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What Mother's Day means
As Mother's Day approaches once again, we thought it would be fitting to give the stage to those who really know what it means to be a mother.

You may simply take a little inspiration from their stories, get a new gift idea or just remember to call your mom on Sunday the 10th of May, but sometimes there is nothing better than listening to a mom.

Tania has been a daughter, a pet owner, a sister, a friend, a wife and a mother. She has three kids under three (gulp), a very successful blog and most importantly, a sense of humour.

This year will be my third Mother's Day and we made three of them in this space of time (ok, two of them did arrive at the same time).

Last year our twins were a mere 2 months old and as much as I intellectually try to ignore the whole thing, it was great to get:

1. a cup of tea I didn't make
2. a gift
3. 15 minutes to myself

This year all I want is to take my family somewhere quiet for Mother's Day and not share them with anyone. Somewhere by the sea where they can play in the never-ending sandpit and run to their hearts' content. Where the sound of the sea is their lullaby and I can smell it in their hair when I hold them.

But most importantly, I want the little buggers to pass out at night and give me the best Mother's Day gift of all: an uninterrupted night's sleep.

Belinda is mom to seven year-old Rhiannon, a dedicated blogger, oh and she totally forgot to get married.

Being a single mother has many challenges and one of these that I find most depressing is that there is no partner to egg your offspring on to remember Mother's Day. So generally I get a badly drawn heart and maybe a chocolate and that's it. Not that I am complaining mind you. Mother's Day is every day -it's in the little details.

The details like laughing with my daughter, she has an AMAZING sense of humour. I love being woken up by one word being whispered in my ear: "Lasaaaagne!" I eventually worked out she'd clearly been watching Garfield one too many times.

Or being able to use the fact that I have a kid as an excuse not to go out nor do something I don't really want to do. I love being home and hate going out. It's really cool that I have an excuse now: "Sorry, no babysitter". And no, dear friends reading this I would never do that to you!

Or letting decorating my daughter's bedroom become my obsession. I think it stems from a thwarted desire to have a lovely princess bedroom when I was little. Her room is gorgeous and a never ending project. Although I must admit, the extreme ‘pinkness' is becoming a tad overwhelming.

Hearing her say "I love you" when she is half asleep on her pillow at night. No matter how tired she is, she still never fails to say it. Even after the hardest most revolting day at work that makes it all worthwhile.

So for now, I will look forward with great anticipation to my badly drawn card and chocolate gift for Mother's Day. Who knows, this year she may just surprise me.

Adele Hamilton is the editor of Parent24 and mom to both a teen AND a tween.

My 14-year old son was invited to go away for Mother's Day weekend with another family. I could see he was torn, not sure if I was putting on a brave face or really didn't mind. As he was leaving I noticed he had scissors in his hand, and I said, "Why are you taking your good school scissors away for the weekend?" He muttered something about needing to cut stuff, and I thought no more of it.

Late on Mother's Day he was dropped off at home. Within seconds he proudly handed me a hand-made card, with a pop-up heart cut out of coloured paper.

"THAT's why I needed the scissors!" he said proudly.

It made me feel so special that he had taken the time on his weekend away to put the scissors into action for me.

Don't think he will do it this year, the teen hormones have well kicked in now. *sigh*

Selene is the editor of GoTravel24 who is (*nervous gulp) taking a break from us very soon to welcome her new son into the world.

As a mom-to-be I'm quite excited about Mother's Day, which is quite a change considering that I'm really not one for commercialising my emotions or my holidays.

After finding out that I was pregnant a few months ago I visited my mom up in Pretoria. We had one of those late-night girl sessions and both of us became exceptionally nostalgic as she hauled out my baby album. What really surprised me was another little album I didn't even know existed. In it was every ‘Sorry for being so naughty' and ‘I Love You Mom' note, as well as every ‘Happy Mother's Day' crayon card I'd ever made her (being an editor I had to cringe slightly at my spelling back then). She even had a few of my milk teeth in some cotton wool *lump-in-the-throat-gulp*.

So I guess when it comes to Mother's Day and the simple pleasures of life - these reveal themselves when we take the edge off by not trying to rationalise everything to smithereens as adults tend to do and allow ourselves a childlike perspective every now and then - because nothing can compare to the honest sincerity of a child or how much it's appreciated many years later - bad spelling and all.

Loren Stow is a photographer and blogger, but more importantly a mother to little Malakai, a little boy born with Down syndrome who has come with a message.

As my first Mother's Day approaches I can think only of how my son has taught me in eight months what I couldn't learn in 28 years by myself. That life cannot be planned. That it is only this moment that counts. That acceptance is the key to freedom and love.

Malakai decided to arrive on 08/08/08, a rather interesting date. Shortly after birth, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome. We were devastated, torn apart, confused and full of fear of the unknown.

About a month after Malakai was born I remember burping him after a feed and he looked up at me and held my gaze with his blue-grey eyes. I knew instantly that he was a wise soul, he had chosen his path in life and he had chosen me to walk the path with him. I could no longer feel fear or sadness, because I was filled with the knowing that he would be ok, I would be ok and that this would be a beautiful journey.

This Mother's Day, as a family we will be spending a divine week in my favourite part of the world - Clarens in the Free State. This nostalgic landscape, conjures up childhood memories of jumping on my bicycle, with my dogs at my heels, and taking off down dirt roads, free and full of excitement for what the day held - a place that later became a refuge of renewal for my soul.

It is only fitting that my first holiday with my son would be to go back to this place, to come full circle as a mother, to proudly introduce this landscape to the boy that renewed me once again.

Sam is the editor-in-chief of Women24, a working mum with two boys, a wife, a holiday canoeist and a columnist.

The truth is, we don't really do Mother's Day... because I am the work away from home parent and my husband Andreas is the work at home parent. It's always seemed kind of strange to Dreas and I to celebrate a day which is all about ‘what your underappreciated Mum has done for you this year', when I haven't washed a fork for over four years. If anyone deserves more appreciation, it's Andreas... society doesn't give stay-at-home Dads nearly enough applause.

So when do I feel most special as a mother? Well, the last moment I remember is when we were in Nature's Valley on holiday last week and my eldest Josef and I got up really early to go canoeing. There we were on the clear calm water, surrounded by Tsitsikamma and unbelievable blue sky and Joey turned to me and whispered: "Hey, Mom. I think we found the most beautiful moment in the world."

It's moments like that when I am so incredibly stoked to be a mother I could just explode.

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