Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

Being a mum is such a minefield, right? First of all, let me tell you something: we don’t celebrate mums the same day in France and in the UK. In my home country, it is on the 29th of May in 2016. In the UK, it’s today. What can I say? Life is complicated.

Then there is all this confusion about Mothering Sunday and Mother’s day. Well, to cut a long story short, Mothering Sunday is celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians in some parts of Europe. It falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent. That said, Mothering Sunday is increasingly called Mother’s Day, although Mother’s day has always been a secular event. This means that. strictly speaking, the UK celebrates Mothering Sunday, whereas France, for instance, celebrates Mother’s day. Did you follow?


Then, there is how to celebrate the day. In the UK, you need to send a card to your mum, and you give her flowers or treat her to a nice lunch. Usually, the Dad has to step in.


In France, we don’t really do cards, but we would treat our mum to a nice meal, and kids also usually give her a little present (the pasta necklace is a must). If you live far from her, you call her.

While researching this post, I read that Americans spent an average of $160 per person on Mother’s Day. It certainly looks like Mother’s Day is big business there.

Then, there is reality. For instance, I am not feeling much of a mum today as I didn’t receive any cards, and nobody cared to take me for lunch. That’s just how things seem to be working in my (British) family. Next time I will treat myself to a long weekend in Thailand.

On. My Own.

It’s not that I was expecting big things. No, it’s all about simple gestures. Well, I got neither.
It’s no big deal. Come to think of it, one day a year isn’t even a decent start on eliminating the misogyny that women endure daily. And if we were living in America, we would have saved a small fortune.

But I must admit I feel a bit miffed. Wouldn’t you?

  • tanya hinton

    Yup, been there. This year is better but I have spent at least a couple of mothering sunday in tears! Hugs (and kiss on both cheeks) xXx

  • I treated myself to week-end in London with friends. It was completely unintentional, I only discovered it was on Mother’s day after I saw a cards display in Tesco… Anyway, it was just the perfect present, even if I bought it myself! But it wasn’t always like that. I remember the first 3 years after my son was born I was never in the right country at the right date (In Mauritius or in France for Irish mother’s day and in Ireland for the French celebration) so my husband decided I didn’t deserve any presents..! I feel for you, it’s always nice to get even just a little gesture from the kids or the husband…