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Mother's Day: A Time to Give Something Back

Updated on February 12, 2013

A provider, a friend, a confidant, a listener, an advisor, a teacher, a role model - these are just a few of the qualities associated with mothers.  It is nothing short of amazing how they do what they do.  Their love, tolerance, understanding, kindness and nurturing is unconditional.  Mothers are always there for you; they give, they give and they give some more.  The ultimate sign of respect is to assign someone the title “mom” even if they are not your mother.  You probably know someone like this.  Perhaps it is the community “super mom” or the “mom” that hosts the hang out spot for the gang.  They could be our mother-in-laws, grandmothers, friends or co-workers – and over time, some earn the official title “mom”.  One day each year, we try to give something back and show our appreciation for our mothers and “moms”. 

White Carnation
White Carnation
Anna Jarvis
Anna Jarvis | Source

The origin of Mother’s Day is unclear.  Historians believe that this tradition dates back to Ancient Greece and Rome.  In the United States, Mother’s Day is attributed to Anna Jarvis who was inspired by her own mother’s devotion to raising a family of eleven.  Anna’s mother passed away in 1905 on the second Sunday in May.  On the second anniversary of her mother’s death, Anna convinced her parish in West Virginia to hold a celebration of Mother’s Day.  The church was decorated with her mother’s favourite flower – a white carnation.  In 1910, West Virginia officially recognized Mother’s Day and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared it a national holiday.

A common question that comes up this time of year is “What should I get for mom for Mother’s day?”  Flowers are always good – mom’s love flowers!  Candy is a good one too or taking mom out for dinner is another favourites.  Mom’s love homemade gifts too!  There are as many gift ideas as there are mothers however in my opinion, there is only one perfect gift – your timeGive your mother some of your time.  As much as we avoid thinking about it, the reality is that our mothers will not be around forever – so don’t take time for granted.  As we get older and get busier and often move away from our mothers as I have, the time we get to spend with them often declines.  Leaving home and starting our own families is a reality of life however we should always be sure to spend time with our moms, especially on Mother’s Day.  Spend the whole day with her – go to the movies, shopping, gather the whole family for a barbeque, go sightseeing….it really doesn’t matter, as long as you spend the time – she will appreciate that gift the most as every moment spent with her is a treasure.  My mother was heartbroken when my brother moved away and again when my sister moved away and I cannot exclude myself as I now live 3 hours away. 

When I was growing up, we lived in the country and it was a regular event to drop in at our Grandparents on Sundays – especially on Mother’s Day.  The whole family would come out and we would spend the entire day, have supper and then listen to my mother and grandmother play their guitars and have a good ole sing-along.  I was very lucky as I also knew my great grandparents.  They did not pass away until I was in my twenties and lived about a mile down the road from my grandparents so they too were in on the celebrations; we were all lucky to celebrate 3 generations of mothers!  I have many fond memories of those days and often reflect and wish I could go back – just for one day. 

Spending time with mom could simply be a cup of coffee or helping her hang a picture but on Mother’s Day, why not do something a little more outside of the box?

  • Take your mom skydiving or zip lining! I am not kidding – don’t ever under estimate your mother!
  • What about going out for dinner and an evening at the casino or perhaps an afternoon at bingo?
  • Have you ever taken your mom to the museum? If you have any, bring your brother and sisters too!
  • Go for a boat tour!
  • Take her to the spa for a day – yes guys, you can go too! Don’t be shy, a lot of mom’s would get a kick out of that – it would likely be a good conversation topic for years!
  • What about a concert – any of her favourite singers passing through town?
  • Take her to the theatre to see a live show
  • Going to the horse races could be fun too!

 It really depends on what your mom likes or is willing to try but the best things are spontaneous and different.  Bring along some of the family and do it as a group.  Try and experience something new together and you will most likely create a long lasting memory.  For those of you who are younger and/or still living with your mom, don’t forget to cook for her and do not let her lift a finger for the day.  Show her how much you appreciate her.  If money is tight, why not make up some of your own personalized coupons!  I have included a few here for you to get you started and it works for other holidays too!

Ok, so things are not always rosy; we are human and we do sometimes have disagreements with our mothers.  Perhaps mending fences or extending apologies would be a timely gift for your mom on Mother’s Day.  Whatever you choose to do, the most important thing to do is spend time with her.  As I was growing up, my mother dedicated 365 days a year to us kids, but Mother’s Day is once celebrated once a year – and she never complained.


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