Mom sure knows how to keep it real… and she does have a point.
Sometimes, actually lots of times, our “old-fashioned” parents aren’t into all the fancy gifts or celebrations. They’ll certainly appreciate ’em, but as always they’re more concerned about our finances than we are ourselves! Aw shucks, Mom, we love you too! 😀
So there are times when Mom’s heart is in other things. In these cases, the typical “Top 10 Gifts…” or “Top 5 Restaurants…” articles might not have what we’re looking for.
Let’s find out what will actually appeal to Moms who like to buck mainstream trends!
So what CAN we get Mom?
Well, we can start by playing detective and understanding what Mother’s Day is really all about! After all, the day is about “giving back” to Mom, but before we list down the commodities we can buy for her… let’s remember what Mom did for us in the first place. We can all agree that they generally can’t be bought with money. That’s why we’re showing appreciation for ‘em in the first place!
We’ve got to know what Mommy really wants. Of course, if you ask her she’ll just say that she doesn’t want anything. Nice try, Mom!
That’s why we’ve asked several other mothers instead! Clever, huh?
Here’s what they think!
Jane, who is a mom to a 6-year old, gave us this take on motherhood and the day that celebrates it:
“As a mother, I can say that this is not the easiest job because it is your ‘forever job.’ You’re willing to give everything just for the sake of the family even though it is hard for you… you make it possible just for them.
“Sometimes, I can say that I want to quit but I realize that I have a family now and they’re my responsibility… The pain, that you don’t want to experience because you’re afraid that you can’t handle it, now you’re experiencing it. Those problems that you think are really hard to solve, now it’s really for you to solve them without any hesitation. That’s what a mother can do.
“Mother’s Day for me is about showing how we love our mothers. Show them some gratitude for taking care to all of us since we were young. On this day, we can give something precious to our mothers just to prove to them that we are so lucky to have them.”
Stef, whose son was recently hospitalized, explains how the day is now even more meaningful to her, saying that:
“I like that people make a big deal out of Mother’s Day. For this particular year however, it is entirely special. My son just recovered completely from a car accident. When I saw him got hit by a car, I thought that was it. I thought that I lost him. For Mother’s Day, all I ask is to spend it with my son and celebrate that he’s safe and healthy. I am just glad I get to spend more years with him, making Mother’s Day something I would look forward to year after year.”
We also asked some new moms!
They’ve just recently settled into the role of being moms so the past few months have been a flurry for them.
Nikkah, has this to say about the meaning of Mother’s Day and her needs for the occasion:
“Mothers sacrifice a lot, like their time, money, energy, and health just to raise their children everyday. Therefore, everyday should be mother’s day as well. Hahaha! What I need? Appreciation and respect, not just from my kid but also from my husband and other members of the family who have knowledge about my role at home.”
Katie, an HR trainer, tells us what she wants and needs for the occasion:
“Well… I just want a day off from all the chaos as I call them (father and son). Yet I want a day filled with the two of them too! I want a day of pampering in a spa… the whole 9 yards… massage, aroma therapy, body scrub, sauna and mani-pedi.. then dinner at home. Cooked by my boyfriend and then cuddle time with both of them while we watch something fun on TV or watch a movie. I hate cakes, flowers and maybe cards but who would not love them if your child gives it to you, right?”
We also decided to ask some Dads for their perspective!
They share what it means for them and what they think it means for their Significant Other. Don’t worry Dads, you’ll get your turn for a dedicated article when Father’s Day comes around!
Hendrix, a working father and a romantic at heart, gives his two cents on Mother’s Day and its meaning:
“Mother’s day is a reminder for me that it always takes two to make a relationship work. There is no better half, just a better relationship. Well most dads only remember to value their partners on that day, forgetting that there are 364 other days in a year. Mother’s day for me is like a reaffirmation of the personal vows I made when I decided to commit to my partner, that of valuing the give-and-take nature of a successful relationship.”
Adrian, a supervisor who also happens to be Stef’s husband, gives us his two-for-one view on Mother’s Day.
As a husband and a dad:
“It’s easy to let my partner know how much I appreciate her on Mother’s Day – it is concocted by the evil marketing geniuses at Hallmark and retailers to push more product between Easter and Christmas.
But Mothers’ Day matters — especially when the mother in question is the mother of your children.
Dine with her to a fancy restaurant or make her a simple candlelight dinner: even if it’s a simple meal, the gesture will make her feel like it’s back in the days when I was still courting her.
My child will never be here without my partner. I love her and I will care for her, since day one until death parts us.”
And as a son:
“Mother’s day is the day of the year where we appreciate what our mom’s did to us. Your mother conceived you, she carried you for nine months and was probably nauseous most of that time, and, most likely, she raised you, fed you, cared for you when you were sick… The list goes on.
“Your appreciation should not be reserved for one day a year. Every day ought to celebrate your mother’s hard work; every day is the perfect day to let her know that you appreciate the life she gave you.“
These show that Mother’s Day really is more than just gifts and gadgets. It’s about capturing and celebrating the whole experience of motherhood, the ups and the downs, the memorable moments and the routine ones alike. We agree that ideally everyday SHOULD be Mother’s Day, as Nikkah said, but this might not be doable for a lot of those who live away from their moms. Nonetheless, that makes it all the more imperative to set aside at least one day to show our appreciation for everything. And how better to do that than by giving Mom a memorable experience as well? Let’s make Mother’s Day count!
