Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed.
You have not hidden it.
That is your greatest gift to me.
Mother's Day is fast approaching... a day set aside to force us all to think about our mothers. Wait, wait, let me explain- what I mean is this: the job of being a Mother is made up of subtleties, feelings, guidance, and intangible things like love, support, and nurturing. If done right, they are all things that basically go unnoticed- taken for granted by her children, as they should be (for how terrible would it be if her children did not take these things for granted, and had to go to bed worrying about if they would be there in the morning?).
So commonplace are these beautiful consistencies that they become the background to our lives, and so for one day a year we have collectively decided that we should pause and focus on all that has been done for us to get us here.
So... exactly how does one honor the person that may never be completely understood by her children?
Well, you could start by saying, "Thank you."
Beyond that try out some of these ideas, complete with link love, for dear ol' Mummy. It is said all the time, but I believe that when it comes to Mother's Day it's especially true: It's The Thought That Counts. So get a jump on it and start thinking about what you'll be doing on Sunday, May 12th, so you won't end up in line at the drug store with a bar of candy you hope she'll like and a generic card featuring hugging bunnies and a goofy greeting in a 16-pt sparkly font.
Mother's Day Link Love
For the Sentimental Mommys:
- Put together a box/jar/container of some kind with 52 things you love about her, written on slips of paper, to be retrieved once a week for a year of appreciation.
- Put together a photo collage with a theme- you growing up (baby to present), a side-by-side of you, your mom, her mom, and maybe even your grandma's mom (if you have access to photos that far back!), or recent photos of you and your mom doing stuff together (traveling, crafting, etc).
- Go through your baby book/keepsakes, find some original artwork you did for her when you were a kid, and frame it.
- Make her a crafty version of a family tree.
- Have kids of your own? Do something crafty with their hand/footprints.
- Sit down with a blank card, meditate on who she is to you, write it all down, then send her the card.
- Turn her favorite baby pictures into jewelry.
For the Foodie or Chef Mamas:
- Get your hands on some heirloom, handwritten recipes, and frame them for her kitchen.
- Make her a table runner out of sentimental fabric scraps (from old blankets, clothing, fabric with a meaningful pattern or print, or even fabric you design yourself).
- Replace that thing in Mama's kitchen she's always cursing and "making do" with that should have been garage sale fodder years ago (new blender, sharpen knives, better coffee maker, new hotpot holders).
- Make her a compilation CD of music to cook by, or background music for her next family meal... maybe include a few songs that are meaningful to the two of you.
- Have enough unique family recipes to actually put together a cookbook? Why not? Make her a personalized cookbook of recipes from her own kitchen, or kitchens of the family!
- Make her a picnic tote, then make a lunch to go with it and take her on a picnic!
For the Mom with a Green Thumb:
- Rig up a gardening apron, fill it with new gloves, a few packets of seeds, and a bottle of sunscreen.
- Have a garden yourself? Save her the seeds of your most successful plants, get some nice pots and give her starts of that herb or plant she's always admired, or simply cut her a home-grown, fresh bouquet!
- Get her a great folk art print for over her potting table.
- Make her a garden journal.
- Gather up some medium-sized smooth stones and markers, some paint stirrers or wide Popsicle sticks and chalkboard paint, or second-hand wooden spoons and paint of choice, and make her some custom row markers for her garden (you know, "Carrots," "Beans," etc.).
- Get her one of these amazing hummingbird feeders.
- Make/paint a personalized birdhouse for her garden area.
- Make her a bottle terrarium.
- Get her a gift card to her local nursery.
For the Mum Who Has Everything:
- Get her a customized return address stamp.
- Have the kids create a simple line drawing of something she likes (flowers, birds, themselves...), scan the image, size it down, and print it off as one-of-a-kind stationary.
- Make her a Gratitude Wrap (and include your custom stationary!).
- Make her a print in a bold font that says, "YOU WERE RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING," frame it, done.
- Wash and detail her car.
- Make her an iPhone case covered in photos of the kids or grandkids.
- Send her a cheeky card with a gift card inside to her favorite coffee shop/chocolate shop/nail place.
- Let her sleep in (no, really, like let her sleep in until she wakes up on her own, and not because someone is screaming at her, needing something from her, or trying to put out a kitchen fire).
- Make her a mind-blowing meal, then clean up afterwards.
- Skip the meal and go straight for dessert- pick her favorite genre, and go for it!
- Meet her at a coffee shop, a restaurant, or her back porch with a bottle of wine, and just spend some quality time with her.
Whatever the route you take for Mother's Day, just let it come from your heart- that's all she'll ever want.