Parenting: What Defines a Mother?

I don’t have any photos of my boy on the walls of my house. There are 32 of my firstborn, as I’m frequently reminded by my son, who is a second child. I’ve been meaning to do it for 10 years – I’ve just been too busy. Being a mother. It’s not that I don’t feel guilty – believe me, I do. There just always seems to be something more urgent to take care of. I even bought a frame, just like the one I did for my daughter, but it’s gathering dust under my bed, where it’s been since we moved in 9 years ago.

Why am I telling you this? Because it’s Mother’s Day soon, and gorgeous gifts company notonthehighstreet has asked me to explore what exactly makes a mother. How do you celebrate Mother’s Day? And possibly more to the point, who do you celebrate, and has that changed over the years? As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve found myself contemplating a whole host of women I wouldn’t have labelled ‘mother’ before I had my own children.

There are the obvious mothers, the ones that fit the stereotype, who will be spending the day with their young children. If that’s you, the odds are you’ll be up quite early, in that strange grumpy-but-overjoyed place that happens when you’re dragged from sleep to contemplate a pasta necklace and the most adorable phonetic spellings in the world, ever. (I will never forget the day I was given neklisis, perthyoom, and shampain by my 4 year old daughter, who – by the way – still rocks at gift shopping)!


But when you think about it, there is more than just one type of mum. There are the mothers-to-be, like my nephew’s wife who is expecting her first baby this summer; there are the elderly mums who want nothing more than a roast dinner with their family and maybe a bunch of daffs; and there are the mums of teenagers, who – again – would quite like a roast dinner with their family, but who are more likely to spend the day ferrying their kids to their various social engagements (hint – the champagne is a must for this type of mum)!

Then there are the mums who are no longer with us, the mums who have lost a child, a baby, and those women who long to be mothers, but are unable to have children of their own. There are mother figures – a foster parent, a teacher, or relative who’s taken a particular interest in a child, supporting them and inspiring them in life. I knew one of those myself. I can still remember being consoled by Mrs Wade 40 years ago when my best friend sent me to Coventry for a week and stuffed my desk full of sweet wrappers! And my teenage daughter loves the form tutor who hands out wipes to the girls wearing make up, argues their case if they get a detention, and holds all the latest relationship gossip on her students.

Mother’s Day is for all mothers

Mother’s day is a chance to celebrate all these women, and to me that includes being kind to yourself as a mum. Mothering is without a doubt the best, and the hardest job I’ve ever had. Even with teenagers, I still spend my evenings ticking off task after task, after task, collapsing eventually into bed around midnight, and never getting to read the rest of that book I was planning to finish. Did I send that email? Does my child need ingredients for tomorrow’s food tech lesson? Have I signed the diaries, organised tomorrow’s dinner so I can go out, ironed a shirt, and completed the work deadline I had to drop when someone needed help with a broken saxophone? It’s relentless.

Which is why this Mother’s Day I’ve chosen to give myself a gift. Notonthehighstreet have taken one thing off my very long to-do list by producing this Personalised Framed Baby Photo Print of images from my son’s first year. Rather than having to sift through all my photos, get them printed in awkward sizes, and go through the very fiddly process of mounting them in my oh-so-designer-but-ever-so-reportage dusty frame (which is frankly why I’ve been putting it off!) I simply filled out a form, sent them some image files, and three days later, was the proud mama of this beauty:

Isn’t it gorgeous? You can choose a small or large frame, with several options on number of images, lots of background colour choices, and a white frame if you prefer that. There’s also a customisable wooden plaque carved with your choice of baby’s name, birthdate, and special words. It’s completely perfect. My son was absolutely delighted with it when he came home from school, and I can finally ditch my mum guilt – at least until next Wednesday, when I will undoubtedly deliver my kids a meal of chips and beans as the post-school mayhem of music lessons, maths homework and diary signing gets the better of me!

I’ve often used notonthehighstreet to buy gifts for friends and family. They usually have something perfect when I’ve run out of inspiration, and Mother’s Day is no exception. I adore these personalised ten reasons you are wonderful cards; and just how cute are these matching pj’s for new mum and baby? There are also some gorgeous ideas for the woman in your life if you’re a Dad-to-be, and for those who’ve played a special role for you as a mother figure. As with everything notonthehighstreet, parcels arrive beautifully packaged and labelled, so they’d even be lovely to have delivered direct to your recipient.

Take a look at all the Mother’s Day suggestions for beautiful, thoughtful gifts on the notonthehighstreet website. I hope your Mother’s Day is special, however you choose to mark it!

This post is a paid collaboration with notonthehighstreet. All opinion and imagery of our gift is my own. 

15 thoughts on “Parenting: What Defines a Mother?”

  1. That frame looks so lovely with all your prints on. Mother’s Day is in May here in Sweden, but I have managed to organise a surprise for my mum in the UK

  2. Lovely frame. I do like to look on Not on the high street too especially when I’m stuck for ideas when it comes to gift-giving. They do have such lovely items 🙂

  3. The frame is beautiful! I love shopping at NOTHS because there’s so much more variety there, everything is more unique, just like us Moms 🙂 I’ve been told to expect some character socks, girls hair clips and a candle they like the smell of this year – and maybe a Chocolate Orange if I’m very lucky 🙂

  4. I completely agree with you that there is more than one mother . For me my foster mum and aunty are my mothers x That frame is stunning too x

  5. What a gorgeous gift. I think being a mum means so many things to do many mothers and Mother’s Day is such a wonderful way of playing tribute to all of them.

  6. What a beautiful frame. Mother’s Day is a great way to show love and appreciation. Motherhood means a lot of different things to different people. I hope everyone is comforted and happy on Sunday. I try to show love each day to my mummy x

  7. I just made a photo canvas for my mum and sent it to her and I am sure she will love it. I think personalised gifts are great.

  8. What a beautiful frame! It is so difficult finding the time to get photos printed off, especially in a modern world filled with technology. I love when I add new photos to the house, it is always so homely. Not On The High Street always have such lovely, well made guides and are my go to for present / gift buying!

  9. I smiled when you said how many things you do everyday as a mum ? Mum’s ‘to do’ lists are neverending. No matter how old the kids are.
    A frame is a wonderful gift, children change so much so fast, it is good to stop for a minute, take a look at the photo and remind the happy times ?

  10. I have a similar frame with pictures of all my kids in, but my elder ones still complain I have less photo’s of them on the wall – the same kids they asked me to remove their embarassing old school pics!! Hope Evan is happy with his pictures on display

  11. I have the same issue where my oldest got professional pictures done, but I didn’t do it with the next two. Such a shame, but there was just never the time. This is such a great idea. I must do that for the younger two. We take so many photos, but never print them these days x


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