I’m checking into a hotel this Mother’s Day but not for the reasons you think

Posted in Mother's Day.

Now that I’ve had a shot at all the Mother’s Day traditions, it’s time for something a little different.

Lucky number six

This year will mark my sixth Mother’s Day. For the last five, I cheerfully tried each and every Mother’s Day tradition I could think of. There was the classic breakfast in bed, the questionable home-made cards from the kids, the pleasant high tea, a lame sleep-in until 7.30am, and a pretty nice picnic in the park.

I don’t really want stuff on Mother’s Day, so all of these kind of ticked the box for what I thought would make a good day celebrating our family’s all-powerful Matriarch (me). But now that I’m knee deep in motherhood, with a six-year-old and a two-year-old, I’m rethinking what actually, really is my current definition of a great day. 

This thinking led me to wotif.com, where I spent a long time scrolling through hotel rooms with king size beds. Then quite suddenly, without one smidgeon of guilt, I hit BOOK. And voila, my sixth Mother’s Day had been decided.

Here’s the plan

To be clear, I’m going to spend a lovely morning with the kids. Then I’ll trot over to the hotel and have the night to myself. Simple as that.

I won’t be sweeping out of the house with a suitcase and a bottle of gin. This isn’t about escaping the kids in a desperate huff. It’s also not about proving anything to anyone. Thankfully we live in a time where mothers can be whoever they want, so having a solo stay in a hotel isn’t exactly rebellious. Is it?

To be sure, I Googled it. And the results were discouraging. When Michelle Obama famously checked into a hotel with her friends for her 50th birthday – that made major news. Then there was Drew Barrymore, who posted from the Ritz Carlton the other week and got 96,000 likes. She also looked kind of scared.

Maybe it is a big deal, but it shouldn’t be. Personally, one night of quiet alone-time is the greatest gift my family can give me at this point in my life. It won’t always be like this. Next year I might just want a nice pair of slippers. But the one thing I’ve learnt from my last five Mother’s Days, is that when your family asks you “what do you want to do for Mother’s Day?” … you’ve got to take a minute, think it over, and zero in on the words that matter here – what do you want?

Because thousands of years of evolution have made us mothers really good at anticipating the needs of the tribe. Not so good at finding a quiet cave to sleep in.

Counting down

For the first time, Mother’s Day is now firmly marked on my calendar. A big red-texta heart marks the day I’m going to do a little side-step and play this my way. There’ll be lots of time for kisses and cuddles with the children, but once check-in time rolls around, I will put on my most grown-up gold earrings and do it: exactly, what I want.


What about you? What do you really (really) want to do for Mother’s Day?


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