Every year, the school holds a mother’s day stall. Parents donate items and volunteers get together to package and then sell the presents to the children. Each present costs $5 each and they consist of several little items put together. My kids have always loved these stalls although now my eldest is in high school, the responsibility for the mother’s day shopping falls to my youngest. She loves this!
The mother’s day stall is an extremely important event in the lives of children of single mothers. Without it, my girls would not have the opportunity to purchase a gift for me, which they feel they have done all by themselves. Yes, I can take them shopping for mother’s day and give them the money to pay for their purchases but it’s not the same, they want to do it in secret, they want the build up, they want to feel as though I’m not paying for my own gifts.
When I was pregnant with my eldest daughter, I secretly hoped she would be born on Mother’s Day, even though it would have meant she was almost 4 weeks early. I woke up without the slightest pangs of labour on the day and I had to concede that she wasn’t coming any time soon. But I hoped that my (now ex) husband would recognise the day anyway. My baby boy had been stillborn almost a year earlier and I felt that I should be recognised as a mother. He did not feel the same and the day passed as any other.
After I had children, every mother’s day whilst I was married was awful. My ex husband felt that child rearing was simply something a woman should do and there should not be a special day to celebrate this. He grudgingly bought a gift from the children but we never went out, he refused to take me to dinner/lunch/breakfast and I was never allowed to sleep in. “Why on earth is she divorced from this prince?” I hear you musing. Why indeed.
For a couple of years after the divorce, my ex took the children shopping for gifts but this stopped abruptly one Christmas when they were only 4 and 7 and the kids were devastated, upset that they didn’t have a present for me. I told them I would be so happy if they made a gift for me, as this is what I really wanted and as they dried their tears they set about making me all manner of wonderful drawings and little books from their craft sets.
Since then I’ve always made sure they had money to buy me gifts. They get such a thrill out of giving, often waiting until others have opened theirs just to enjoy the enjoyment of the person receiving the gift. This is why the mother’s day stall is so important and why I want to thank each and every person who has ever been involved in donating and volunteering to make this happen. For every single mum out there who buys her own gifts and puts them under the tree at Christmas, who gives her children extra pocket money around her birthday and then takes the children to the shops, who says (and means) that a home made gift is so much better, the mother’s day stall makes the children we love so much, feel as though they can do something for their mum.
It isn’t about getting a gift, it’s about the children getting so much out of going “shopping”, of doing something independently for their mum and not feeling any different from the other kids.
Backing Music: A Little Ray of Sunshine – Brian Cadd
Outfit: Pink fluffy dressing gown