Whether you're a new mum, teen mum, elderly mum, foster mum or a dad, Mother's Day is a celebration of everything women do for their children. Reporter Jenny Ling finds out what May 9 means to Northlanders.
After giving birth during New Zealand's level 4 lockdown and celebrating her first Mother's Day in level 2, Codie Hawkins is looking forward to this Sunday being a bit more normal.
The first-time mum and her partner David Robinot, from Ōhaeawai, had their little "lockdown baby" Ardie in Whangārei hospital on March 31, 2020.
Hawkins describes the arrival of Ardie as a "busy but quiet" time; preparations for an outbreak of the pandemic meant the hospital had been pretty much cleared out, and of course, no visitors were allowed.
"The first three months were quiet because we were in lockdown," she said.
"That was the hardest part, not having family come and visit.
"Everyone was wanting to see him.
"David's family are in France and his mum was gutted she couldn't come and hold him."
The family's first Mother's Day last May was when the country was in level 2, so again, they didn't venture out much, though Hawkins was grateful her mum was able to be there.
Now that Ardie has turned 1 and has started walking, albeit a little unsteadily, they might head to the Stone Store basin for a picnic tomorrow.
Hawkins, 40, loves being a new mum.
Having Ardie is even more special as, after trying for several years and suffering a miscarriage, she didn't think she could have children.
"He's gorgeous, he's a neat little kid who surprises me every day with everything he does," she said.
"I didn't realise you could love something so much."
MISS YOU MUM
Mother-of-two Melanie Vezey celebrates May 9 with gratitude and a hint of sadness.
The Whangārei resident was just 30 when her mum passed away in 1995 after a battle with cancer.
"We were extremely close.
"She filled the role of mother, sister and best friend.
"There was a piece of her that filled every female relationship need I ever had.
"We could talk or sit in complete silence and still connect.
"She was my inspiration for becoming a mother.
"I wanted to be as good a mum to my kids before I even had them, as she was to me and my sister."
Vezey and her sister always got their mum a gift for Mother's Day, and made her breakfast in bed.
Vezey would seek out a special Mother's Day card, in which she penned heartfelt messages, so she knew how she felt.
The May before she died she gave her three, as "every one seemed so perfect".
"I think about her on Mother's Day, about how much wisdom a mother can give to her daughter.
"They've lived, and they can give you advice about life and still let you find your own path."
Vezey, a marriage celebrant and communications coach, feels grateful for her time with her mum, but sad she didn't get to see her two sons, aged 16 and 19.
Though Finn and Jag sometimes have to be reminded about Mother's Day, Vezey feels loved by them always.
"Mother's Day for them is not commercially driven but I feel loved by them every day.
"And an everyday acknowledgement with my boys is more important than 'special day' important.
"We've got to say every day how we feel, not just once a year."
Liz Owen may have two children of her own, but she is mother to dozens more youngsters in her job at Ōhaeawai Community Preschool.
Owen, who is the centre manager at the Far North preschool, helps take care of 42 children on any given day along with her seven staff.
She is there every day, either "on the floor or in the office".
Her daughters aged 36 and 26 are head teachers at the preschool.
For Owen, May 9 is always special.
"Mother's Day is always about a day of gratitude and appreciation of the values you've been given and brought up on, and all the sacrifices your mum has made for you.
"A mother's heart is always caring about their children regardless of their ages."
Owen's own mum is 82, and she credits her for an upbringing that focused on "strong values and lots of love".
"Being a mum is about being kind to everyone that needs a hand, and about empowering people to make their own decisions because that's how we learn in life.
"It's not about money at all, it's about your values and where you've come from."
On Sunday, Owen and her daughters and their seven children will likely get together for a bushwalk or go cycling.
"It's precious family time."
Kerikeri resident Alyssa Stewart didn't plan on becoming a mum while she was just a teenager.
But the 18-year-old is so smitten with her baby boy Hunter, who is 20 months, she wouldn't change a single thing.
The student at Hiwa-i-te-rangi Teen Parent Unit Northland College said her son is "the best gift ever".
"It's definitely something I never expected to be celebrating this early in life.
"But he's the blessing of my life.
"He's taught me so many things life experiences could never teach you.
"He's an awesome kid, it's a privilege to be called his mum."
Stewart now looks forward to celebrating Mother's Day with Hunter; last year her nana made her breakfast in bed on his behalf.
This year her new partner "has been advised" to do the same, she said.
Then the trio will most likely go to the park and spend time together.
"It reminds me how much I do.
"To these little humans we're superheroes, we do everything and they look up to us.
"It's amazing to share experiences with my little man.
"It's nice to have a day to celebrate that."
Father-of-two Albert Cash has one important job to accomplish on Mother's Day; to shower his partner Alisha Takimoana with as much love and appreciation as humanly possible.
Cash and his two children, 5-year-old son Pounamu and 10-year-old daughter Manawarangi, usually make breakfast for Takimoana or take her out for brunch.
In the past, they've concocted culinary delights such as pancakes and scrambled eggs and bacon on toast, and they also do jobs around the house.
"They'll try all sorts; they will make mum anything they can to show their appreciation.
"On the odd occasion, if she wants to get up and about in the morning, we will go out for brunch.
"We do as much as we can to keep a smile on her face."
Cash, who is Fire and Emergency NZ's iwi liaison officer, also takes the time and effort to show his partner how much he cares.
"It's important to me to celebrate the awesomeness of having that enduring relationship and love.
"Her being the mother to our two children, is pretty much god's gift.
"From my upbringing and what we used to do for our mum, was to always shower her with gifts.
"She was the one who always stuck up for us, and my partner does the same.
"They're solid as rock, they have hearts of gold, and they keep the world real."