Some people don’t get on with their mothers. Their relationship is complicated at best, fraught and toxic at worst.
Then there are mother daughter relationships that are simple: they are all about love. The good kind of love. It’s natural and easy – most of the time.
But sometimes, even the nicest of mums can turn into a smiling, manipulative cast member from The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills.
It’s your birthday, Christmas, a housewarming, or you’ve just had a bad couple of months and your mum gives you a present.
You open it and the card may as well read: I bought you this clothes steamer because I saw you go to work the other day in that wrinkled shirt and I was horrified.
Remember, any Mothers Bearing Agenda Gifts (MBAG - we thought why not get in on the acronym act?) outside of normal gift-giving events (Christmas, birthdays, religious celebrations), mean that they really want you to change something. A gift for "no reason at all" can be loaded. It can speak volumes.
Here, we decode what your mum is trying to tell you when she's MBAGing.
(By the way, these are real gifts from real mums to friends, family and workmates, but no relationships have been hurt in the translations).
A push lawn mower: Do I really need to give you this? You are an adult now, living away from home and part of being an adult is not having a lawn that you can hide human bodies in. It's not a good look. You are renters but now you look like renters. What will the neighbours think?
Ab Cruncher: Saw it on TV and thought your ABs might need it.
Cookbook after cookbook: Seriously, make yourself a decent meal. You're wasting money on takeway. Cook something at home FFS.
Massage voucher, lavender eye mask, book on mindfulness et al: You are really stressed and it's worrying me but every time I ask you about it you bite my head off. Calm down.