I could’ve thrown a wobbly!

Here’s a flashback from Emma to the debacle that was her Mother’s Day last year…

The day began with three hours in Accident & Emergency with my fourteen-year-old, having x-rays on what turned out to be a fractured elbow. From there, we went to the warehouse to pick up 3,000 pamphlets that she was due to fold and deliver that afternoon, which of course she couldn’t do due to her injury and the rain.

We came home, and my other daughter was about twelve hours into a fourteen-hour specialist maths assignment the likes of which I’ve never encountered in my entire education. She hadn’t left her bedroom all weekend, other than when I dragged her to a movie as an escape.

Then my four-year-old said ‘Mummy – would you like to wrap up your present?’

He meant the pair of Wonder Woman pyjamas I’d bought from K-mart the day before. He then had some sort of tantrum over the exercise bike which, truth be told, began at my sister’s place during afternoon tea with mum, where he ripped a door off its hinges and was basically rude, cranky and badly mannered the entire time. Back home, our oven element went…

Needless to say, my day resembled the opposite of the expectation, particularly if I went by the myriad images in the piles of pamphlets that have been clogging our house all week, depicting smiling mums—perfect hair, sparkling eyes, delightful children…

On the surface of it, my experience was not glossy-brochure beautiful. You really had to dig around in it, searching for the good stuff. And I found some:

  • Gorgeous conversations with my daughter while waiting in casualty
  • The plastic necklace my son made at childcare
  • Out-loud laughing during the movie—maths assignment temporarily forgotten (thank you Rebel Wilson!)
  • My sister’s coconut choc mud cake
  • The way my brother-in-law gave some much-needed advice to my sixteen-year-old about Year 11 and 12
  • Reminiscing at old photos
  • The delicious dinner my husband made, oven-challenges notwithstanding
  • The sound of my kids preparing a ‘show’ together in the other room

It would have been so easy to descend into self-pity and write the day off and feel devalued: (‘It’s MOTHER’S DAY! A day for ME!’), except that I have friends who were avoiding their Facebook feeds because seeing images of happy mums was too painful. I have other friends for whom this Mother’s Day was the first without their mums, or possibly the last with their families intact.

At the end of the day, I’m grateful to have children to nurture when they’re sick or sore or stressed out by complex calculus. I’d love not to have to deal with poor behaviour from a pre-schooler, but understand it’s part of the gig. I’m immensely glad to still have a mum, despite the challenges brought by her being in her 80s.

No matter how organised you are, how efficient, how forward-planning and no matter how well you juggle competing priorities, there are times when it all falls in a heap.

Or does it?

It usually only takes us dropping one or two of the balls for us to throw our hands in the air and think something along the lines of, ‘That’s it! I can’t do this! It’s hopeless!’

That’s usually not it. It’s usually not hopeless. There are almost always balls you haven’t dropped and a difficult day is almost always salvageable through a gentle shift in perspective.

Looking for a gift for someone special (or yourself!) this Mother’s Day? We have something for you here.

All the best

Emma and Audrey
Co-founders, My 15 Minutes

About The Author

Emma Grey & Audrey Thomas

Audrey Thomas and Emma Grey are productivity experts, authors of 'I Don't Have Time' and its forthcoming sequel 'I Can't Be Bothered', and co-founders of the popular online program, My 15 Minutes. They help busy women reclaim their time and energy around the real-life challenges of modern life.

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