Eight gift ideas way more meaningful than bath salts to give a mum on Mother’s Day

Want to show a mum some love? Well, step away from that last- in-the-bucket bouquet and hastily bought box of Black Magic…

Hi, I’m Zeena Moolla, author of Everything I’ve Learned About Motherhood (From My Single-Parent Dad.

Want to show a mum some love? Well, step away from that last- in-the-bucket bouquet and hastily bought box of Black Magic. To show her you TRULY care, give her back a little of the simple luxuries she enjoyed pre-kids, and, best of all, it doesn’t cost much money at all. It’s true, the best things in life are free – except drugs; they’re quite expensive – so here are eight (almost free) gift ideas guaranteed to be met with gratitude by the old girl…

  1. A mammoth lie-in

We’re not talking some piddly, pathetic thirty minutes of extra kip here (meaning she’s still up before Naga Munchetty on BBC Breakfast); we’re proposing the sleep-like-a-teen kind of comatose slumber. Let Mum roll out of bed at noon, grunt as she troughs a bowl of Cheerios and when she slumps back to her pit and the smell of reefer wafts down the stairs, you can trust her day is off to a flying start.

  1. The remote control

When she emerges later, treading heavily on empty packets of Monster Munch, Mum will probably be in the mood for some TV. Today there will be no CBeebies or anything involving a pitch, track, court or Gabby Logan. Once the zombied channel- hopping subsides, she will most likely settle on the sort of trash that requires little or no exertion – we’re talking Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Dinner Date, Come Dine with Me and pretty much anything that involves competitive cooking in a cul-de-sac. Satisfied she is happy and not likely to choke on her own vomit, everyone may now wordlessly leave the room.

  1. A poo in peace

When you’re a mother of small children, a trip to the lavatory is rarely alone and, if it is, your backside has barely touched the toilet seat before a pair of pudgy hands are hammering on the door demanding the retrieval of a toy from a grabby baby sister. So when Mum eventually moves from her very comfortable, catatonic position in front of the telly to attend to the call of nature, allow her, on her day of worship, a leisurely pee or poo in complete solitude and silence. And if she feels the need to let rip a fart that resounds loudly around the toilet bowl, NO ONE IS TO JUDGE OR LAUGH.

  1. A long, leg-shaving shower

Next on the agenda is a lovely, unhurried hot shower. Today, she will not be using the lather of her shampoo to hastily wash the rest of her bits. She will cleanse her hair twice, condition, exfoliate and shave the unsightly forestry growing where it is not wanted. Yes, those hairy legs have served very well as contraceptive, but after a horribly embarrassing experience involving a dressing-gown malfunction which left both her and the postman scarred for life, it’s time to de-fuzz. It might take several shaves – and a Flymo even – before all that hair is gone, so give her a good hour.

  1. Hot UNINTERRUPTED meals, cooked by someone else, served to her FIRST

So what if her idea of cooking is violently stabbing a film lid and resentfully opening a can of beans? She’s still the main provider of stuff vaguely edible and deserves a day off from slaving over a hot microwave. Let her dine without cutting anyone else’s food, hiding vegetables inside chips or bobbing up and down for the correct colour of toddler spoon. In fact, no one is to touch their own food until she has finished and signalled her last mouthful of fish fingers, chips and beans with a gentle dab at each corner of her mouth with a piece of (unused) kitchen towel.

  1. Adult conversation all about HER

After letting her digest her fish-finger supper, invite Mum to retire to the living room. Then, as she reclines like a less graceful, more cumbersome Botticelli on the sofa, indulge her in some adult conversation. Not the saucy kind – the sort of intelligent repartee that doesn’t involve impressions of elephants or a billion questions (‘Why is that tree there?’; ‘But who put that tree there?’; ‘What man put that tree there?’). Laugh heartily at her jokes, ask insightful questions and listen attentively when she wistfully regales you, for the seventeenth time, with the story about how she once got off with someone who was quite famous in the late 1990s.

  1. A vat of wine and a straw

With her earlier buzz gone, Mum will now need a new high. Empty several bottles of wine (the good stuff – none of your cheap plonk) in a big pot and hand her a straw. Stick on a rom com – something about a career woman who moves to a rural town, upsets the locals with her big-city fancy ways, before falling in love with one of them who she previously hated. Now look at her knackered, little face – she really does believe Reese Witherspoon is her…

  1. Artwork with bits of pasta/tissue paper/bog roll glued on

Get ready to barf – here comes the sort of schmaltz that keeps Richard Curtis in business. You can keep your mind-altering drugs and booze, because there is no high like a small chunky fist proudly brandishing some home-made artwork with ‘Mummy’ in scrawly, forced letters. When it’s time to scoop Mum back up to bed, red wine splattered all over her greying nightie and the credits rolling to She Was All That and Now She’s Not, you will see clutched tightly in her own chunky fist, a cherished scrap of coloured card with uncooked macaroni and stuff fished out of the recycling stuck to it. This will always be way more meaningful than bath salts.

Over eight years of being a mum under my vast belt and this is STILL my fantasy day off from motherhood. I should’ve lived every day like this pre-kids…

If you have any other ideas, that you’d like to add to the list, we’d love to hear them! 

Everything I’ve Learned about Motherhood (From My Single-Parent Dad)

Zeena Moolla

Published: 24 February 2021

When you’re in the eye of the motherhood shitstorm, wondering how this tiny human can wreak so much bedlam in your life, you need a robust sense of humour to save your sanity.