bed. And posts complaining of having to look after the kids all day on Mother’s Day.

Since when did Mother's Day become about the gift or the restaurant?

Since when did Mother’s Day become a day when you should be able to “do nothing all day and get pampered”?

Since when did mothers become so demanding in their needs and wants and forget about the fact that Mother’s Day is about the kids and their Mums.

It is not about what your husbands can do for you.

It is certainly not about your husband’s wallet.

Spare a thought this Mother’s Day for those to whom it’s just another day, albeit one where we hold inside the cherished gift of being a mum. Because that’s what it is all about. Isn’t it?

What does Mother's Day mean to you?

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