Mother accepts teddy holding chocolates is a fair exchange for life’s work

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A London mother has admitted that a small, generic, token gift is probably a fair exchange for a lifetime of motherhood.

Hayley Bristow, 52, from Epping Forest, has graciously accepted a small teddy holding a bag of chocolates and a little cushion saying “Best Mum Ever” from her daughter, Charlie Bristow, 23.

“I really wasn’t expecting it, I told her not to waste her money getting me anything,” said Hayley. “Although, luckily, I’ve seen loads of these teddies in Tesco, so I know it won’t have set her back much.”

Hayley found out she was pregnant with Charlie in 1994, at around the time she was hoping to become a partner in the accountancy firm where she then worked.

“I’ll never forget the day Charlie was born,” she said wistfully. “The two halves of the pelvis always separate during childbirth, but mine shifted much more dramatically and irreversibly than usual. The doctor said he’d never seen anything like it. Of course, I didn’t know any of this at the time, as I was out cold for pretty much all of the second day.”

“Sometimes I still can’t believe how incredibly overwhelming it is to be a mother. When I was young I always hoped I’d have a daughter I’d be really close to. But motherhood’s a journey with twists and turns you can’t predict. I never expected I’d have to buy her a house, for example.”

Charlie made her mother a cup of tea before presenting her with the adorable coup de grâce. She excitedly explained, “I think it went pretty well. She really liked the teddy. Basically, I nailed it.”

Hayley, indeed, seemed pleased, wiping a small tear, presumably of joy, from her eye. She added: “I haven’t heard from my son yet today, but I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten.”

Catherine Brinkworth

Brinky is a writer with credits on BBC Radio 4 Extra's Newsjack. One day her autobiography will be called Brinky and the Pain.