Guest blog post from Claire McLauchlin-Whitehead on Mother’s Day gift buying.

As I scan through page after page of various jewellers websites I get as giddy as a magpie as all the shiny baubles catch my eye. I know I have to place my order soon to make sure I have it for mothering Sunday but I am enjoying the anticipation of the purchase so much I don’t quite want it to be over yet. I’m not buying for my own mother or my mother in law, I am – and I whisper this – buying it for myself!

I’m sure a lot of mothers will agree with me that buying anything for yourself BB (before baby) was an easy and joyous task that probably took place every Saturday and following even the most briefest visits into Tesco. Post baby is a very different scenario. It’s something my own mother warned me about on numerous occasions – enjoy your money now because when children come along the smallest of selfish purchases will come laden with the hidden cost of guilt. Just like how a spoonful of food becomes a mouthful of guilt for the perpetual dieter, I can’t seem to buy any guilt-tax free goods for myself. I either feel bad at spending the money which could be spent on my son or I feel guilty at spending time away from him to actually go shopping.

I’ll delay getting my hair cut because I feel guilty spending time away from my son on a Saturday and weekends is our time. I’ll only get my eyebrows done at a salon near my work so it can get done in my lunch break and won’t have to pick him up late and I’d never buy full price clothes. Each time I part with the smallest amount of money which can’t be associated to necessities I find myself questioning if I should have done it.

It is no doubt ridiculous and I can’t even voice the words to my husband for fear of the raised eyebrow and open mouthed gawp but I know I’m not alone in this. Motherhood is a beautiful and wonderful thing but it can really suck the joy out of shopping for oneself!

And so in an effort to avoid being chopped up by the propeller of guilt I am starting a new trend of treating myself every mother’s day. My husband will no doubt buy me the obligatory pink mug and floral accompaniments but I think it is important for mothers to step back and actually reward themselves with something they would really love. My job as a mother is 7 days a week, I get no holiday or sick pay and there is certainly no hope of promotion so I think an annual guilt free sparkle to remind myself why I do it would be the best present ever this year.

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