Next Sunday is Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom. My local paper is filled with promotions for people who want to treat their mums to Sunday lunch or a spa treatment. But it was only last night when shopping for groceries with my own mother that it hit me how wrong the commercialisation of this day had become.
One of the items on the shopping list was a bunch of flowers for my mum’s friend. The plant section of the supermarket had been taken over by bouquets for mothers in various shades of pink, purple and white wrapped in pink cellophane. My mother struggled to find a nice bunch and even moaned about how limited and “mumsy” the choice was. The traditional in season tulips and daffodils were lying neglected in a corner. I didn’t realise that the only colours now available to mothers are muted shades of pink and purple. Feminists regularly complain that pink is the only choice on offer girls, but now it seems that the same is happening to their mothers.
If your mother doesn’t like flowers, there was a whole aisle filled with gifts. How about some pink champagne, a pink cake stand or an edible handbag made out of white chocolate and pink icing? Apparently in some shops there are pink diamante studded dust pans and brushs and pink washing-up gloves with “Best Mum” written on them. Whilst some mothers like pink (like mine) it should not be the only colour for presents. There were announcements over the speaker system informing shoppers that they could buy a pre-prepared tray especially for a Mothering Sunday breakfast in bed. Obviously aimed at the dad who never goes into the kitchen.
It is not just the selection of presents that annoy me, it is the advice to give mum a day off and treat her by making breakfast. As if she spends her days cooking and cleaning because a mother’s place is in the home looking after her children while her husband goes out to work. I’m never told to give my dad a day off on Father’s Day.
Last year I made a cake, put together a mix CD and cut a few daffodils from the garden. It seemed to make my mum happy so I’ll do that again this year. I’m sure that she will prefer it to an edible handbag or washing-up gloves.
Photo of pink roses by emerson12, used under a Creative Commons License