Medals for Mums

I was struggling round the supermarket yesterday, mustering the ingredients for the Book¬†Group dinner chez moi, and muttering grimly, ‘the first rule about Book Group is … I wish there were no Book Group….’ (naturally I love it when it’s at everyone else’s houses and I can nosh the night away. But when it’s at mine I go into muttering meltdown), when I saw a mother with four children.

One was a newborn, puce in the face¬†and screaming as loudly as its little lungs would let it. The next two were twin boys of about two and a half, taking it in turns to jam their hands up each other’s nostils. And then there was the girl of four, who was demanding everything pink in the shop and her mother’s total attention to boot. The mother, meanwhile, was gliding about, filling her trolley, listening, soothing and cajoling, smiling serenely, and looking as though she was actually enjoying the experience. ‘Give that mother a medal,’ I thought.

That got me thinking about the whole honours thing. Normally, it’s only people who don’t need medals who get them. The World Cup referee got one this year. I mean, I’m sure he’s lovely, I don’t begrudge him, but really, a medal? But clever Tesco has come up with a way to reward what is surely the most deserving, and definitely the most unsung, group in society – mothers.

Tesco is running the Mum of the Year 2011 awards, celebrating inspirational mothers who have transformed the lives of the communities around them. And, for the first time this year, you can vote in the People’s Choice category. There are three contenders, all of whom have not only done a great job with their own families but have reached out and done great things in their communities too.

I found reading their stories on Tesco’s Mum of the Year 2011 Facebook page very inspiring and emotional – I’m sure you will too. I know who I’ll be voting for. It certainly put cooking dinner into perspective! By the way, I made the cod bake from Jamie Oliver’s new book and it was delicious. Though it did not take 30 minutes. Well, all that muttering does slow things down, I find.

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