Gift IdeasOccasions

Mother’s Day gifts made simple for busy mums

Mother’s Day is going to be extra special in my house this year. Not only will it be my first as a mum-of-two, this year’s celebration falls on my daughter’s first birthday.

Something about becoming a mum to a daughter has made me reassess and fully appreciate my relationship with my own wonderful Mum. The connections I have with both her and my equally brilliant Mother-in-law (ignore what mumsnet might have you believe — amazing mother-in-laws do exist, I have one to prove it!) have grown even stronger in the last 12 months.

When my daughter Imogen was a few months old, it became clear she wasn’t going to be the same happy-go-lucky baby her older brother Peter had been. She was eventually diagnosed with silent reflux, which is a frankly terrible name for a really very noisy condition: babies with silent reflux cry. A lot.

I was advised to give up dairy as the proteins in my breastmilk might be making her tiny tummy worse. Throughout the long, early days of constant feeding, crying, rocking, sleeping in my arms; then feeding, crying and sleeping again, my Mum was always there. She rocked and soothed Imogen; she read books and played endless amazing make-believe games with Peter; she continually told my husband and I we were doing a great job.

“It’s mine!” Photo: Zoe Craig

And when my Mum wasn’t able to be around, my Mother-in-law was similarly supportive, regularly offering help, healthy home-cooked meals, and never judging any of my slightly mad parenting decisions. She even played a lot of a very complicated three-player cricket with Peter, featuring obscure rules only a four-year-old can dream up. And she adapted her best biscuit recipes, creating batches that were both delicious and dairy free.

As Imogen turns one, it feels like the tricky newborn phase is behind us. But the memories of how helpful, understanding and encouraging both mums have been will remain with me forever.

Celebrating top mums this Mother’s Day

That’s why it’s important for me to celebrate both my marvellous Mum and Mother-in-law this Mother’s Day. A present that shows them how happy, gorgeous and close their two grandchildren have become over the last year is, for me, the perfect solution.

I regularly share photos with all the Grandparents on social media, but I wanted to use something special that the two mums hadn’t seen yet.

At the same time, I didn’t have ages to take loads of ‘new’ photos of my kids. I love them both infinite amounts, but between after-school clubs, and daily reading practice with Peter and managing Imogen’s increasing desire to get into everything, I needed a gift that would be quick and easy.

One photo: two presents

Photo: Zoe Craig

I decided to use one fantastic image of the children and create two different gifts.

As soon as I spotted the personalised apron gift, I knew it’d be the perfect present for my foodie Mother-in-law. She’s a truly accomplished chef who loves cooking for her growing family. Her kitchen is a wonderful place to be; whenever we visit, a step-stool is provided for Peter, so he can help her whip up delicious biscuits and pastries. I think they’ll both get such a kick out of seeing his and his sister’s faces on her special apron. And when Peter’s not around, it’ll be a lovely reminder of how much her grandchildren love their Nannie.

It was really easy to upload my favourite photo of the two kids to Photobox, see it appear in the panel on the left of the screen, and simply click to add it to the design window.

From there, all I had to do was check a preview of how the photo would look on the apron. I made a super-quick edit to ensure the two kids’ heads were in the centre, and clicked the shopping trolley to checkout.

Next I needed to think of something sweet for my own smashing Mum. In recent months, she’s developed some health issues, and is currently much less agile than usual. While I loved the photo mugs and personalised cushions, I wanted a present to help take her mind off things.

The photo jigsaw was just the ticket: I can already picture her puzzling over her grandkids’ cute faces.

Speedy, simple and superb quality

Selecting and ordering these two unique and truly personal presents for these wonderful women took me less than 20 minutes: for a time-strapped mum like me, it was ideal.

Both parcels arrived promptly, and well packaged, via Royal Mail. The picture on the apron is larger, and therefore clearer than it appeared on the Photobox website, which is a bonus. And I’m really pleased with the quality of the apron material.

But the real treat, for me, is the jigsaw. It just looks so classy and professional (I’m a big Ravensburger puzzle fan); I can’t wait to see the look on my mum’s face when she opens it!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing mums out there. We couldn’t do it without you.

Zoe Craig is a freelance journalist and mum-of-two, juggling writing about arts, culture, parenting and lifestyle while enjoying time with her kids.