Mother’s Day – 26 March 2014

As both my birthday and Mother’s Day fall in March, I not only receive too many gifts at once and then nothing until Christmas, but it also tests the ingenuity of my three hungry men to the limit. Last year, it being my big 50, they went to town – well Paris, actually – and celebrated my birthday with an array of original, creative and beautiful gifts, all of which I continue to wear, use and admire. However, when Mother’s Day arrived, they were clearly maxed out in the imagination department. I awoke to find that no one had planned to cook lunch, nor booked a restaurant for a lazy brunch; there was no dinner shopped for nor breakfast in bed. I was presented with a gift to which I responded with unseasonal, unusual and reprehensible ire. Not in front of the kids, I hasten to add in mitigation.

What thoughtless gift could unleash such a tirade of emotion you might well be wondering? Strangely enough, it was one which, under other circumstances, I would have been delighted to acquire. The Le Creuset casserole dish matched the others in my collection and was the one size I did not yet own.

I blame my outburst on the stress of turning 50 with its accompanying hormonal roller coaster, but it felt more than that. Kitchenware on Mother’s Day is the equivalent of a tool set for fathers or socks for Xmas. It says ‘know your place’ loud and clear – or at least that was the message I mistakenly interpreted. This was a gift deeply mired in the translation.

For weeks it sat accusatively on the sofa while I deliberated about whether to return it or to stop sulking and use the damn thing. My poor husband was simultaneously upset by my feeling wounded, puzzled by my misinterpretation of his motives and downright annoyed by my lack of grace and gratefulness.

‘But you love cooking’ he reminded me.

I tried to explain that on Mother’s Day I want to be valued for more than being the resident chef. I spend most of my non-working time on shopping, cooking, taxiing, planning, thinking and providing. (My husband does the cleaning). I did not want to be presented with a pot, albeit one that cost a bomb and looked so lovely in burnt orange.

Perusing the magazines I notice that Mother’s Day gifts are full of kitchen gadgets or household appliances, or worst of all for the cholesterolly challenged – food hampers and chocolates. No, No, NO.

This year my long-suffering man has wisely asked for any suggestions I might have. I have pointed him in the direction of several new books I have my eye on. Top of my list is a cookbook I am excitedly awaiting. Fortunately for us all it is yet to be published. I doubt he would have been brave enough to buy it on this occasion and who knows how I might have responded if he hadn’t.

16 Responses to Mother’s Day – 26 March 2014

  1. At least is wasn’t something like a dishwasher 😉

  2. Hope you have a lovely birthday and a wonderful Mothers Day.

  3. Have you seen the remake of Father of the Bride with Steve Martin from the 90’s? This reminds me of when the groom-to-be gives the bride-to-be a blender as a wedding gift. Great movie.

  4. Cookbooks are a great idea. Downtime relaxation and indulging your love of cooking. Hope you have a lovely mothers day! My 4 year old daughter is bursting to tell me what she (her daddy) has got for my ‘Mummys present day’ gift, but personally I think it is all a bit commercial now and we all feel pressured by that. Just nice to be made to feel special – like when you went to Paris which sounds super!

  5. Choclette says:

    Oh dear, this did make me laugh – we are our own worst enemies sometimes.

  6. Sylvia says:

    I hope you have a lovely Mothers Day this year 😉 I don’t mind kitchenware as a gifts, maybe because I’m still collecting things for my own house/kitchen but I guess with time it will change a bit 😉

    • Madeleine Morrow says:

      Usually I adore kitchenware as gifts. For my birthday recently I received a gorgeous dish to bake lasagna type foods in and also a large and beautiful serving platter. I was delighted.

  7. Louisa says:

    Oh no, I personally would have been delighted with a Le Crueset dish BUT I’ve grown accustomed to low expectations! My (now ex) husband was awful at bothering to buy or think of anything for any occasion, and Mothers Day was just another day to him and absolutely zilch different ever happened! And I should confess that this year, today infact, has been the first Mother’s Day I’ve actually enjoyed myself, just me and the littlies and their homemade cards and no sense of being peeved that I’m missing out, phew!. A few years ago the said ex bought me a big piece of cheese for a christmas present. I cried all day. Actually it was fabulous cheese (an aged Comte) but it took me nearly until New Year to even try it. It was the fact he’d not thought about getting me anything at all until very late on Christmas Eve and the cheese shop was genuinely the only shop left open!!! Hilarious looking back on it.

    • Madeleine Morrow says:

      Louisa, I read your comment several times over. You have so clearly captured how painful some gifts can be. So pleased that this mother’s day was one where you felt you could breath freely. Amazing how time bring new perspectives on previously painful episodes.

  8. My mum has her birthday in March very close to Mother’s Day most years. I’m more inclined to focus on the birthday than Mother’s Day and I’m generally happy to receive a card for Mother’s Day, although I often get flowers and chocolates as well.

    • Madeleine Morrow says:

      I agree – focus on the birthday. This year I got a new alarm clock radio for Mother’s Day, much needed as the old one gave up the ghost a while back

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