As a mama, it often feels like there’s just not enough time in the day—I often get up early to find a quiet moment to work and stay up late to fold laundry and prep breakfast. Especially with small children underfoot, I find myself craving time to enjoy something just for myself. So with Mother’s Day coming up, I took to my Instagram to see how other mothers want to be appreciated, and find out what they think is the best gift for mom—and the results are in!
Read on for my unofficial polls that show the top three ways that moms (actually) want to be celebrated. The answers might surprise you.
Alone time. Let’s be real: most of us have had our fair share of family time over the past year. So, it’s not surprising that moms want some alone time or time with their pals this Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, we all love spending time with our kids, but with WFH and homeschooling, most mama’s need a break before they *literally* break! Whether you book a staycation at a hotel, send them to the spa, or leave them alone at the house for the day, consider alone time as a solid option for mom.
What you’re giving mom is the chance to refuel and refill her tank. Be thoughtful in your approach. If the plan is to leave them at home alone, make sure you’re leaving them with a clean house to relax in. Maybe leave a premade meal or Postmates gift card, so they don’t have to cook something! Get creative—if you send them to a hotel or spa, make sure you send a little card or note in their bag letting them know how much you appreciate them and acknowledge their contribution to the family.
I also wanted to mention that this is particularly important to all the single moms out there. If you know one, I encourage you to go out of your way to offer some help. It can be as easy as inviting their kids over to play for two hours so they can take a shower in peace. Or, offer to make a meal for their kids and have them over for dinner. The gesture will be appreciated, and you’ll score some karma points too.
Spending Time in Nature
This year, what has become crystal clear to me is that mamas need to rest and recharge. So, it didn’t surprise me how many moms want to keep it simple with hikes, beach days, kayaking, and so on. Harvard Health says research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. They also state the link between the calming sounds of nature can lower blood pressure and cortisol, the stress hormone.
If getting out in nature on Mother’s Day seems like a crowded idea, think about creating an opportunity to make time to be in nature with your mom in the future. Tickets to a state park or garden paired with a blanket are a nice touch. If you’re a gift-giver, try something that might support and encourage their love of nature. Some items to consider are new trail shoes or a Porter water bottle. If mama is more of a fashionista, opt for a fanny pack or belt bag so they can be hands-free or a gorgeous sun hat. If you want to keep the vibes chill, try walking through a garden, reading in the park, or lying on the beach. The list goes on and on, and though your children’s mother might want time alone, your paternal mother might be longing for some time with you, especially if you have been apart during COVID.
I also wanted to mention (and this might be a touchy subject but I’m going for it anyway), if you’re an adult in a relationship and always do things with your significant other, I would encourage you to make some special one-on-one time with your mother. Though I’m sure your partner is incredible, it must be tough for your mother to always share their time with you with someone else. Mothers raise their children for years, and most of the time, all they want is for you to go off and meet someone special to share your life with. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t crave that one-on-one time they used to have with you. This is just a thought that an empty nester shared with me once and something I’ve encouraged my husband to do with his mother. Let’s face it, your partner will always be their baby!
The bottom line is, mothers want to know you appreciate them. So many moms answered with a thoughtful card or note. Sadly my mother passed years ago, but many women in my life have mothered me in one way or another; whether through modeling and mentoring or cooking home-cooked meals for me. Two of my closest girlfriends have shared their mothers with me in times of my life when I need it most.
My grandmother and aunts have also made a significant impact on shaping my role as a mother, and additionally, my mother-in-law has too. Needless to say, I’ve been blessed with mothers, and it’s important to acknowledge those mothers too. So, this Mother’s Day put pen to paper and let them know the impact that you have made in your life.
I want to leave you with one final thought. Mother’s Day can be a hard day for some. So whether your mother has passed, or you’re estranged, know that I’m thinking of you on this day and sending you all the love and light from my heart because motherhood means caring for and lifting all women in their time of need. Happy Mother’s Day!