Have you heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? Our communities play a huge part in how our kids grow up, and while we undoubtedly have smaller, more spread out communities now that we don’t all live in the same town/block/street as our family, it’s still important. In fact, it’s even more important.
My mum lives over 400 miles from me. We chat over text most days, FaceTime regularly and see each other every couple of months, but when you haven’t got your mum just down the road, having a support network around you becomes vital. Mine is mostly made up of parents from the six-year-old’s school – some I’ve known since the nursery days but most of them, since 2015 when I first became a “school mum” myself. I regularly call on their help with babysitting or doing the school drop off, if I’ve got an early meeting, and I’m only too happy to do the same for them. After my op in January, there was a rota of people taking the six-year-old to school for me, dropping her back at the end of the day, taking her on a playdate – everyone rallied around. I don’t actually know how I would have got through my recovery – or even just week to week, juggling work meetings – without them. Oh, and they all love a tipple. So we’ve spent many an evening drinking prosecco and sorting out the world.
Since it’s Mother’s Day this weekend, I’m taking this opportunity to say a BIG THANKS to the mums who help me, the mums who keep me sane and the mums who make me laugh.
As a treat, I took one of them – Elvi – out for the evening. Notonthehighstreet.com asked me along to a Learn How To Weave Weave Workshop held by Tea & Crafting in Camden. It’s just one of the many experiences that you can book on Not On The High Street, who this Mother’s Day are championing all sorts of mums across the nation and busting stereotypes of what a mum ‘should’ be, with their #ForMumsWho campaign.
Elvi is a no-messing Geordie lass whose worthwhile job (she’s works for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity dong amazing things with children’s medical research) shows she’s got a heart of gold – never mind the fact she was happy for me to drop the six-year-old off at her place at 6.45am recently, when I had an early flight to catch.
So the pair of us headed to Camden Market, for an evening of tea and weaving and we had the nicest time! Eleven of us sat around a big table that was piled high with yarns of every colour. Our lovely teacher explained how to start off making our wall hanging, and then let us get going.I went for bright colours (you’ll be surprised to hear) and even though I got slight FOMO looking around at some of the delicate pastel colours being used by others, I forged ahead with my bold, bright weaving!
A cake stand of home made fairy cakes sat in the middle of the table, and we could make ourselves tea whenever we wanted – it was just like being at home. As we wove, we chatted and slurped tea, getting into a bit of a rhythm with pulling the needle in and out of the threads.Before we knew it we were being told there was only half an hour left – even thought I didn’t manage to finish the weave I’m still pretty pleased with how it looks.
Elvi went for different shades of blues and greens, and a massive statement fringe, on hers. Sitting opposite us was a mum and daughter, and it struck me what a perfect activity this would be, to take your mum to. It’s a lovely calm few hours, you can switch your brain off from the outside world, catch up, drink tea, munch cakes, learn a new skill and have something fab to take home with you.
Brilliantly, if your mum’s not the crafty type, Notonthehighstreet.com have loads of different experiences you can book as a Mother’s Day gift that she’s guaranteed to like. Sipsmith Gin Tasting and Distillery Tour anyone? Swing dance class? I challenge you to struggle to find something you like the sound of! Buying your mum one of these experiences from the UK’s best small creative businesses will get you loads more brownie points than a bunch of flowers.
So thank you Notonthehighstreet.com for inviting me along to the weaving workshop, and for allowing me to treat my lovely mum friend Elvi to a relaxed crafty evening! It’s definitely #ForMumsWho want to hang out and chill out together!
This post has been commissioned by Notonthehighstreet.com as part of their #ForMumsWho Mother’s Day campaign, and as always all views are my own. For details of how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.