'What,' the Vicar asked the assembled children at the Mothering Sunday service, 'does your mother do for you?'
'She cooks us nice meals,' answered one.
'She gives us love,' lisped another.
'She tells us off!' mumbled my son.
I marshalled a beatific smile and attempted to resemble the tirelessly loving, deliciously competent cooks in the pews all around me. I tied a tablecloth round a small boy who was portraying the disciple John during the sermon, I draped a blue handkerchief over the head of a small girl who was being Mary and I hoped that in the eyes of all but my offspring I embodied an icon of motherhood.
Then the children gave out daffodils to their mothers. 'I told 'em I had two lesbian mothers so I could get you two bunches,' said my daughter loudly. This time my beatific smile was ineffective. The elderly worshipper next to me shifted sharply along the pew.
When the service ended the octogenarian lay reader limped up on her frame. I feared she took a dim view of sapphic parenting and was wary as she thrust an envelope at me. Inside was a newspaper cutting of Myleene Klass dressed in skin-tight black leather. I was non-plussed.
'Is this a hint?' I asked, wondering how a leather catsuit would go with my new Mothers Union membership badge.
The lay reader contemplated my bobble-knit legs and unironed corduroy.
'You'd best stay as you are,' she concluded. 'You look like a mummy.'
Do you live up to others' ideals of motherhood?