Ah, Mother’s Day. National “take-mom-some-flowers-and-then-out-for-brunch-after-church” day. While flowers and a meal are nice, do these things really let your mom know how much she means to you? In fact, have you ever stopped to really think about what your mother means to you much less found an authentic and meaningful way to tell her?
While I understand our nationally adopted ways of trying to give our moms some much needed recognition, I think we can do better. I think we can dig deep and each come up with something that will be truly meaningful. We can give our mothers something more than a symbolic bouquet. Here are a few ideas for showing your mother your appreciation this year.
1. Have a conversation.
If possible, arrange to have a few minutes at least for one-to-one time with your mom. And then have a conversation that doesn’t include life updates and chatter about your job. Think of some questions you can ask that allow your mom to share her wisdom with you – and then, listen. Ask how she decided to marry your father. Ask how she makes it through hard times or how she cultivates joy in her life. Ask her about the hardest time she ever went through or what memory brings her the most happiness. Give her a chance to talk. And pay attention to what she is saying. And then thank her for sharing her heart with you.
2. Take a walk.
Instead of heading out to brunch or lunch this year and waiting for an hour for a table, why not ask your mom to head to the park with you. Do some research and find local gardens or botanical centers. If you have greenways or conservation centers nearby, head there. Spend the time you are walking having a conversation.
3. Have a picnic.
Do this right by planning ahead. Go out tonight and get the grocery items you will need. Don’t ask your mom for input for once – this time, you are taking care of her. Choose items that will be good the next day – cold salads, cured meats, cheeses, olives, fruits, etc. Don’t forget to bring some drinks – lemonade or unsweet tea or make some iced mint tea just for mom. Tomorrow, swing by and pick your mom up and head to the local park or lake. Make sure you bring a blanket and chairs and give mom the heads up not to wear her best dress. Mom will probably try to help with setup and clean up, but let her know that her job today is to sit and relax. She can entertain you with stories while you take care of the rest.
4. Call her.
Like many others, I don’t have the option to hang out with my mom in person on Mother’s Day. But let’s not let best be the enemy of good. Pick up the phone and call your momma! Spend time talking with her like above. Sure it’s fine to catch up some, but don’t let the whole conversation pass chatting idly about your boss and the new restaurant you tried this week. If nothing else, make sure you tell her how much she means to you.
5. Write a letter.
This may be my favorite option because a letter is a treasure your mom can return to over and over. Take time to share some of your favorite childhood memories. Share some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your mom. Tell her about the things you admire the most about her. Let her know about a time you watched her handle a hard situation and what you learned by observing her actions. Tell her about the attributes she has that you are trying to cultivate in your own life. And for heaven’s sake, do not just send an email! Send a real, paper letter if you can. If you can’t, send her an email, but add your letter as an attachment so she can print it out without the Google logo on it.
However you decide to celebrate your mother this year, be sure that you voice your appreciation for her. Do not assume she just knows. Everyone likes to hear that they are loved and appreciated. Everyone feels good that someone took the time to share their heart. So this year, make your priority to add a more meaningful moment to your mother’s life.