How are you marking Mother’s Day this year during coronavirus crisis?
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Mother’s Day will be very different from usual this year for many of us, against the background of the coronavirus pandemic.
Whether you usually take your mum out for a special lunch or afternoon tea, or join the crowds at a special event or attraction, chances are that this year it will all be more low-key.
And, if your mother is older and self-isolating, you may not be able to be with her this year. So how can you still express your love and thanks?
Judy Rimmer writes: “My mum is over 80, so she is obeying the health experts’ advice and currently self-isolating at home. So I probably won’t be able to see her tomorrow, but am sending over a card and gift (or dropping them on the doorstep). We are also chatting on the phone and online each day, although it isn’t the same as walking round Ipswich together!
“To be honest, Mum has never been all that bothered about Mother’s Day anyway. We did once decide to go out for lunch that day, but chose a restaurant which didn’t offer advance booking, and gave up and went home when it became clear we would have to queue for hours. We usually prefer to have lunch or tea out on days when things are rather less crowded and frantic.”
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Sophie Stainthorpe says that, if mothers are currently staying at home, “the obvious thing is to give them a gift that will help them through a long period of self-isolation.
“We bought my mother-in-law The Crown DVD box set, so she has something to watch during those long days at home. The series also covers hardships that we have faced as a nation in the past, so might help put things into perspective.
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“As always, the biggest gift you can give your mum is to tell them that you love them and offer your support with anything they might need - a sentiment that can and should be passed to everyone we care about at this difficult time.”
Simon Weir writes: “My Mother’s Day prep has been to carry on pretty much as usual. The big difference has been to buy a present nice and early, then lock it away in a clean cupboard for a week. If the virus can live for up to three days on plastic or other surfaces, anything that’s been isolated for seven days should be safe to deliver.
“The only question now is whether it’s left on the doorstep, delivered by drone, hurled from the window of the car as I drive past without stopping... or whether, in fact, we calm down and keep things realistic: I’m self-isolating, I’m not exhibiting any symptoms, so perhaps it’s safe to pop round and have a cup of tea, as I give my mother her present.
“She can always disinfect everything I’ve touched after I’ve gone...”
‘Our new reality is for me to drive past and wave’
John Nice, of One Sixth Form College, Suffolk New College and Suffolk Rural, writes: “We only live a few miles apart so it will be strange not being able to spend time with my mum (Sally) on Sunday.
It will be strange not being able to spend much time with her at all in the coming weeks and months.
“She has been an outstanding mum who has always been right by my side in both good times and bad.
“As a youngster, I was on the books of a professional football club for four years and my mum used to drive me to the training ground every week. She would stay and watch – the only mum amidst a sea of competitive dads – and I’m only sad that my football dreams didn’t quite match her efforts.
“She still watches me play now and has sat next to me at Portman Road for too many years to mention. My passion has become hers and she is equally supportive of all of her children and grandchildren in terms of their interests.
“She has many talents herself. She is an wonderful cook and an amazing dancer– appearing on Come Dancing (the non celeb forerunner of Strictly Come Dancing) a couple of times in her youth.
She helps run the family business, trained as a counsellor, supports families in her voluntary role working for The Lullaby Trust, ensures the church we attend is bedecked in floral arrangements every fortnight, babysits, helps run the local branch of the Trefoil Guild and continues to look after the family.
“Her parents would be so proud of her – just as I am so proud to be her son.
“We’ve already joked that our new reality is for me to drive past the house at a certain time and wave – and on a good day, I’ll come back for a second go.
“As for this Sunday, I will be driving round to peer through the window and drop off a gift on her doorstep to thank her for being ace.
“It’s all heartbreakingly sad of course – but – God willing - everyone and I can look forward to appreciating our mums even more when everything returns to normal.”
Mum and daughter Suzanne Day says: “My Mother’s Day is definitely going to be different this year as I am ‘socially distancing’, but at least I will get to spend it with my little girl, who is very excited about it!
“Last weekend we worked on some Mother’s Day crafts for my mum and my Nanna Pat, who is having a minor operation this week.
“I won’t be able to see either of them on Mother’s Day, but we are hoping to post them and my other Nanna some artwork which they should get around Mother’s Day and hopefully make them smile.”
Sharing a meal or cuppa at home
If your mum is not self-isolating, there are more options for celebrating, although we obviously all need to be careful this year.
Sophie Barnett writes: “I am treating my mum and grandmother (who is under 70) to a home-cooked meal with the help of my sister. We were originally planning to go to the Marquis in Layham for an evening dinner, but now we will be enjoying some time at home - making sure we are not too close to each other at all times.
“We will also take the dog for a long walk and get some fresh air! I am booking a spa gift voucher for the two of them, so that when coronavirus blows over they can go and enjoy a massage. Moonpig will also help me sort a card without going to the shops, and I can personalise it with family pictures.”
Donna-Louise Bishop writes: “This year, I will be marking Mother’s Day by sharing a simple cuppa with my amazing mum, Carolyn. Being a mother myself, I know how busy things can get and the pressure to celebrate these extra dates in the calendar can be a challenge - especially with recent events.
“ So tea and biscuits and a quiet moment with close family will be a perfect way for us to spend Mother’s Day together this year. We will also have an excuse to go out for afternoon tea and support local, independent businesses later in the year too.”
Memories of much-loved mothers
Of course, for many people, Mother’s Day is always a bitter-sweet occasion, because they have lost their mothers.
Paul Geater writes: “I lost my mother several years ago now. But I remember as a teenager it was the fairly standard flowers or box of chocolates as a present. And I do remember on her always insisting it was “Mothering Sunday,” not “Mother’s Day” because - as a regular churchgoer - she recognised its religious origins as a festival in the middle of Lent.
“Traditionally, it was the day in the middle of Lent when people, or whole families, went back to their “Mother Church” where they were Christened. It later evolved into a festival to mark mothers in the second half of the 20th Century.
“I think my mother mellowed a bit in later years and was always happy to get “Mother’s Day” cards from me or her grandchildren later in her life!”
Stacia Briggs writes: “This is my first Mother’s Day without a mother, another painful first in a list that grows as days pass and includes Christmas and my birthday. I don’t mind seeing all the publicity about Mother’s Day, it doesn’t add to the pain, because the pain is always there and doesn’t need prompting.
“In truth, my Mum wasn’t a great fan of Mother’s Day: her wisdom on the subject was that if you had to be told to be nice to your Mum, and for one day only, it was a poor state of affairs. I agree! I am a Mother and Step-mother and my children, step-children and their children are the absolute lights of my life but this year will be bittersweet for many reasons.
“Top of the list will be because I won’t hear my Mum telling me off for ignoring her edict on ‘not buying in’ to Mother’s Day (but watching her love being fussed over, regardless). Happy Mother’s Day, Mum, I love you.”