Mother's Day dos and don'ts

Mother's Day is just around the corner so to stop any inclination your partner may have to a) forget the date or b) celebrate your fantastic-ness with wilting carnations or underwear of a dubious nature, we've compiled, with your help, a handy print-out guide to Mother's Day dos and don'ts.

Just leave this somewhere strategic - in the shed/on the laptop/next to the loo - and hopefully all those who should be truly grateful will be...

The basics

  • Do let me have a proper lie in. That means keeping our son out of the bedroom and not letting him leap all over me while you coo sentimentally, "Look how much he loves his mum". Bluestocking
  • Do show some thought. I don't need a big fancy present; a homemade card and some homemade fudge would suit me fine. Add breakfast in bed - made by the children - and my list of wants would be met. Soapbox
  • But if said breakfast in bed involves smoked salmon, don't buy it from the same corner shop the manky card came from, resulting in mum being crippled with diarrhoea and vomiting. Merryberry
  • Do remember that, while breakfast in bed is top of my wish list, I'd also like the kitchen to resemble a kitchen, not a bombsite, when I come downstairs. Nothing spoils a relaxing lie-in more. MummyDolt
  • Don't be an idiot and think you can leave it to the Thursday before. If you do make this fundamental mistake, don't try to get out of it by saying 'But you're not my mother' to the mother of your children. (And if you do say this, be prepared to, run like ****.) Blandmum
  • Definitely don't say "you're not my mother" to your wife when she is the one who bought, held in front of you to sign, and then posted, the card for your mother... TheFallenMadonna
  • While on the way to visit your mother with her gift, don't say to your wife, who has very recently given birth to your second child, "S***! I forgot you were a mum. I haven't got you anything. That's OK though isn't it?" Suzi2
  • Do be sensitive to those who have lost their mothers - it can be a very hard day to get through, and a big fuss from/on behalf of the kids does help. Hassled
  • Schmaltzy but true: Do get the children involved, even if they're too young to really understand. Last year a card coloured in by my boys melted my heart (they were six months and nearly three). JingleyJen
  • Do pace yourself - try to be a little bit nice all day, rather than cooking a gourmet breakfast then spending the rest of the day asleep on the sofa. Astrophe
  • Do try to conjure up peace and tranquillity for a day, with no shouting or arguing - and perhaps a trip to feed the ducks (with or without mum). Raggydoll


  • Do prime the children, so they know why they are giving the gift/card! Astrophe
  • Do buy a card that says mummy - and not "mum", "mom" or "mother" - if that's what your child calls her (or vice versa). And do pick the type of card your child would buy if they actually went to the shop i.e. no hideous oil paintings of lilies! Whizzz
  • Don't forget the card, rush out on Sunday morning and get the crappiest one from the shop... and then think it will be cute to add baby's handprints in ketchup. It will not be cute - or appreciated. Georgedontdothat
  • Do buy a card for YOUR own mother. Astrophe
  • Don't say - at 10pm that night - 'Bugger, did you post my mum's card?' Phono
  • Don't forget until the day itself, buy a THANK YOU CARD in desperation and try to cover up by writing "thank you for being such a good mum". Custardo

And gifts

  • Don't buy Oil Of Olay (unless someone specifically asks for it)! Cocolepew
  • Don't buy a doormat, oven gloves or tea towels as a gift EVER. Wotznotreallyhere
  • Don't buy your mother a lovely exotic plant in a tasteful ceramic pot, and get your wife three manky hyacinths in a plastic pot with dayglo stones on the top. It's the floral equivalent of getting your mum Agent Provocateur undies and your wife hip huggers from M&S. LadyMardyDaisyBoo
  • Don't buy Annabel Karmel's weaning book - I almost brained my husband with it. That was eight years ago. He learned. Deegward
  • Do take the children shopping the week before (if they're old enough) and let them buy something small. This has the advantage of a) giving the mum some extra me-time in advance of Mothering Sunday and b) getting them into the habit of doing the present buying for you! Biza
  • Don't follow my brother's example and buy a frying pan. To quote my mother, she "felt like hitting him with the bloody thing." Schneebly
  • Don't buy clothes (unless it's cashmere, or you're very confident) and likewise underwear is best left to Valentine's Day. Stick to flowers, chocs or things that sparkle (and we don't mean glitter pens). Muncher
  • Do buy daffodils (my favourite flower, which makes me a very cheap date at this time of year). EffiePerine
  • Don't buy flipping carnations (ever). RubyRioja
  • Don't say it's all commercial rubbish! Ineedapoo

And some advice for the mums

  • Do make sure your husband has no access to permanent marker pens. Alternatively, don't be surprised to find a happy mother's day message written on your child's clean white vest, which has soaked through to her skin and given her a black/purple rash... Lulumama
  • Don't expect your husband to buy for his mum because - much as you and I know he should - he'll either forget or buy rubbish... and she will blame you as apparently it's the wife's job. Peachy
  • Don't strangle your mother-in-law. It's likely to make your husband grumpy for the entire day - he may even be tempted to return your bunch of carnations to the filling station. HumphreyCushion
  • Don't get out of bed. Just refuse. ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands
  • ...But (from a realist) don't be surprised if you don't get a lie in. Your kids will be banging on the door at the crack of dawn, and you'll need your 'grateful face' on to meet the bombardment of garage flowers/microwaved croissants that will greet you. GetOrfMoiLand

And advice from a Dad

  • TO MUMS: If you say "Don't make a big fuss/get me anything expensive", we will not make a big fuss/get you anything expensive. This is known as Listening, and Doing As We Are Told. You've only yourself to blame if we follow your instructions to the letter. UnquietDad
  • TO DADS: Last year the children (with quite a bit of help) made a Special Mummy book - they put in photos (decorated with stickers, glitter etc), artwork they'd done, little poems and so on. She said it was the best Mother's Day present ever. UnquietDad

And finally...

  • Don't pay any attention when your wife says "Oh, just get the children to make me something." Get the children to make her something, and then get your credit card out and get yourself down to (insert wife's favourite shop). FrannyandZooey
  • And just remember that whatever you do for us on Mother's Day will be remembered on Father's Day. Ginnedup

Good luck and Happy Mother's Day to all!


Last updated: about 3 years ago