When I conspired along with the kids to start a tradition to give mom a much-deserved day off in the management of our domestic affairs whenever there was a reason to celebrate her special occasions, little did I know that I’d go on to learn a very big lesson in just how much women do around the house. This time around we were throwing around gift ideas for her birthday and it came to light that if we put as much effort into just one special day as women did throughout their lives really, we would learn to appreciate just how much they do for us. In the end, we decided that within her gift basket we should put a custom name necklace with all of our names on it so that she knows we are always there for her close to her heart. It was a lightbulb moment really, as we knew how much she would appreciate something being made especially for her.

To start the day off the right way, I whipped up some breakfast in bed for the leading lady. I say whipped but that implies I moved at an incredible pace whereas in fact I was exhausted after only 20 minutes and my arms refused to do any more “whipping”.

Anyway, we had a whole day planned out for her, starting with the breakfast in bed to be followed by a long, long bubble bath with some professional-grade spa products. Scented candles were lit of course and needless to say she already felt as if her day couldn’t get any better.

We wouldn’t let her very strong nurturing instincts take over though as she showed signs of starting to take over things, as she always does when it comes to the organisational side of all our lives.

There was a birthday cake, naturally and a bit of singing before we all headed out to enjoy a light picnic which didn’t involve too much eating since she’d enjoyed a good breakfast in bed. The picnic was more of a trip down memory lane, during which we got all manner of close and distant relatives on loud speaker to say a few words in her honour on her special day, some of whom were a bit extra in their inability to resist the urge to break into song. No complaints…

Next was a few outdoor adventure sports to work up an appetite. But we couldn’t get her to conspire to try and kill herself with us as she was a bit scared to go bungee jumping or kitesurfing Viana do castelo. Luckily, we managed to get her on a quad bike, against her ever sensible better judgement. That worked out just fine as she started complaining about body aches, making for the perfect precursor to the next activity we had lined up for her, which was a two hour long deep tissue massage at the professional spa which actually sells the branded spa treatment products deployed in the early morning bubble bath with scented candles. In fact some of these aromas can be relaxing and relieve the stress she was probably feeling, and lucky enough we found some cheap burners and some wax melts to add to the ambience.

I’m pretty sure that deep into the day we had hit all the right notes by way of the best gifts for mom, all things considered, but the day wouldn’t have been complete if there wasn’t a final family meal and a gift basket present filled with goodies for her to enjoy for a good few weeks and perhaps even months to come.

Mom being mom though, we were all enlisted to help her plough through the delicious goodies contained in the gift basket, ultimately epitomising the typical manner in which women hold their families so close to their hearts!