Mothers’ Day gifts that say, “a year apart has been good for us both, actually”

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Mothers’ Day can be a complicated occasion for those who have strained family relationships. This year, while all your friends have been bloody whining about not seeing their parents for months, you may have been able to enjoy the space that lockdown has offered to reflect. She may not understand your career, your life choices, or your beliefs, but time apart from the woman who openly judged you for 20-odd years may be just the ticket to a rekindling a wonderful friendship in future. 

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ideas for gifts that will let Mum know you’re thinking about her, in a neutral-to-somewhat-positive way. 

1. Flowers

The Mothers’ Day classic – a lovely bunch of flowers delivered straight to her door. Be sure not to include any flowers that hold a particular significance or could be mistakenly related to a special memory. You may wish to have them delivered in the week following Mothers’ Day to show that you did remember, but only just. 

2. An impersonal mug 

“World’s Best Mum”, “Mum in a Million”, and other beautiful lies! Studies have shown that the most underwhelming way to receive a compliment is printed on the side of a mug. Mum will be reminded of your awkward but burgeoning genuine friendship every time she has a brew.  

3. A shit card 

If things have been going really well and you’d like to express some actual heartfelt sentiment, keep that wall up by writing your message to Mum in a shit card. Something with an illustration of Chris Whitty and an extremely laboured Covid joke will do nicely. “The science shows you’re the best, mum!” – it doesn’t, but it’s the thought that counts! 

4. A passive aggressive reminder of your success

If all else fails, get creative and use your skills to show Mum how much you love her (and how much you like her, which is less). Use that Fine Arts degree to paint her a picture she won’t frame, or write an article that will make her say “ooh, just like a proper journalist!”

However you choose to say “Happy Mothers’ Day”, make sure it’s one Mum will soon forget. You can give her a good present next year if things work out. 

Kathleen Hughes

Kathleen Hughes is a stand-up comedian and writer from Glasgow with credits on BBC Radio's Newsjack and Breaking the News. She is experiencing heartburn as you read this.