It's Mother's Day and you don't need to wow your mum with fancy chocs or a spa day. In fact, we bet the thing she'd love most in the world is to hear your voice. So pick up the phone and call her. We'll talk you through how to do it...
When you live with your Mum, Mother’s Day is pretty easy. You make her some badly buttered toast and a little card repurposing a drawing you did when you were seven, present it in the morning, do some hoovering and hey presto – you’re the perfect child.
Of course, moving out and, y’know, living your life, opens you up to become a host of things you never expected: selfish, neglectful, childish, irresponsible (and also weird terms that only your parents use like ‘you look like a ragamuffin’ or ‘seeing you is becoming a real palaver’).
The annoying thing is, even an elaborate gift basket or spa voucher won’t go down well. Trust us. It’s impersonal. Your mum, bless her, she just misses you. She wants to see you. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to pop home for Mother’s Day though, which is when the old fashioned option suddenly takes top spot: give her a call.
You know, on the telephone. Your mobile phone. Call her. Using her phone number. Or the landline number. Let her hear your voice. Even if you’re working. Even if you’re on the other side of the world. It’s possible, remember?
Just to help you along with this mammoth task, here are some tips on how to… you know… actually get through it, without having an argument.
Come to terms with the fact that she will use her phone wrong ahead of the call
Kid picks up phone. Dials Mum. Ring, Ring. Ring, Ring.
Kid: Heyyyyyyyyy mum. How’s it going?
K: …Mum? You there?
M: [muffled] ‘cos your brother was there twelve days ago.
K: Mum I can’t hear you.
M: Sorry, I was trying to do the call with my headphones and I just realised it doesn’t have the microphone bit.
K: Didn’t you buy your headphones at a petrol station?
M: It was a two-for-one offer.
That’s just a classic example of how Mums, for some reason, just don’t understand how phones work. Other things to watch out for are:
- The phone call being broadcast on her mini bluetooth speaker so the rest of the family can hear.
- Accidentally muting herself.
- Hanging up on you due to too much facial movement on the screen.
- Not hanging up at the end of the call properly.
Take a deep breath. It’s Mother’s Day. Find it funny rather than infuriating.
Prepare to be compared to your siblings, if you have any
For some reason, calls with Mum provide the perfect opportunity for her to point out all the things that your brothers/sisters are excelling at. Sometimes she’ll candidly say, “I wish you could be more like X.” Other times, there’ll just be a pointed silence. Or a well-placed sigh of disappointment.
The real kick in the misters is that whichever one of your lazy siblings opts for the expensive gift basket will, despite being privately scolded, be given a SHINING review over the phone.
M: Your brother got me those nice chocolates I liked from Norfolk, did he tell you?
K: Yes he told me.
M: He was there twelve days ago. Did you know? Went for work. They paid for everything.
K: I know. I saw the Snapchats.
M: It was so thoughtful of him, he always gets my favourites. Anyway, we’ve had loads of trouble with the mice again, they keep coming back, and we got that nice man from the Post Office to put the traps in but it won’t work.
K: Mum, you shouldn’t just talk to random men at the Post Office.
M: I wouldn’t have to if you came home more often.
K: That literally doesn’t make any sense.
M: Your brother has taken some days off work to come and help me paint the bathroom – did he tell you?
Sound familiar? Time for another deep breath. Go on your sibling WhatsApp, send them 10-15 poo emoji to vent your frustration, and remember that it’s not a competition. Your Mum is just excited that her kids are being nice to her. It’s not a reflection on you. You’re the one that’s calling her! You’re doing a good job. Keep calm.
Be patient when she has a full conversation with someone else during your call
Oh god, why do parents always do this? Sometimes, it’s arguing with Dad over whether it was a Wednesday or a Thursday that you used to have piano lessons. Sometimes, it’s chastising the cat for ankle biting. Sometimes, it’s more extreme, and you have to sit through six minutes of muffled conversation while she answers the front door and has a long, personal chat with the Hermes courier.
Have something ready to distract you. This is a good reason to do your phone call hands-free, so you can play some sick games or scroll through Reddit while she potters around and gets distracted for a bit.
Understand that it’s her job to give you advice
We know it’s difficult to talk to your Mum when she chronically feels compelled to turn any conversation into a nag-fest/overly earnest advice session. Sometimes all you want to do is vent about work or relationships or messy housemates or annoying, unexpected expenditures without her saying:
“You need to be more assertive and ask for a promotion.”
“If you don’t make more responsible choices in your love life you’ll end up alone and I’ll never be a grandmother.”
“Why don’t you try talking to them?”
“Do you need money? What happened to that budgeting sheet I sent you? Haven’t you been using it?”
Thing is, venting is all well and good if it’s your friends, but it’s your Mum’s job to actually look after you. And, y’know, make sure you’re OK. So of course she’s going to give you advice – she’s trying to make the eternal struggle of Navigating Through Modern Life easier and more efficient. It’s actually quite sweet. Bless.
If in doubt, ask her questions
Feeling like all the focus is on you? Are you starting to sweat from body parts that you didn’t even know had glands that functioned in that way? It’s time to change the conversation. Luckily, no-one knows your Mum as well as you, so you can pick from a multitude of topics that will instantly distract her. Here are a few for inspiration:
- The family pet
- Gossip/general misfortunes of extended family members
- Arguments with the neighbours
- Role of women in the workplace
- Dad’s diet
Hopefully these can help you get to the point where you want to be: i.e. saying how much you love your Mum, how thankful you are for her, and how you are going to be celebrating her on Mother’s Day by thinking about her all day. Honestly, you’ll get so many brownie points they may turn into actual IRL brownies next time you go and visit. It’s worth it.
The best news is – we’ve got your back. Need minutes? No worries, we have 12 month plans with All-You-Can-Eat minutes and texts starting from as little as £13 a month, and SIM-only deals with 200 mins + unlimited texts and 12 GB of data for just £12. Plus, we offer free roaming in 60 destinations over the world, including the USA, Australia and loadsa places in Europe. That means that you can use your minutes, texts and data allowance pretty much wherever you are. No excuses.