Mother's Day is only a few weeks away, and even though we can't go out and celebrate this special day in the way we normally would, we still want to acknowledge and celebrate the special ladies in our lives and make sure they feel spoiled and loved. Greater Sydney Living chatted to five local mums to find out how family life has changed during Covid-19 and how they are hoping to spend their Mother's Day celebrating. Not to mention... gift ideas!
Hannah - 28 years old, Mum to a 2-year-old and 7.5 months pregnant
"I'm holding up well considering I am about to give birth in 7 weeks time. I am trying to remain positive bringing a new little one into this world. What I am struggling with the most is when we have the baby, not having our 2-year old with us at the hospital. I am hoping restrictions have been lifted or rethought in weeks to come. Also, we have used this time to tick off milestones with our 2-year-old, such as toilet training and getting rid of her dummy before the new baby comes.
Right now, I'm working from home, but with the added challenge of having a 2-year-old in the background, vying for my attention. Two is a really hard age - it's especially hard for me being told "no work mummy", although I am extremely lucky I work for an amazing company and have extremely supportive bosses.
For Mother's Day, I would love for my 2-year-old to sleep in - but I know that's just wishful thinking! Although sleep pregnancy insomnia has kicked in so that gift might be wasted on me. I will be hopefully catching up with family via Facetime. We are so blessed with technology these days to be able to stay in touch even when we can't be together. There's nothing like a good old Facetime and a home-cooked meal to make a mum feel special."
Amanda - 36 years old, Mum to Grace 8 and Charlotte 5
"Surprisingly, Covid-19 and the changes that it's brought about have brought us closer as a family unit. We have been homeschooling, working from home and spending every spare moment we have together. It's made us realise that we weren't prioritising time together as a family as much as we are being forced to now. We've had to find ways to connect and entertain ourselves and the kids. We've been reading more books, puzzling, updating the trampoline, and scooters for more home fun and I can honestly say the well for family happiness is deep right now. We are enjoying all the simple things so much more and are grateful for good health and family time.
Earlier on in the piece, I was thinking 'of course Mother's Day will happen during lockdown.' I even went as far as thinking I bet Father's Day will be business as usual. But now that we are at least a month into our new routine, I've actually come up with what I think would be an amazing Mother's Day plan happily spent at home.
I've told hubby to get the slow cooker out and find a recipe for mulled wine, and that we can make ourselves a grazing platter, followed by some fire pit marshmallows in the evening. We will probably order in from one of our favourite restaurants and we will be organising family Messenger chats (with filters of course).
I have been thinking about gift ideas, and I'm leaning towards new joggers so I can keep up the outdoors fitness, and maybe a gift voucher for a local restaurant or one of my favourite shops."
Barb - 40s, Mum to Jack 16 and Tess 12
"Since transitioning to working from home in February, I was traveling quite well, learning the ins and out of working from a home office, around the kids at school, and attending onsite meetings. It was different then, we weren’t in lockdown at that stage and it was still a thing that I wore a bra and undies! Its been a very mixed emotional trip throughout the last few weeks. Sometimes I'm rearing to go with energy and positivity with what's ahead, other times I sink into that news cycle where every channel, radio, or social media hangout is just overrun with topical COVID overload. Learning to filter this out has been trial and error for us all. At times speaking with my clients its been heartbreaking to hear their stories of how this crisis has and will affect their business. I was finishing my days quite emotional as people want to talk, they want to vent, they want someone to hear them and validate their concerns in this situation that is changing daily. Fast forward a few weeks and those same clients are finding glimmers of hope, refining their business approach, or pivoting their business to suit this interim life we have. This has been the most exciting and hopeful side to this crisis.
I am missing my tribe, my lifelong friends, and people who I used to see daily and weekly. They are a big part of our family life, and they are all missed so much. I can't wait to be able to hug them all and squeeze the life out of them again soon. I'm looking forward to BBQs, social catch-ups, events, and seeing live bands again. Small things that we often took for granted has really played on my mind. I can't wait for my kids to have some normality back with their friends and have their laughter again fill the walls of our home.
Right now, during lockdown, our kids' favourite nightly activity is “What's for Dessert”. Dave will generally bring home dessert each night (it can't be in the house throughout the day 'cause I would eat it, and blame the kids). So, sometimes Dave will grab a “Community” block of chocolate to share, which always ends disastrously for someone who doesn't get an equal portion. The best scenario is finding the chocolate bars in the freezer, usually hidden in the Fish fingers or sausage roll boxes, even frozen veggie bags.
