Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Created by Anna Jarvis in 1908, Mother’s Day became an official holiday in the US in 1914. The original intent of the holiday was to honor mothers by writing letters and giving them carnations (the favorite flower of Anna Jarvis’s mother). It has since turned into one of biggest holidays for card, phone and flower companies.
Because we live in a broken and imperfect world, many people dread Mother’s Day. Maybe your mother is no longer living. Or you have a broken relationship with her. Or you’ve tried for many, many years to become a mother yourself and it hasn’t happened yet. Or you live far away from your mother, or don’t have extra cash to invest in something ‘worthy’ of your mom.
There are lots of reasons this day might put a twist in your gut. But here’s my encouragement: Honor what you can, if you can, with your mother. And then focus on other mothers that might need a special boost for the day. Think of young mothers, single mothers, mothers of special needs kids, or ones that have recently lost jobs. Even if you can’t spend the day with your mother, you can still turn the day around and make it something wonderful for someone who needs some special recognition.
You don’t have to spend much (or any) money to make a difference. There are lots of heartfelt ways to show your mother, your sisters or friends, that single mother down the street, that you care with little or no money. Sometimes those things that cost time and not money often mean a great deal more in the end.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Write a poem or letter in appreciation or encouragement to your mother/sister/friend/single mother.
- DO something for her that needs to be done: Mow her lawn, wash her car, fill up her gas tank, cook her a homemade meal, weed her flower beds, watch her kids, make a trip to the dump for her, etc.
- Make her something luscious that feels indulgent.
- Help her with something she doesn’t understand: Show her how to use Facebook, set up a play list for her on an iPod, show her how to make sushi, or teach her how to use a smart phone.
- Set aside time for her to teach YOU something you’ve wanted to learn from her. Like her mother’s flakey pie crust or the family recipe that’s been passed down for generations. Or how to play backgammon or paint a painting.
- Surprise her with a family reunion (even if you have to do it virtually. You can set up a free conference call here ) or Skype session.
- Buy her a digital photo frame and set it up with her favorite photos.
- Buy her a blend of essential oils to use for perfume.
- Get her tickets to an experience that you can do with her (concert, painting class, pedicures etc.)
- Give her a coupon for free childcare, housecleaning, meals (that you will make and deliver), gardening, etc. to redeem as she needs.
- Give her a gift card for things that would make her feel special or give her a time out: spa, massage, movie tickets, etc.
- Set up a weekly walking date with her.
There are plenty of good ways to invest in those women in your life, mothers or otherwise, that cost little (or no) money that can really brighten their lives and make them feel loved. If you try something out of the box, or re-define what Mother’s Day means to you, please let us know what you did!
PS Here’s an interesting three minute history of Mother’s Day that I thought you might like.