Mother’s Day – When your baby doesn’t get the memo

Mother’s Day is a funny old thing. It’s a bit like Christmas or a birthday where there’s the potential for a bit of an anti-climax. I never think too much of it until the day, and then suddenly it’s everywhere. Facebook fills up with photos of people getting breakfast in bed, flowers and manicures. This is lovely, but when you’ve got young kids they rarely get the memo, do they? Try telling a 2 year old it’s Mother’s Day and see what reaction you get. ‘Erm yeah, whatevs Mum, I’m trying to have a tantrum about the incorrect coloured cup you have just presented me with, get lost. ‘

My very first Mother’s Day set the bar low, which is a good thing. Daisy was about 8 months old and happened to be feeling very irritable that day. I recall her being sick over me on a bus. I also recall buying some yogurt from Waitrose and getting home to discover it had already gone off. Waitrose as well! Unbelievable. I was quite heavily pregnant with my second at that point too, so booze was off the menu. I think I probably indulged in chocolate once Daisy was in bed (she says, trying to convince you this was different to any other day). It was an odd feeling, that first Mother’s Day. Probably because in one way it marked something really significant, but in the same breath it was a day like any other at that point in life, filled with changing nappies and all the other repetitive tasks keeping a baby alive involves.

By the time my second Mother’s Day hit I was not in a good place. I had an 8 month old non sleeper with an undiagnosed medical issue, a lively 18 month old, and growing post natal depression. At least that year I had no expectations! I was just trying to get through each day as undamaged as possible.

This year I’m in a much better place. My eldest can now even tell me how much she loves me! And to be honest that’s all I want for Mother’s Day.

I can’t help feeling a bit like all these celebration days put way too much pressure on us to have fun and enjoy ourselves, and often it can have the opposite effect. It’s also a tough day for people not in a typical nuclear family, and even if you are, it can still be hard. Perhaps I’m being overly negative, but I can’t help thinking that for all those it helps celebrate and feel great, it makes the same number feel a little crap. It’s a reminder for those whose mums are no longer with us how much they miss them. For those couples trying to conceive and not having much luck, it’s a reminder of their battle. For single mums who have to organise their own days and cards, it can feel like a bit of a kick in the teeth. For anyone that’s lost a special lady in their life that was a mum, whether it’s their wife, daughter, sister or Aunty, it’s a day that really shines a light on their loss., not to mention those poor families that have lost children. I know people in all those situations, and I want them all to know that I will be especially thinking of them tomorrow.

And for those with young babies and kids, my advice is this – aim low! If you are one of the lucky ones that gets to post that picture of a bunch of flowers or hand made card, then excellent. If not, do something for yourself that makes you feel good. Take a walk in the sun. Have a glass of wine. Get yourself some cake. Buy yourself a Mum's Back hamper 😉 Whatever it is that YOU love. Take a bit of it for yourself. And if you are feeling a bit like I was last year, try not to put pressure on yourself. Just get through. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from having 2 babies, it’s that a lot of the time it’s all about hanging tight and just getting through!

Happy Mother’s Day everyone and I hope that wherever you are, you get some peace and happiness. Oh, and whoever arranged this daylight saving thing where we all get an hour’s less sleep on Mother’s Day…..jog on pal.

Sally Bunkham is the founder of Mum's Back. Sick of seeing the same old post pregnancy hampers? Mum's Back focusses on all the yummy luxurious stuff denied in pregnancy, for a real new mum treat. £1 from every hamper goes to PANDAS Foundation to help support their fab work into perinatal mental health conditions.

Mum’s Back, The Birth.

The concept for Mum's Back! had been bubbling away in my brain since my first pregnancy. I didn't quite realise how much I'd miss things like pate, wine and cheese until I wasn't allowed it! My NCT gang and I talked about it quite a lot and said things like “as soon as ‘I've had the baby I'm going to order a big plate of paté and crackers, or a big brie sandwich”. It dawned on me then that this kind of gift for mum in this format just wasn't available. Once my baby was born I received some amazing gifts, but they all seemed to focus on the baby. That's when I realised there was a bit of a gap in the market for gifts purely for mum. After all, she has just grown a tiny human and gone through childbirth!

I didn't give myself long to indulge in things like paté, wine and cheese, because when our first little girl was just over 2 months old we discovered I was pregnant again! Another 9 month abstinence ensued and this is when the concept really solidified in my mind.

Following the birth of my second baby I was hit with a bout of postnatal depression brought on by acute sleep deprivation. Sadly our second daughter developed an undiagnosed medical issue, which meant she was incredibly unsettled for large periods of the day and night. We saw numerous GPs, paediatricians and specialists but we could not seem to get to the bottom of her problems. We tried cutting out certain foods, had allergy testing and different drugs for silent reflux, but to no avail. The stress of this on top of trying to look after my other daughter on barely any sleep was incredibly detrimental to my mental health.

Thankfully, and largely thanks to a hugely supportive husband, I am through that terrible period now, and both my daughters (now heading for 2 and 3) are happy and healthy, but it has left a lasting impression on me. It made me realise that I wanted to help other people going through similar dark periods whilst also trying to raise children. That is why £1 from every Mum’s Back! hamper sold will go to The PANDAS Foundation to help with their important work in supporting families suffering prenatal/antenatal and postnatal illnesses.

As we've just launched we are offering the first 50 customers 20% off their first hamper. You can order now for delivery later. Get them while they’re hot!