Mother’s Day is a special time to honor your mother, and if you are fortunate enough to enjoy a warm, loving relationship with your mother, you can make it a time to celebrate your unique bond. Make your Mother's Day gift a special treat for yourself, too. We have several fresh ideas about how to celebrate your mom and yourself this Mother’s Day.
Over and over, empty-nest mothers tell me that what they want most for Mother’s Day is time with their children. A beautiful celebration of the love your mother has given you throughout your life is to finally take the time to learn how to make the childhood favorite that she prepared for you over and over again, or perhaps a family-recipe specialty that she always provides and you never get just right. An afternoon spent in the kitchen reminiscing over the delicious food of your childhood is a gift to both of you, and if you have children of your own, you are also getting something to share with them later.
Most women are fortunate enough to have a few close friends to share happy hour or a game night every so often, so we all know how enlivening it can be to share the company of women for a few hours. What if you take that same concept and apply it to a family get together? It could be as formal and intimate as an afternoon tea with just you and your mother or as rambunctious and convivial as three generations deep and two branches of the family wide at the local dive bar—it just depends on if your grandma likes to shoot pool! Make it ladies-only, and invite everyone to share a story about their own mother, or their closest aunt, or oldest cousin. This is a kind of memory-building that younger generations sometimes miss out on as families no longer stay in the same town decade after decade, children growing up four houses down from half-a-dozen cousins. Use the same care you take to nurture your relationships with your girlfriends to nurture your relationships with your female family members! Nearly all of us possess this skillset; let your cousins and your favorite aunt benefit from it!
Is there a weird museum in your state that you have always wanted to visit but just... haven’t? Something you and your mom and perhaps even your daughter or niece would love but that isn’t exactly of interest to the whole family? I’m sure there is! A quick internet search is sure to turn up a thimble museum or dollhouse miniatures museum or teddy bear museum. Little privately-owned jewel-box museums are everywhere. But your day trip could just as easily be to an historical center, a nature preserve, a conservatory, or a candy factory! The idea is that it should be to a place you are both genuinely delighted to visit, and by making it girls-only, no one has to hear a brother heave a bored sigh or Dad mutter, “I’m going find a bench.” Go to a country auction for antique glass, the Baseball Hall of Fame just for the Women in Baseball exhibit, or a famous restaurant three hours away. The idea is to take a whole day just for the women of the family, to share their time and interests unfettered by the demands of the rest of the family.
Do a little window shopping but keep it just window shopping. This can be tough, but there is a great payoff! If you and your mother are both fit to do so, go to a mall and just look around. Vow to buy nothing but lunch! Instead of concentrating on acquisitions, pay attention to the things your mother notices and admires. What colors and fragrances does she love? What fabrics or silhouettes draw her eye? Where do her tastes in clothing and home décor overlap or diverge? This is an exciting way to get to know a person better, and—the payoff—when you do want to give your mother a physical gift, you will have dozens of ideas from spending the day out window shopping together! You will have heard her say she needs a new cheese board or that her best tablecloth got a terrible stain. She may have mentioned that her favorite fleece robe has seen better days, or that she’d like to try a tankini for the first time instead of her matronly decade-old swimsuit. This is fodder for you to make presents to your mom that show her you care, and were listening to her. A great thing about this is that if you or your mother are not comfortable spending a long day on your feet, sit close together on the sofa and window-shop online! Or if you have a long-distance situation with your mom, get on the phone and shop your favorite website! I realize how silly that might sound at first blush, but my best friend and I are separated by five states and we do this often. It’s a way to spend time together and talk about the “nothing” that always turns into the “something” we really need to share. Give it a try!
If you are blessed to have a close relationship with your mother and want to do something to share the joy of your relationship with less fortunate women, consider volunteering together. You can celebrate your mom and yourself by taking your loving care to a nursing home, where women who did the work of mothering may be alone for the day, or to a women’s shelter, where celebrations of the joys of motherhood may be lost in the privations caring for a child under tough circumstances. Finding the right place to spend time and resources should be just a phone call or two, and you can double the pleasure of having a wonderful mother to celebrate by making Mother’s Day better for someone else.
We hope that this spring, as you look for ways to celebrate your mom and yourself on Mother’s Day, you will consider some of our fresh ideas for truly recognizing the woman you’ve become and honoring the women who helped you get there.