It’s Mother’s Day! Yay! The one day of the year when we are allowed to lie in bed all day being fanned with giant feathery fans by our children, while they behave perfectly, bring us an endless selection of dainty morsels on silver trays and present us with giant homemade cards Pinterest would be jealous of.
Or something like that, anyway.
One thing I keep reading about is the oft-quoted idea that mummy martyrdom has gone out of style. Nowadays we are supposed to put ourselves first.
“Happy mother, happy baby!” they cry, whilst reminding guilt-ridden new mums that twenty years down the line, no one is going to walk into their child’s graduation ceremony yelling “I KNEW that one was formula fed! They only got a 2:2! Begone, to the scrapheap of life O one who was failed in infancy!”
So it was with this in mind that I decided today that I was going to start putting myself first.
Not in the sense of being a selfish and unfeeling harpy who thinks only of their own happiness. Oh no, that would not go down well on Mother’s Day. Putting yourself first is all well and good, but woe betide the mother who says it out loud. There will be no giant feathery fan for you young lady, and you can forget about those cheery daffodils or being offered a free Prosecco in Pizza Express.
I mean, put myself first in the sense of FINALLY WEAR SOME DECENT CLOTHES AND PUT SOME MAKE UP ON.
For my Mother’s Day did not consist of being fanned by a grateful Piglet, eternally beholden to his wondrous mother for giving birth to him, meaning that never again would she enjoy the joy of a flat stomach without working at it (something that she cannot presently be bothered to do), but enjoying a perfectly pleasant lunch at home with the family, and a trip to church (I am a committed agnostic, but I have to say I was almost converted after they brought out free toast, and I’m pretty sure Piglet has already pledged his soul to Jesus).
“Nice to see you’ve made an effort today, for Mother’s Day,” my brother quipped sarcastically, while I schlepped round the kitchen, cooking my Mother’s Day lunch (Piglet’s job, obvs, but I let him off due to not being tall enough to reach the stove). This was shortly after said brother had very nearly ruined my entire Mother’s Day experience by saying that he was obliged to be nice to me as I was “technically” a Mother, almost causing me to yell “IVF MOTHERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, YOU RATBAG!” before he quantified it by explaining that all he meant by that was that I am not his mother, and therefore he is under no actual obligation to be nice to me just because it’s Mother’s Day.
He was right. I had made zero effort. My sole piece of effort that morning had consisted in finding a jumper big enough to cover my leggings-clad posterior. Obviously I blame the Church of England for this. If they didn’t have their services so early (10.30am! On a Sunday!) then I would have had more time to make myself look presentable. However, it is an inescapable fact that since becoming a mother my standards of physical presentation have not so much declined as disappeared completely.
I used to think about what I wore. I thought about it a lot. I used to be stylish. This photo was on a Polish street style website, goddamit. A photo of MEEEEE!
And this was a casual shopping outfit. Not only have I worn those heels (all £450 worth of them) a grand total of once since Piglet was born (I took along a plastic bag with a spare pair of flats in. Motherhood has made me prepared. And turned me into a bag lady carting plastic bags about on nights out) but for the first five months of Piglet’s life I didn’t even brush my hair. The hairdresser nearly had a heart attack when I finally got round to rocking up at the salon, hair shredded from my frantic oh-no-someone-is-going-to-look-at-it emergency brushing attempt.
I had one of those brushing attempts again today, having neglected my hair (again) for several weeks.
That is it. I am getting it cut, and sorting it out. No more greasy ponytail, no more unkempt eyebrows and no more having to hide my Mum Parka at work events because I can’t find my smart work-appropriate coat from Reiss. I am having a Mummy Makeover.
I’ll let you know how I get on.