1. Take On Her Work Without Being Asked
Chances are that unless you’re a mother, you really don’t know just how much your mom does on a daily basis. Many women juggle family lives and careers, while also being active in their community and their kids’ social lives, and caring for the home.
This Mother’s Day, consider being really aware of the goings-on in your mom’s home and take the initiative to take care of things that ordinarily fall on her plate. Do dishes, take out garbage, do laundry, weed the garden—whatever you can do so she doesn’t have to will undoubtedly be appreciated, and if you can do that for the entire weekend instead of just one day, even better.
2. Find Out What Would Make Her Happy
We all have different ideas about what makes a gift or experience great, but we may not all be on the same page. If you’re an outdoorsy type, you may think that getting your mother a gift certificate for white water rafting is the coolest idea ever, but if her favourite activities are crocheting and getting together with her book club, she might not appreciate such a gift as much as you think she will.
Try to find out what she would really like for this holiday without asking her directly. You can ask other family members if she has mentioned any particular interests, such as a massage/pedicure combo, or a restaurant she’s eager to try out, so you’re sure to give her something she’ll truly appreciate. It could well be that the best gift she could receive is a day to herself, without any responsibilities or demands on her time.
3. Start a New Tradition
If you don’t yet have a tradition for celebrating Mother’s Day, start a new one. How about taking a family photo and vowing to take that same photo every year? Or having a glorious all-day picnic in a park nearby? Get together as a family and determine (with her input) what would be a lovely tradition to start, and make it happen.
4. Give Her Your Time
Time flies really quickly, and we often don’t get around to doing what we’d like for/with those we care about. Let your mother know that you’d like to spend Mother’s Day with her, doing something that she’d love to do, and then make it happen. She might be an adventurous sort and you two can go to an amusement park and stuff yourselves with funnel cake and ice cream, or she might like to have dinner somewhere special. Either way, be sure to keep your phone tucked away and devote all your time and attention to the amazing lady you’re with.
5. Write a Letter
No, don’t just pick up a card that has a mildly-applicable, saccharine sentiment in it and sign your name below words someone else came up with. This is an opportunity to write a heartfelt letter to your mother in which you tell her all the things you appreciate about her, whether it’s thanking her for everything she’s done for you, telling her how much you admire her for various reasons, or even just that you love her and that you’re proud to be her kid.
It’s best to write a letter like this by hand, even if your penmanship is less than impressive; typing is easy, but writing something out takes time and effort, which is always appreciated. Also important is sincerity: you may have had a truly crap-tastic childhood, and it could very well be that you and your mother have a strained relationship, but chances are that you have one or two really great memories that you can draw upon for writing inspiration. Remember that mothers won’t be around forever, so it’s important to let them know you care while you still have the chance to do so. You never know—a kind letter of appreciation might even improve your relationship.
6. Let Her Choose
If your mother has a particular fondness for something that you’re unfamiliar with, then give her carte blanche to decide what she’d like to get. You might love vanilla custard bath bombs, but that doesn’t mean that she does, and the last thing you want to do is give your mother something she’ll have to pretend to like, and then hide in the cupboard for re-gifting when you’re not around. You might be surprised at the items she’d choose, but those can influence your gifts on special occasions during the rest of the year.
*Bonus tip: If the item/experience she chooses is something you’d enjoy as well, offer to participate in it with her; she might appreciate your company, but don’t take it personally if she’d prefer to do it solo.
7. Make Something
Chances are that you’re good at something, so why not take the opportunity to make something special for your mum? If you’re a fabulous cook, put together a sumptuous meal that she’ll never forget. Are you an artist or designer? Put those talents to good use! If your only talent is a crazy gift for research, start a family tree and let her know that you’d be happy to trace your ancestry together.
8. Create a Garden
If your mother’s home has any outdoor space, transform it into a lush, gorgeous garden that she can enjoy and retreat to. If she has a large, unused space on her property, get her input on what she’d like done with the place and then either hop to it, or hire some landscapers to do it for you.
If the only outdoor area your mother has to work with is a small patio, that’s okay too! A couple of potted lilacs or climbing wisteria can flank either side with colour and scent, and you can use window-boxes along the length of the railing with all manner of flowers and herbs. Add in a little patio set for 2 and some hanging lanters, and voila: a mini paradise just for her.
9. Make a Donation in Her Name
Everyone has a cause that they feel strongly about, and your mom might really appreciate a donation made in her name to a charity she supports. If you and your mother have opposing beliefs and you wouldn’t feel comfortable supporting one particular group, then try to find one that you can both agree on, like human rights/child protection groups or similar.
10. Team Up for Lavish Pampering
If you feel like splurging a little and would like to do something spectacular for your mother this year, consider teaming up with other family members for a more extravagant gift. This could be anything from a weekend retreat at a spa where she can have massages, pedicures, and uninterrupted sleep, to front-row tickets for a performance she’s dying to see. Pooling resources means that no individual breaks the bank to make mum happy, but she’ll get to experience something gorgeous and remember all of you for having made that possible.
When deciding what to do for your mother this year, remember that some of the greatest gifts have nothing to do with “stuff”, but instead consist of experiences that bring joy, peace, and lasting memories.