Mother's Day is this Sunday and that's cause for celebration and acknowledgement of a 365 day a year occupation - raising us.
Mike Tweed talked to five Whanganui mothers about what it takes to fill this full-time role.
Sherron Sunnex has five foster children of various ages, four of whom still live with her.
"I got a few funny looks when I signed them in to kindy and school, because they've all got different surnames," Sunnex said.
"In total, I've got five children, five foster children, 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
"My youngest is four, so I'll be 77 when she's ready to leave home."
Sunnex said motherhood didn't end when children reached adulthood, however.
"Once you're there as a mum you're there forever, all the way through their lives. That's the way it should be.
"Even with my adult children, I'm still there. There's no piking out of this one."
Instilling a work ethic was something Sunnex said she tried to do with all her children.
"If you work, you get pocket money. I don't want them to think that life is just a handout.
"Three of my kids also have disabilities, so it's about teaching them about what they've got and letting them know it's nothing to be ashamed of.
"That being said, it's also not an excuse for bad behaviour. I try to help them live with who they are and how they can manage things."
Still having little ones around did have its perks though, Sunnex said.
"It's a good excuse to just get in the car and go on an adventure, and it gives me the chance, even at my age, to go down a slide and roll my pants up and get in the mud."
Her secret to keeping them all in line?
"Bribery works very well I find, and lots of praise and encouragement.
"My older children have embraced the younger ones, and we're all one big family.
"I'm very lucky that all my adult kids are good parents themselves, and the same goes for my granddaughter. They all work and they all look after their kids.
"I might have had a little bit of input with that along the way."
'Love and being present'
Elizabeth McMenamin-Pervan and her husband Craig moved home from Auckland a year ago with their son Atticus, and said the fact they wanted another child played a key part in that decision.
Their second son, Raphael, was born in Whanganui seven months ago.
"I guess the main part of being a good mum is just love, and being present," Elizabeth McMenamin-Pervan said.
"You put your own stuff aside to be there for them. That's a big part of why we moved back home. Obviously I'd still love to be living in a big, fun city, but I knew moving here was going to better for my kids.
"Once we had Atticus we realised how much we wanted him to spend time with his grandparents, who all live here.
"They're both so happy, and they have so many people in Whanganui who love them."
Elizabeth McMenamin-Pervan said "having lots of snacks on hand" was also a good idea with little ones around.
"You've got to let them watch Elmo from time to time as well.
"I've learned not to stress so much about the small things. Kids are only little once, so just enjoy them and don't worry about how chaotic your house is.
"There'll be time to hang out the washing, eventually."
'Can do' attitude
Christie Teki has spina bifida, and is a fulltime wheelchair user.
She gave birth to her son Nathan in 2003.
"It obviously wasn't an easy road, but I don't put anything in the 'too hard' basket," Teki said.
"I had several doctors warn against getting pregnant, but I found a gynaecologist here in Whanganui who said 'I can't see why you can't have this baby'.
"Unfortunately I lost the first child, but then I had Nathan.
"He's my little miracle, really."
Teki said she always tried to be involved as much as she could with Nathan's journey through primary school.
"I always jumped on the PTA and went on school outings and things, so the children didn't see me as different. I was just another mum.
"That was also for Nathan too, so he wasn't teased as a child for having a disabled mother."
She had never let her condition get in the way of opportunities for Nathan, Teki said.
"In some ways, I've probably overcompensated a bit, to prove that even though you've got a disability you can do all kinds of things with your kids.
"We took him to Disneyland for his 10th birthday, and we've been to Paris, England and Thailand. It's that 'can do' attitude, I think.
"Even though I was scared s**tless half the time, I was sitting next to him as he was learning to drive as well.
"Just this weekend we went fishing and caught a 10 pound snapper off Waipipi."
Nathan had grown up to have "a bit more compassion" for people with disabilities, Teki said.
"He's a kind, caring kid, but he does give me grief from time to time.
