The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Memories Of Mothercare …

I know it’s ridiculous to feel sad about a store closing … especially a store I hardly ever went in and when I did, it was obviously catered for women rather than men, but the news Mothercare has closed has made me sad.

I don’t know how many times I entered that store.

I definitely remember walking in the one in Victoria Centre, Nottingham, with my Mum when I was a very small kid … but I probably never entered another store until 40 odd years later when I was going to be a dad.

Ironically that was in Nottingham as well, even though we were living in Shanghai at the time.

But there’s a significant reason why this store means so much to me, because that’s where I found out I was going to be having a baby boy.

We were in the UK on holiday and my kind, wonderful wife wanted my Mum to feel part of the journey. Her idea to do that was to have a scan that would tell us the sex of the baby and have the doctor write it down, put it in an envelope and let my Mum tell us over a nice lunch.

That morning, before the scan, we were having breakfast and trying to come up with names. We were finding it much, much harder than we had anticipated and were pretty happy that if it was a girl, she was going to be named Eden, Edi for short.

Excited, we went off to a non-descript industrial park where Mothercare was. Inside the store was another company that could scan pregnant women and tell them the babies gender.

It was there my Mum saw her grandson for the first time. She was transfixed by what she saw on the screen. Not just because of who it was but because she had never seen a scan like that in her life. When she had me, it was all “find out when they come out” but here she was, sitting in a room with her son and daughter in law, watching her grandchild move around while still inside their Mum’s tum.

It was an incredibly moving moment for all of us and I will always love my wife for having that idea and always treasure that day.

And it’s for this reason I’m sorry to see Mothercare go.

I know there are a ton of reasons for its failure – but it’s also where I got to share a moment with my Mum that I’d never had before and will never have again. A moment that, were she alive, she would remember as clear as day.

A pivotal moment.

A moment where she got to witness the evolving of her family in front of her eyes.

A moment where the legacy of her and dad would forever continue.

But for me it’s something even more than all that. Because while we didn’t know it at the time, it was a moment where my Mum met Otis for the first time. The only time.

And for that, I’ll always be grateful to Mothercare and sad to see it go.

20 Comments so far
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You’re a sentimental freak but this time you’re allowed. That’s a sweet story.

Comment by Bazza

Bit better than his pink door post.

Comment by Billy Whizz

OK, the pink door post was a genuine low.

I get it. Can we now leave it? Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

Yeah because there’ll be another new low round the corner.

Comment by Billy Whizz

It’s not even pink.

Comment by John

I wish more people were as emotionally generous as you Robert. This is a very touching story and even though the store is gone, at least the memory will be there forever.

Comment by Lee Hill

Thank you Lee. You’re right of course, it’s just i used to like it when I would see that store when I was in Nottingham. Wow, how entitled and selfish can I get? Ha.

Comment by Rob

That’s not even close to how selfish and entitled you can get.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Fair. But people in glass houses should not throw stones Billy. Especially with your selfish/entitled record. Ha.

Comment by Rob

condescending prick. good fucking work.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Jemma King

This is a lovely story. I didn’t know that’s how you found out you were having Otis. You have made me feel sorry about the loss of Mothercare and I don’t know if I ever visited there. Brands are often just a memory in our minds born from an experience. if they don’t keep helping make new ones, you become history. That and, from what I understand, a business model that was easily undercut by countless competitive retailers.

Comment by George

Brand brand brand. You’re worse than Rob.

Comment by Bazza

Hahahaha … such a cheeky sod Baz.

And yes George, you’re right – but like you said, even a continually updated, positive memory of a brand doesn’t work when you are selling mass market, generic products that can be purchased elsewhere for a much lo we cost.

Comment by Rob

Last time I try and protect your right to be sentimental.

Comment by Bazza

This is such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it Robert.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Thanks Mary.

Comment by Rob

Further proof that Jill is the creative genius.

Comment by John

was it ever in fucking doubt.

Comment by andy@cynic

the only fucking reason im not destroying you campbell is because your sentimental bollocks involves your mum, jill and otis. or you would be fucking dead.

Comment by andy@cynic

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