By Blythe Daniel, Crosswalk.com
Moms are holding onto a lot these days. Sweaty palms of kids entering a school building. Their children and grandchildren’s hearts that are open and vulnerable. Lists of who picks up who when, who needs what when, and how all the needs will be met.
With all the juggling that moms, and grandmothers helping moms, do, how can we celebrate mom?
Moms need a lot of grace. And someone to bring a meal or wash the dishes so she can soak in the bathtub or take a long shower and collect her thoughts before the next day.
I learned what it’s like to celebrate mom - from my own mom. So naturally, I would love for my kids or husband to pick up on how I would like to be loved or given a gift of celebration that means something to me. Sometimes this works out, and sometimes I have to hint a little. But I can see them beginning to pick up on what speaks to me, and I feel like it’s good training for them for their families someday!
As you’re looking for a great way to celebrate Mom, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Not every mom likes the same thing. It’s important to ask your mom (and mom, you must let your family know what you like so that you won’t expect one thing and receive another and the entire gesture feels like it backfired) what would be the most meaningful gift to her.
2. Follow-through is important. What we say with our words doesn’t mean nearly as much as what we say with our actions.
3. The more you give, the more you receive. The more that mom feels celebrated, the more she will be able to meet the needs of those in her family when she knows that they don’t take her for granted and that they see and celebrate her.
Now, since many of us want to celebrate mom but need to stick with a budget, what are some ways we can do this and still make meaningful efforts to show mom some love?
Here are ten things you can do for Mom:
1. Moms are often overwhelmed with projects that take time and they don’t have time to spend. So, how about helping mom hang pictures or put photo albums together (even the digital kind!)?
2. Mom closets – these should be closed to onlookers, right?! Seriously, we need some help. You can help mom by organizing her clothes (shoes are a bonus!) and taking to charity items she no longer needs. This is a huge time saver!
3. Moms need to have some verbal affirmation. Celebrate her by encouraging texts. The grandmothers in your life will love more live video chats so they can see their grandchildren growing up.
4. Plant a garden for mom or pick up some fresh flowers (many grocery stores have a section where they sell slightly older flowers that are discounted and still look good!)
5. Help capture the moments that Mom isn’t able to by writing down your family history and her memories of growing up. This will be a treasure she’ll thank you for!
6. Prepare her favorite foods when she doesn’t expect them. This doubles as a great meal replacement – even if it’s chocolate chip cookies. Add in a secret ingredient and see if she can guess it!
7. Order concert tickets for her favorite band or buy a device that streams music in the home. A happy environment can lead to a happier mom!
8. Write out Bible verses that speak to you about your mom, your daughter who’s a mom, or your grandmother. This will be a way that she can see how you think of her and pray over her with Scripture.
9. Give mom some books you know she wants to read (and grandmothers can offer to babysit or help with other siblings in the house so she can read)!
10. Prepare a tea party or coffee hour and invite a few of her close friends. The time being with friends is both relaxing and special!
Years ago, my mom didn’t know she was celebrating with me, but she was. She invited me to a dance class. I was apprehensive about going, but I went, mainly for her. But fast forward about 6 or 7 years, and it is the main activity that I do now that my family knows I need to leave the house to attend. It brings me joy to dance (Zumba style). It’s how I celebrate my health, and as someone who likes to move and try to stay healthy, I love how it makes me feel. It’s also a social time that feels like a party. I feel celebrated when I get to do this because others are doing the same thing. It’s a group of dancing mommas (and grandmothers!).
If you haven’t made known how you would like to feel celebrated as a mom, or if you feel like you don’t know how to really celebrate your mom in the season you’re both in, could I encourage you to simply say, “What could I do or share with you that would make your life a little more fulfilling or festive right now?” or “As the mom, I would really feel like I’m being noticed and loved if _________________ could happen.”
You don’t have to wait to be celebrated by others or to initiate your own celebration of your mom until “the most ideal moment.” I’ve found that often the most memorable moment is when I’m not prepared for it, but I just flow into it. Hair out of sorts, no make-up, house with laundry piles and clutter, but our hearts are alive with celebration. That’s worth everything when others don’t even see what we’re celebrating. Because we don’t need an occasion to celebrate – we just need a few moments, perhaps some music, and confetti in the shape of laughter and joy. Got any lately?
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Paperkites
Blythe Daniel is a literary agent, author, and marketer. Her agency markets books through podcasts, blogs, and launch teams and represents books to publishers. Blythe was the publicity director for Thomas Nelson Publishers and has been a literary agent for the past 16 years. Blythe has written for Proverbs 31 Ministries, Ann Voskamp, Focus on the Family, CCM Magazine, Christian Retailing, and others. Blythe and her mother have co-authored two books: Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters (Harvest House) and I Love You Mom: Cherished Word Gifts from My Heart to Yours (Tyndale). She is married and lives in Colorado with her family.