Mom doesn’t usually get a thank you when she wakes up in the middle of the night to change diapers and provide food for her new babe. She will likely get more complaints and protests than gratitude when she makes healthy snacks and lunches for her child. And she probably won’t get many thanks when she drags that kid out of bed for school, church or hockey practice early in the morning, even though they know it’s for their own good.
But she will keep on doing all of those things, because she’s a mom.
It often isn’t until we’re moms ourselves, or we lose our moms, that we realize how much they did for us.
Probably the best gift you can give your mom (I’m speaking from my own perspective as the mom of three, step-mom of two and grandma of one) is your time and attention. She doesn’t need you to buy into the commercialism of the event and spend a lot of money on a gift – but if you want to, that’s perfectly fine.
What your mom really wants, I’m guessing, is to hear your voice on the phone, see you on Skype or Facetime, or spend time with you on Mother’s Day.
We don’t all have those perfect movie script mother-child relationships, so if you can’t imagine sitting across from your mom for an entire lunch date, ask her what she wants to do. Maybe it’s going to a movie together and sharing a laugh. Or going through old photo albums together, tidying up her storage room at the same time. Don’t forget the wine.
Your mom might want to go somewhere with you or she might just want you to tell her all about what you have been up to lately. Detail by detail. You can sacrifice the time. Think of all she has done for you.
If you don’t have a mom figure in your life, there might be another woman you can honour on Mother’s Day. Maybe a favourite teacher or coach who was your confidante during difficult times while you were growing up. Or maybe there’s a mom in your life who’s missing her own children and would love to spend some time with you on Mother’s Day.
If you’ve lost your mom, maybe you can honour her memory by pulling her old recipe box out and making some of her favourite dishes.
Looking for a gift idea for the mom who has everything? Here are some of my favourites:
- Book a photo session together. I did this one year and it was quite an experience. The photo shoot was moving, because you don’t usually spend that much time hanging on to this person you call mom. Spending an hour in each other’s embrace, laughing and goofing off for the camera is a memory you’ll treasure forever. With the photos to match.
- Buy tickets for a concert and plan to go together. Make sure it’s music your mom likes. If she isn’t into loud noises, consider a play or a comedy show. It will give you another experience to share and look forward to.
- Plan a day trip together. Go for a drive, do some window shopping and include some destinations from your past, with at least one stop for food. Stir up some memories and chat about the good old days.
- Book a spa day together. This can be a mani-pedi and hair experience at a salon, or a massage and soak at hot springs. The idea is to have some laughs and spend time together with no cellphone distractions.
- Make a photo book. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend with your mom on Mother’s Day but you want her to know how much you appreciate her, scan or take photos of old photos, and download recent ones onto a USB stick or your phone. Then head to a photo kiosk and print a hard-covered photo book. You can even add text. It’s a thoughtful gift and doesn’t have to cost much.
Happy Mother’s Day. Enjoy every moment.
Diana Leeson Fisher is married to retired university professor Jim Fisher and lives on a small farm near Kemptville, about an hour south of Ottawa.
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