“She had my back, supported me. This is the role of the mother, and in that visit I really saw clearly, and for the first time, why a mother is really important. Not just because she feeds and also loves and cuddles and even mollycoddles a child, but because in an interesting and maybe an eerie and unworldly way, she stands in the gap. She stands between the unknown and the known. “ ~ Maya Angleou.
Over the past two months, there has been so much change, stress, and loss. The times have been scary, and have forced us to rethink how we connect–in our jobs, with our friends, and with our families. And as we approach the next stop on our Lockdown Holiday Train, perhaps this is the year to take a little extra time to connect with Mom and let her know just how much she is appreciated.
So, in preparation for Mother’s Day, here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when honoring Mom this May (Dads listen up here–your help is needed …)
(*Please note, all efforts great and small are to be applauded. This list is for fun only. Also, I also polled REAL LIVE mothers for this list, so the research is sound!)
- Don’t, for the love of all things, wake her up! Breakfast in bed seems like a sweet idea, but in reality, it is not. First, there is the waking up part (which is just cruel), then there is the whole food part. You see, beds and pillows are soft and squishy. Not the most stable platform for eating and drinking. Think of it this way: Orange juice? Cold and stains. Coffee? Hot and stains. Toast? Crumbs for days in places you do not want crumbs.
- Do let the woman sleep! And, while she is sleeping, make a lovely breakfast she can enjoy at her leisure. Have the coffee percolated, fruit cut, lovely baked goods arranged on the table. Bacon crispy and nearby. Alternatively, you can plan ahead and order her favorite coffee and treats from one of the local coffee shops and bakeries in your area that are offering curbside pickup. Not able to share the same space with Mom? Think about a basket with some tasty goodies left on the doorstep.
- Don’t forget the flowers. (If she is a flower person that is.) This is a great day for a beautiful bouquet. This does not include picking flowers from the front yard, your neighbor’s yard, or anything that she will have to plant to enjoy two months from now.
- Do, again, plan ahead! Like many small businesses, local florists and flower-growers have been hit hard with quarantine restrictions. Reach out to them and see if they are offering curbside or if there is a way to arrange for pickup. If not, many local grocery stores have floral sections. Even better, find ones that source locally!
- Don’t think a card, some flowers, and done. Mother’s Day is just that–a day … ALL DAY. That’s right, all momma, all day. Not only did she bring you into this world, but also she dedicates more time and space to your needs then you will ever know.
- Do: what she wants. How do you know? Ask. Then listen. If she wants to read in peace, then give her that space. If she decides that she wants to go for a family hike, or play badminton in the backyard, do it. If she decides she wants to watch all the John Hughes movies in order, or Elf or HGTV or CNN … hand over the remote and watch without complaining. Better yet, let her watch and go clean your room, bathroom, or other chore she is always after you about–without being asked! Remember, this whole day is about her.
And of course, should go without saying– NO FIGHTING! Or bickering. Or anything resembling a grumble. Save it. Put it away. There are 364 other days she gets to hear it.
Need more? Here are some other fun ideas that have been popping into my head:
- Get out the family photo album and just go through it telling stories. Or, how about trying to recreate a photo or two?
- If it is her thing, create an in-home spa. Put down the scissors—I did NOT say haircut (even if she desperately needs one). Rather, a nice bubble bath or favorite scent in the diffuser and soothing music. Google it. There are many great ideas out there.
- Diner and a show. Again, many local restaurants are offering curbside pickup. Order what SHE wants (see the theme here…), not your favorites, not the regular old take-out you have all the time. And by show, I mean create your own. Sing a favorite song. (Hers, not yours. Absolutely no, no, NO Frozen… or Trolls.) Maybe a small talent show. Just make sure she has front-row-center seats and her camera ready!
- Recreate a family memory or vacation. You have time … get creative.
For those who are far away from Mom, make sure to reach out and spend a few extra moments on the phone, or better yet (you know what I am about to say …) VIDEO CALL! Let her see your beautiful face. Send a card with a handwritten note.
For those who are stressed or exhausted and don’t have the energy left to make big plans, that is okay– just let Mom know she is appreciated.
For those who this day is hard for any number of reasons, honor that and take a moment for self-care. Maybe do one of the things suggested above for yourself. We all need to be gentle with ourselves and with others. A good rule for any time, not just pandemic time.
Stay safe, stay home, and we will see you on the other side.
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