"I'll tell him to go and take out the rubbish and he'll say "you're an independent woman, why don't you do it?'.
"My job is to teach him how to be an independent young man though, because one day he'll be out there living on his own."
There were no hidden secrets to being a mother, Teki said.
"They don't come with manuals, even though sometimes I wish they did.
"You just have to love your children and give them all the opportunities to be able to grow into independent, great members of society.
"If you have their back then they'll have yours, and if I'm half as good a mother as my own mum then I know I've done a good job."
Rachel Puru and her husband Conway have looked after two of their granddaughters (four and two years old) fulltime for nearly two years, something she said had been a blessing.
They are part of a group who meet up once a week in Whanganui to talk about their experiences in raising grandchildren.
"Your life changes overnight, and for us we're parents for a second time around," Puru said.
"All those plans you had for later on in life, they change, but that's okay. That's what we do as Nana and Koro, it's all about our babies.
"At least I didn't have to give birth to these ones."
Puru said she and Conway had enjoyed creating new memories with their grandchildren.
"For me, when you have these two beautiful mokopuna who, every night, say 'Goodnight Nanny, I love you', that's really special.
"You're a bit wiser this time around, and you have a bit more patience and understanding. I'm not working now, so I'm fully dedicated to them, really.
"We're not the only ones either, there's a whole whanau and lots of friends who are around to help as well. We all share them and care for them."
The couple had gone back to the routines of parenthood, Puru said.
"There are clothes and school lunch boxes and stuff, and we had to buy a van.
"I had a little hatchback before the girls came to us. Then came the prams and carseats.
"There is the hard stuff, which is a whole other story, but as far as the actual parenting goes, that's been really, really, cool."
10 things to do this Mother's Day.
• How about making her a homemade face mask? Mash one ripe banana in a mixing bowl with a fork until it's a paste, then add a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and you've got yourself a nutrient-rich paste to cleanse the skin.
• You can't go wrong with flowers, and there are plenty of top quality florists in Whanganui. If you're feeling adventurous, you could even make a bouquet using flowers and plants from your own back garden. Haven't got any? How about planting some with mum this Sunday?
• Breakfast in bed is the classic Mother's Day treat. May we suggest smashed avocado on toast? You'll already have the mixing bowl out for the face mask anyway, just make sure you've cleaned all the banana off it first.
• Mother's Day marks PS Waimarie's last trip of the summer season. The famous riverboat has a fully licensed galley with hot and cold refreshments, so you can also shout mum a glass of bubbles while you enjoy a two-hour cruise on the Whanganui Awa.
• What are everyday jobs that your mum doesn't like doing? Do them for her. You should probably be helping out more than once a year, but if you're not, there is no better time to start than on Mother's Day.
• It doesn't matter how old you are, or how old your mum is, you can't go wrong with a bit of home baking. Even if your cake, slice, or pie tastes horrible, at least you can have a chuckle about it together.
• If your mum is less about cake and more about cardio, a session with a personal trainer is the perfect Mother's Day gift. Too intense? You could always trade that in for a leisurely bike ride down the Mountains to Sea trail to Castlecliff, for a walk on the beach and a coffee at the Citadel Cafe on Rangiora St.
• If you sent your mum running by throwing banana paste her, try tempting her back with a gift voucher from one of the numerous beauty therapists in Whanganui. Why not throw a massage in too?
• The Whanganui Music Society is hosting a Mother's Day concert at St Paul's Hall on Cooks St this Sunday. A vocal and instrumental recital begins at 2pm, featuring Ingrid Culliford, Win Livesay and others. Afternoon tea will follow, and anyone is welcome to attend. There is a $5 entry fee for non-members.
• Recreating one of your baby photos is a cheap, heartfelt, and potentially terrifying Mother's Day gift. Alternatively, you could make a time-lined photo collage of you and her together through the years. That could also prove to be quite terrifying, however.