This week’s debate from our panel of experts
This weekend, mums up and down the country will be woken up by excited children, glowing with pride at the home-made gifts they’ve crafted (with a little help from dad), together with a well-deserved breakfast in bed and a hand-made card sparkling in glitter and glue. Well, that was Mother’s Day when I was young; today we’ve moved past the old Mothering Sunday tradition of picking flowers on the way over to see mum, and certainly past the drab bunches of petrol-station flowers I remember. Today, there are many more opportunities to spoil mum, from spa days and short breaks away, to unusual gifts like 3D chocolate selfies (but let’s face it – not many mums will really want to bite their own heads off…).
Throughout our childhood, mums are there for us every day: providing us with a helping hand; picking us up after scraped knees; ever called upon to be our shoulder to cry on. With that in mind, maybe mum should be treated to a day of pampering more than just once per year. Do mothers get a good deal when the family heads off on holiday? Or is mum still stuck in the same routine, just in a different place? As we celebrate the centenary of Mother’s Day, is it enough that it’s just once a year, or do mothers really deserve a holiday too?
This week we rounded up our panel of experts and asked for their thoughts on whether mum gets a good deal, at home and when away.
Jo Middleton: mother, blogger, copywriter and freelance journalist
People like to say that a change is as good as a rest, but I’m not sure that’s true when it comes to holidays with young children. Someone still has to actually look after everybody, and unless you can afford the luxury of a resort with dinner and babysitting included every day then that is going to mean there is always going to be a certain element of cooking, cleaning and care.
It does get easier as kids get older, and there is definitely an element of having to be clear about what you want to get out of your holiday. If you can say to your partner and/or your children that you’d love to have them cook a share of the meals and that maybe you’d like one day on your own to indulge in some much needed me time, then this can really help to lighten the load.
Find Jo on her blog at slummysinglemummy.com
John Adams: father, blogger
The old cliché states that “a woman’s work is never done.” This will ring true in the majority of households where mum provides most of the childcare and takes on the responsibility for running the household. The same logic can apply when on holiday with the family. As children, we usually went self-catering and I clearly recall my mother commenting that she had to do just as much work as she did at home because the cooking, laundry and so on still had to be done. Of course I’m one of that small minority of men that fulfills these responsibilities. I can tell you my ‘to do’ list is never, ever ticked off! To answer the question directly, I think whoever takes on the childcare and runs the household has the more demanding role. Okay, so this is usually mum, but sometimes it is dad and this mustn’t be overlooked.
I would also add that this is one area of parenting where this is completely equal. This week we mark Mothers’ Day and in a few months time we celebrate Fathers’ Day. Whatever you’re doing this Sunday, I wish you all the very best and I hope your Father’s Day celebrations are equally successful!
Follow John at his blog Dadbloguk.com
Gillian Crawshaw: freelance digital consultant and writer
Do mothers get a good deal when it comes to travel? In terms of paying for tickets, up to the age of five children are free on public transport. Between the age of 5-18 they are also eligible for free or discounted travel, so this eases the financial burden somewhat. You can also buy family railcards that offer discount for parents as well as young people.
However, getting around can be a different matter, especially in London. Pregnant women are given ‘Baby on Board’ badges to indicate to people on public transport that they’ve not just had a big lunch. However, these are often ignored by commuters and you’re still left to stand during busy times. And once you’ve had the baby, the tube and overground can be a nightmare as most stations have no lifts or escalators, so you’re faced with carrying a pram, bags and a small child up and down several flights of stairs. Even the pram space on buses is limited. Much more could be done to help mothers and give them a better deal.
Gill Crawshaw writes A Baby on Board, a blog about life as a London mum.
So what do you think? Do we give our mums a good deal or do they deserve a bit more than one day off a year?