We’ve got some ideas, they might not be completely new but there’s something to be said for tried and tested methods. Plus, with a new perspective on what Mother’s Day means, one can totally put a new or different spin on these, give ‘em some more cowbell!
Do all the chores for Mom! Let her sit back and relax!
Time off from parental responsibilities! Like what Katie said, some respite from the chaos and chores – at day at the very least – would be great gift that would be appreciated. Let Mommy chillax and be a queen for a day! Give the gift of some actual rest and relaxation, since nowadays leisure can be as energy-intensive as work! Cuddling up with the hubby and the baby might not seem like much, but it actually means all the world to a mom. Especially for all you workaholics out there!
Have a great dinner… that you home cook for Mom?
Adulting ain’t easy but there’s something immensely satisfying with making a home cooked meal. Particularly if it’s something that you don’t just scarf up by yourself, something actually made for others as well that you all eat together! That must be what Mom must’ve felt like whenever she whipped up a batch of the good stuff and watched everyone loosen up their belts.
So… it’s pretty fitting, even poetic, for the student to become the master and for the kid to be the one making a fine meal for mom!
Let her sit down and relax for once! Fine, if she REALLY wants to she can help… a little bit. If she thinks it’ll be a disaster if she’s not in the kitchen herself.There’s something therapeutic with working together to prepare a meal. You can even use this as a chance to finally find out the secret behind whatever dish Mommy specializes in. Especially if she also bakes! Some old-fashioned apple pie… mmm.
Whether you make a home-cooked dinner or go out, if you’re also a parent then you can also have your kids along. If possible, you can bring the grandparents too. So Mom and Dad won’t feel THAT old – just kidding! What we mean to say is that it’s a great opportunity to bring the family together, the more the merrier after all!
And if you don’t have kids, if you’re a fur-parent then go ahead and take Mom out for an outing with your fur-babies! They’re not quite the grandkids she imagined… but they’re still totally adorbs!
If Mommy’s a dog person then a trip to a Dog Cafe will be a total blast. Cuddling with funny-faced pugs, petting graceful Huskies, belly rubbing those stumpy-legged Corgis! That’s the best thing ever.
Interview Mom! Have a heart to heart, record it and rewatch it in the future!
Mommy knows best, including making How To videos for Youtube! So leave the camera running and just… ask Mom. How she met dad, what her parents or parents’ parents were like. Have her describe how life was when she was your age or even younger. What crazy things did she get into during her day? Let her share her favorite recipes or show how to knit that perfect sweater. Maybe she can open up that old photo album and recall the stories behind each picture. Moms have all sorts of stories to tell and we could use a lot of reminding. Since we ought to be more appreciative of all sorts of things.
We got this idea from a USA Today article that also has great advice on how to frame the scene and what gear can be used to make an affordable but well-produced record.
Convince Daddy Dear to Hold a… Foot Spa! With a back massage… and the whole deal!
Yes, this is a bit of a cop out since it involves getting Dad to do all the work for us. But… why not? Let’s hope Dad’s a good sport. You can document the event for posterity. Or leave them at it so it’ll be more intimate… hehehe.
Treat her to… a surprise get together of all her favorite people!
Now this, THIS is a real achievement if you can pull this off! Usually it’s the immediate family, Daddy dear, the siblings, the grandparents. And that’s wonderful because these really are the people we hold dearest to our hearts!
If you want to over-achieve, you can go gather in secret Mommy’s other favorite people, all her friends and gal pals and so on. Plus points if they are also moms and if you know their kids, so you can all pool together your Mother’s Days for one big Mega Multi-Mother Meetup! That’s what you call a C-C-C-COMBO!
No matter what the treat, make Mom know you love her!
Even a simple card, scribbled in crayon like a preschooler, can tell Mom everything that needs to be said. No plans or gifts? Just give her a hug then!
There are families here that for some reason or another can’t get together, can’t meet face to face. Maybe they’re too far from each other. Maybe family members are in different countries. So greet Mom with Skype! Send a text! A long distance phone call, even.
Most importantly, say that you love her! She already knows this, of course. Maybe that’s why some Moms just go “Bah it’s commercialism!” because they think they don’t need reminders. Even if that’s the case, then it’s possible that Mother’s Day is more for us. Telling Mom that we love her, taking her out or giving her gifts is something we NEED to do.
It’s the simple stuff!
It is more than perfectly fine. It’s healthy on mental and emotional levels, it’s something we could all do more of. These rituals can serve as our reminders for each other as well as ourselves. Perhaps that’s how they initially came to be, once upon a time, many moons ago and all that. They might not have started out as these commercialized affairs but over time, well, everything changes for better or worse.
That’s why it’s important to spare some time – be it a moment or an entire day – to go back to basics, to the simple stuff, and see how far we’ve gone since then. Kind of like remembering our Moms and how we were once tiny little tots asking her for a bedtime story. 🙂