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Imagine it's 7am on Mother's Day. I can hear my husband and the kids downstairs trying to make breakfast. It's a family tradition, on birthdays, anniversaries, Father's Day, Mother's Day etc, that whomever's special day it is, gets 'breakfast in bed' and a lay in. I know it sounds posh. It's not. In fact, I can already smell the burnt toast and overcooked omelette, and I can just imagine the mess they are making, which yours truly is most likely going to have to clear up, once I drag myself out of bed.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. My kids are the best, I love them and the sweet little cards they have no doubt made for me, and the fact that they probably bought me chocolates which they will surely finish before I even get a chance to brush my teeth. I love it all. But if I am being totally honest, and please don't judge a girl for having dreams, what I really want for Mother's Day is a day at the spa.
You don't really get time off when you're a mom. Sure, there are days off work, family holidays you go on, but when you are a mother none of the above are actually relaxing. I don't think I've had one relaxing moment since popping the little monsters out, it's been 'mommy this', and 'mommy that' for the past five years and I'm just so tired.
So as I close my eyes and try to ignore the noise (and smoke) coming from downstairs, I think to myself how wonderful it would be to spend Mother's Day at the spa, ALONE.
I can almost smell the essential oils and taste the herbal tea, not the kind that gives you diarrhea, the other kind, the good stuff. I am wearing one of those white robes and slippers that make you drag your feet around, I look like a total mental patient but I don't care, the elevator music in the background is helping me drift away into 'la la land' and all I'm missing right now is a tall glass of champagne to make this fantasy perfect.
I head in for my treatment, it's some kind of hot stone thing, it's all the rage, can't wait. Nice, stones are hot, champagne kicking in, I can feel how all the mommy stress is just melting away. No tantrums, no one weeing on me, no food to clean off the wall, no sticky hands being wiped on my brand new top, no "I hate you mommy" because I made them eat their vegetables, no one 'chit chatting' in my ear about stuff I am totally not interested in, just me, myself and some rather heavy hot stones on my very tired back.
I am about to fall asleep but stop myself because let's face it, there's nothing worse than farting in your sleep during a massage — you know I'm right. The music is starting to annoy me now, I mean I love dolphins obviously, but do I really want to hear them screaming for a whole hour? I've also noticed that I've been listening to the same track over and over again for the past 45 minutes and it's doing my head in. It's almost like some form of sophisticated torture, oh god, please make it stop!
And I really shouldn't have drunk all of that herbal tea and champagne because I am now dying to wee. The hot and very heavy stones are pressing down on my bladder and I'm actually in some serious physical pain. It's almost as if the therapist who is placing the stones on me knows that I'm in pain because for some strange reason she seems to giggle each time I moan in agony.
Surely this nightmare is close to an end?
I take a breath and focus. 'Mommy mode' kicks in cos let's face is - there is no pain in the world that a mom can't take. I think to myself, 'I can do this! I've been through two c sections, 24 hours of labour and a whole hour of pushing. I've pushed my twins in a double buggy up a hill in the snow while dragging an overtired toddler behind. I've flown economy with three kids under the age of three. I have been to hell and back and have lived to tell the tale, so these stones and the potential damage to my internal organs, have nothing on me!"
Just when I think I can't take it much longer the gong rings and the treatment is over. I rush out of the room (robe undone, boobs hanging out, even in my fantasies I'm a mess!), and I head straight to the toilets, where I stay for a good ten minutes. I am so relieved that's over and I'm enjoying the fact I can actually take a piss in peace with no one hanging off my leg trying to show me something.
But as I sit in the dark cubical, after my 'day off' which I have spent in the relaxing spa (I swear I can still hear the elevator music playing, this is killing me), I do kind of miss the little ones and their constant moans. Sure, they are a hand full and then some, but at the same time they are the three little reasons I am celebrated on this day.
I open my eyes and there they are - all three of my over demanding kids, proudly holding up a tray with my breakfast: burnt toast, overcooked omelette and coffee which is stone cold. They have clearly already tucked into my gift: a box of chocolates and pay absolutely no attention as I well up while I read the beautiful Mother's Day cards they made especially for me.
It's not the spa, not the 'day off' I had hoped for, but a girl can't complain when she's got that much love in her life, and that's REALLY all I want for Mother's Day (corny I know).
Plus, there is always next year to get the spa fantasy right - less champagne, ear plugs and no hot stones this time!
Happy Mother's Day mamas.