A Mother’s Day celebration may include sharing a meal, an early morning hike, or a cup of afternoon tea and a visit with grandkids. Often there is a gift involved, and if your mom is far away, timing the delivery of your sweet surprise is just as important as the gift itself. If your mother lives out of town, the first line of business is to get your gift in the mail today! If you haven’t purchased something yet, consider buying a thoughtful gift online and have them deliver it to her by Mother’s Day.
I’m sharing some recent questions I’ve received about this special occasion.
Q: I won’t be able to visit my mother during Mother’s Day since she is states away, but I want her to feel acknowledged and loved. What can I do besides sending her flowers?
A: Consider your mom’s personality, her likes and her favorite preferences. If she is a spa kind of girl, she would probably appreciate a gift certificate (for two, and encourage her to take a friend) for a massage or pedicure. Top it off with another gift card to her favorite deli or tearoom. My own mother loves fresh bath towels and nothing would make her happier than receiving some new, fluffy towels on Mother’s Day. Wouldn’t be my personal choice, but it makes her squeal with joy. Done! No one knows your mom better than you do – put your thinking cap on and make her day!
Q: My step-mother, mother-in-law, and biological mother all live in the same city and I and want to do something for each one of them. What is the best way to handle this while still keeping the peace?
A: Depending on how many miles apart they live, and how long you generally spend with each “Mom,” it may be best to break the visits up throughout the week and weekend. Invite one mom out to dinner during the week and spend a nice, relaxing evening together at her favorite restaurant. Take another mom out for lunch and a movie, and visit another mom, bringing pizzas, drinks and her favorite board game. I can’t tell you which mom to visit when, but based on their personalities, you can tell who needs to be seen on the actual day. It could be you! Your husband might have plans for you and your kids, so it may be best to spread the love throughout the week so you can go on a mini vacation over Mother’s Day weekend. Be sure to make equal efforts for each and every mom.
Q: How can I gently encourage my husband to plan a Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch, involving the help of our young children? I’d like this to become a ritual for our family, and am afraid it may not happen if I don’t say something.
A: There is nothing wrong with letting your husband know what you would really appreciate from your family. Husbands usually welcome ideas, and kids love to make their mom’s day one of a kind. Say, “What I would really love is to start a Mother’s Day tradition with you and the kids. Do you think we could start the day out with brunch?” Asking in a kind, non-confrontational tone is the key to cheerfully starting a new Mother’s Day ritual.
Q: This Mother’s Day I will be 8 months pregnant. Should I expect a gift from my husband?
A: Your husband will probably want to do something thoughtful since this is such an exciting time. “Expect,” however, is a tricky word, and sets your husband up for failure if he doesn’t deliver. You can either have a friend give him a gentle hint, or wait and see what he comes up with on his own. Either way, if he does something in honor of the day, act overjoyed, and if he doesn’t, give him a break. He is more than likely focused on the upcoming birth and will definitely make it memorable the following year. Sometimes guys just don’t know! There is no exact rule for this situation, and by keeping your expectations in check you won’t have a disappointing “pre-first” Mother’s Day.
Q: Does protocol dictate giving my mother-in-law a gift for Mother’s Day, or should this be handled by my husband?
A: Protocol dictates you show respect to family members, but doesn’t clearly state who is in charge of physically buying the gift. Whether you or your husband handles the purchase may depend on who has the most time, and the best gift giving taste. You and your husband are a team, and communication is important to decide who will pick up your mother-in-law’s gift. If your husband asks for help, it would be nice to oblige, and vice versa. This could easily turn into a passive aggressive act if you say, “I’ll buy a gift for my mom and you buy for yours…” unless your tone and the spirit of the suggestion is taken in the right way. Keep in mind the day is set aside to honor your mom and mom-in law, and they don’t need to know who physically bought the gift.
Q: I have been blessed with 5 children, all of whom are now scattered around the country. They all send me lovely gifts for Mother’s Day, do I need to write each of them a thank you note, even though they are my children?
A: This is a precious day where you will want to make every effort to thank them for their kindness. While picking up the phone is special, a handwritten note is something they can keep, look back on, and treasure in the years to come. Yes, I would highly encourage writing them each a personal thank note, as well as thanking them in person, or over the phone if you don’t get to see them on Mother’s Day.
Q: My mother passed away last year, making this my first Mother’s Day without her. Do you have any ideas about how my siblings and I can share in the day?
A: I’m so sorry for your loss and know Mother’s Day may be difficult for you and your siblings. If you are lucky enough to get together with all your brothers and sisters and their families, the best way to honor your mother is to love her family members. Have a wonderful time, share a meal, play a few games, and tell funny stories. Propose a heartfelt toast, in honor of your mom, and speak of how she is the reason you are all together today. Children are impressionable and spending the day crying and acting depressed will not be in the best interest of your kids. Respectfully acknowledge your sadness, but don’t allow a gloomy mood to overwhelm the day. Talk with your siblings also about pooling resources to donate to a charity on your mother’s behalf.
Q: What are some of your favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas?
A: My oldest daughter took a look at my Pinterest page and found some things I most recently pinned. She came over yesterday and gave me a gift bag filled with a few small, but thoughtful items, based on my latest pins – so creative. My younger daughter knows I love a nautical theme in summer and found a phone case, along with a bracelet with the blue and white stripes. My son wrote me the sweetest card – when he says “I love you,” my world shifts because he is typically not as demonstrative as my other two. All three got me very sweet gifts, and special cards because they know how I love to “ooh” and “aaah” over every word they write. We celebrated Mother’s Day a week early because next weekend is one of my children’s birthdays and two celebrations at once isn’t as fun as one big birthday for the birthday girl.
When it comes to Mother’s Day, the key is to pay attention to what your mom likes (again, I’m not motivated by a bath towel, but a pretty frame and a nautical bracelet – that’s another story) and go from there. What does she value, collect, or really need? Above all, she wants to know you love her to the moon. (Don’t forget to write it down in a card so she can show all her friends!)
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms and Moms-to-Be.