5 Ways to Make Mother's Day Special
While magazines might have us believe that everyone is going to be gathered round a multi-generational table with lemonade & sunshine this Sunday, many of us are not going to be physically with our mom on Mother’s Day. Maybe she lives far away, or perhaps like mine, she’s no longer living. What’s the best way to deal??
The first Mother’s Day after my mom died felt like one endless Hallmark holiday-tear jerker….what were once charming & poignant TV commercials about the mother-daughter bond suddenly felt like a conspiracy to play with my emotions!
Many of my friends have had the same experience. But with a little effort, you can not only make it through the day but perhaps even come to embrace it. Here are 5 ways to rethink the Big Day:
1. Celebrate your mom in a new way & create some novel traditions. My mom loved church, social gatherings & pretty much any kind of sweets.
So going to church on Mother’s Day (which we don’t do regularly) & treating ourselves to donuts with the rest of the parish afterwards is a nice way for me to find that connection. Maybe your mom was (or is) an amazing athlete & you want to do a 5k in her honor….or maybe she loved museums?? Whatever it is, take the day to do something she would have loved doing, even if just for an hour — I guarantee it will be worth it.
2. Talk about your mom all day long! If you are lucky enough to have siblings, a dad, or others in the family who can join in with you, so much the better.
Sometimes when there’s a tense family dynamic, we try to just keep it to ourselves. Who wants to be Debbie Downer (although shout out to my classmate, Dartmouth ’88 Rachel Dratch, who created the character - you rock:) & bring up old memories??
But Mother’s Day is a day to give ourselves permission to talk about her as much as we want — funny stories, inside jokes, embarrassing & touching moments we might not bring up otherwise.
So go ahead & let loose!!
3. Don’t just sit there….make something. Here I’m taking a page out of my kids’ book - they really relished the chance to get crafty with some Mother’s Day stuff — not for me as THEIR mom but in honor their grandmother, which was fine with me! Haley, my youngest, has my mom’s old baking supplies & loves making treats the same way they did together.
Avery is very artistic & my mom always encouraged that when she was little, so she made several collages, some with words, some with images.
It doesn’t matter WHAT you make - it could be anything from a sand castle, to a charm bracelet, to a playlist! — it just matters that you give yourself the time to do it.
4. Get closer to a friend who’s missing her mom (or dad). One of my best friends lost her dad the week before Father’s Day - I mean, really, how is that timing fair?!
Just acknowledging the fact and letting your friend know you’re thinking of them on this suddenly annoying Hallmark holiday might make them feel a little less isolated (or at least that’s how I felt when people connected with me). It’s terrible that anyone has to go through this, but it does strengthen the bond when you go through something together….
If you are willing to open the door a bit, your friendships can grow to a whole new level.
5. If you have kids of your own, enjoy them fully on Mother’s Day — and if you have a friend who doesn’t have kids, think about including her too. We all have different kinds of maternal relationships - that older friend from work who always looks out for you….the younger mom at the bus stop who you seems to hang on your every word of parenting advice?! Mother’s Day is a chance to honor all the people who help with YOUR kids in ways big and small — and those unique relationships where YOU get to the kid again, as I do with in a way with my moms’ sisters for instance. Enjoy it all — and don’t let the static TV image of “Mother’s Day” tell you how to spend it! It’s your day.