We have also been having family slide nights, movies, late afternoon walks along the river and our local walking tracks, drawing sessions, bike rides, doing some photography, Zoom calls and catchups, and pottering around the house. We are in the midst of planning our kitchen renovation, which keeps us busy too.
A perfect Mother's Day this year would be a glorious sunny autumn day - my immediate family and lots of laughter. I have everything I need right here. If I were to receive gifts, its definitely my favourite Jo Malone perfume, long burning candles, and a wine or two with a family movie night."
Linda - 50's Mum to Daniel 25 and Michael 23
"I'm a mum to two young men, whom I’m very proud of. They’ve been challenging to bring up but it’s been worth standing my ground with the boundary-pushing and button pressing over the years. They’ve grown into fabulous young men.
Right now with all that's going on in the world - I’m holding up okay! We’re all working from home and I thought we may get on each other’s nerves and there’d be uproar, but I’m very pleased to say that this isn’t the case. We’re all very mindful of each other’s space and tolerance levels have increased significantly. This isn’t to say we don’t have our moments, but those moments are much quieter as well as few and far between. I’m enjoying daily catch-ups with hubby and the boys, a slower pace, and simpler lifestyle. We’re also spending much less on social outings, which I’m missing, but I am enjoying receiving credit card bills that are a quarter of what they normally are. At least there’s video calls with friends and family, so we’re still socialising but in a very different way. I’m looking forward to some real face-to-face interaction.
We’ve always been very independent when it comes to family gathering together for dinner as normally we rarely know when we’ll be home. That’s all changed and I’m loving it. We’re now gathering for dinner regularly and the boys have their girlfriends over for dinner once a week as well. This is great on two fronts - firstly we’re together around the dinner table and secondly, there are other girls in the house! I’m also enjoying playing games. We played Cards Against Humanity a couple of weeks ago… it’s just wrong, but illicited lots of laughs and quite a few blushes.
This year for Mother's Day, I’d love breakfast in bed or, if they’d prefer, a breakfast from MezeMe Grove - hint-hint. I’ve always loved their food - never had a bad meal - and I know they have a fabulous Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch/Early Dinner boxes created just for Mother’s Day. I’ll be using FaceTime and Messenger to do some video calls to friends. Pity they don’t have FaceTime in Heaven – I’d love to speak to my Mum and tell her I love her one more time. (with us in the picture, along with my stepdad and sister). We will be popping in with flowers and a gift box to my lovely mother-in-law. John has been visiting her once a fortnight but we’ve been staying away as she is 80+."
Rhonda - 60s, Mum to Michael 38 and Amanda 36 and Ma to Zoe 9, Grace 8, Phoenix 7, Charlotte 5 and Evie 5
"I have mostly been at home since all the changes with COVID-19. Being a retired grandmother, I am home-based a good deal of the time, however, the small pleasures of coffee or lunch with friends have made my life quite lonely. I have missed family and friends very much. I have made an effort to phone friends and check on them as several of them live alone. I am lucky and my husband comes home for evening company, but there are many people who don't have anyone to talk to.
I found myself anticipating hair appointments and looking forward to a trip to buy plants. I read a poem last week and it resulted in floods of tears, which is not really like me so I think I am more fragile than I really thought I was.
I have not currently got plans for Mother's Day, I will admit to feeling overwhelmed with the thought of not seeing family and grandchildren on the day. I was checking the calendar to see how far away the day fell and hoping restrictions might be lifted by then. We have five grandchildren, three in one family and two in another and I miss them very much. Facetime calls are one thing, but a cuddle and time with them are so much better. The little ones are not great on the phone so I am looking forward to seeing them in person. For Mother's Day, I would like to visit family - that would be the best gift. I also look forward to my cards as grandchildren now write messages on them which are precious.
The hardest thing is not being able to see family whenever you feel like it. The house has been so quiet and clean for far too long. I love my family to call in and I often get to join them for special outings. I miss the company of my daughter and our cups of tea and easy chatter. As for every grandmother, there is a sense of loss with separation from grandchildren. Rightly or wrongly, we grandmother's think of the grandchildren as ours and there is a gaping hole when we cannot see them. I am so looking forward to this weekend when two adults can visit another home."
2 Special Offers for Mum
We may not be able to gather together as a family with our Mums, but we can send them something they'll appreciate...