How You Can Celebrate Mother’s Day on a Deeper Level
As Mother’s Day approaches, you may find yourself considering your relationship with your mom—and, if you aren’t, you should start now. While many people prefer to send a card in the mail or call their mom up for a short chat, the way you treat your mom on Mother’s Day can be an indicator of your broader relationship, as well as your mother’s overall happiness.
So, this year, whether you live in the same city as your mother or you live hundreds of miles away from her, use this Mother’s Day as a launching point to improve your overall relationship with her.
How Do You Impact Your Mom?
Most people want their mothers to be happy, but have you ever stopped to consider how your actions impact your mom? Even as an adult who is no longer living in her house, you can still impact your mother’s happiness in a big way.
According to an article in The Atlantic, more than half of mothers report that their relationship with their adult child or children is “intimate but also restrictive” and that they have “mixed feelings” about their relationships with their adult children. In the article, the author notes that the biggest predictor of interpersonal stress between a mother and her adult child emerged from mothers feeling that their children did not reciprocate in their relationship to an equal degree.
In other words, ask yourself: am I giving my mom as much as she’s giving me? If not, it might be time to start, for the sake of your mother’s happiness.
That is, of course, a lofty, broad goal and not one that you can achieve overnight. Here’s how to start the process, though, this Mother’s Day.
A Better Approach to Mother’s Day
While most people remember to buy their mother a Mother’s Day gift, if you want to improve your relationship with your mom, it’s worth taking the extra time to really think about the gift you’re giving her. Show your mom that you truly care about her wants and needs by purchasing a gift that she’ll actually use, actually need, or actually enjoy. Celebrate the day with a truly thoughtful gift. This gift might be…
- Something Personalized and Meaningful:
Don’t go with a shiny piece of décor or that body lotion set. Instead, choose something personalized on a deeper level, such as a serving plate printed with a family recipe in her own mother’s handwriting, or a piece of jewelry that shows the coordinates of a spot that is incredibly important to her. Take time to make your gift meaningful.
- Something That Will Keep Giving:
This could be a subscription to a service that you know she needs, such as a cleaning service, a subscription for entertainment or personal development, such as Audible or MasterClass, or a subscription to something you know will make her smile throughout the year, such as a bouquet subscription. This way, she’ll think of you every time she uses it throughout the year.
- The Gift of Your Time:
This one is a big one. For many people, it’s the hardest gift to give. However, you may need to give even a little more time than you think you do, especially if your mother is retired or in another situation in which she doesn’t understand all of the pressures and demands you have on your time. After all, if she has no problem giving up an hour or two to chat with you on the phone, she might not think it’s any problem for you, either.
If you’re giving the gift of time, don’t just go hang out at her house for the afternoon or call her. Plan something special that shows you spent time thinking and planning before the holiday, and that you used your precious time to create a special moment for her. This might mean coordinating a Mother’s Day brunch with your siblings or planning a fun activity for the two of you that you know she’ll love.
Even if you live far away, you can still plan something like this. Look into ideas for virtual Mother’s Day experiences, such as virtual baking sessions, virtual happy hours, or virtual movie screenings. At the end of the day, your mom will likely value the time you spent with her above all else.
Taking an Even Deeper Approach
In the Atlantic article linked above, the author also noted science-backed ways you can increase your mom’s happiness both now and well into the future. While none of these changes will make a suitable, stand-alone Mother’s Day gift, you can use them as signposts to begin deepening your relationship with your mother and making her happier overall. These include…
– Backing off of any financial support your mother is giving you (While your mom may say she doesn’t mind, science says that she probably does actually mind!)
– Hosting family events that she would normally host
– Asking her about her day, feelings, and thoughts on a regular basis
In a similar article, the Seattle Times offers a few psychology-backed suggestions for improving your relationship with your mother, including…
– Showing your mom gratitude
– Complimenting your mother
– Giving your mother your full attention when you’re together
While all of these things seem simple, once you start thinking about your relationship, you may realize that your mother asks you about your day far more often than you ask her about hers, or that she compliments you way more than you compliment her.
Mother’s Day Not a Good Fit?
Setting aside all of the advice above, it’s important to realize that mothers are just people, too, and so you might have a very poor relationship with your mother through no fault of your own. Whether you’re grieving a loss of life or a loss of a mother-child relationship, you should feel comfortable celebrating (or not!) Mother’s Day on your own terms if the holiday is painful for you. Option B offers some advice on how to take care of yourself on what, for many people, can be an emotionally challenging holiday.
The Bottom Line
Mother’s Day is the perfect time to reexamine your relationship with your mother and make a goal to improve that relationship as necessary.
If you need a little help prioritizing your time to focus on your relationships or to set relationship or family goals, Arootah’s life coaches can help. Check out our various life coaching offerings and schedule a short introductory coaching call today.
What are your plans for Mother’s Day? Let us know how you plan to celebrate in the comments below!