Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and families and spouses might be scrambling to plan the perfect day just for mom.
But what do mothers really want?
Often, Mother’s and Father’s Day can feel rushed and lead to stress and spoiled plans.
The pressure to present “the best day ever,” and to show our appreciation for hard-working parents, can be overwhelming.
Below are five tips to alleviate stress and make this Mother’s Day a happy, peaceful day for the whole family.
1. Plan ahead.
When in doubt, plan ahead. Take a moment to think through the day and backward plan where possible. For example, restaurants fill up fast on Mother’s Day, so make sure to make a reservation or call your favorite places ahead of time to save a table or see if they’re doing any special carryout offers. If you know she prefers a quiet or romantic dinner out, start calling babysitters to make sure someone is available.
Finally, don’t forget to consider what gifts may help her feel loved. Does she like flowers? Most companies require five to seven days to order and ship pre-arranged bouquets. Are the kids making gifts for her? Make sure to think about what they will need and what kind of presents will be most meaningful.
Taking a bit of time up front will help ease any last-minute anxiety about making the day great.
2. Plan for her, not the kids.
It’s easy to lose sight of the intent of Mother’s Day and plan something for the whole family. Instead, give some thought as to what she may prefer, which will probably include at least some solo time.
Schedule an hour for her at her favorite spa or tell her she can sleep in without distractions. Offer to take the kids for a quick outing or let her know that you’re in charge of the children for a certain portion of the day, so she can choose how to spend her time.
Most importantly, think about the mom in your life and keep her top of mind.
3. Be original.
A bit of thoughtfulness can go a long way in making moms feel loved and special. Take a quick poll of her closest friends to see if she has her eye on a particular gift. Or ask them for advice in planning the day. Make a list of ideas based on things she’s said recently.
Aim to take her someplace new and unexpected to show her you’ve thought about her and the day. Finally, try something atypical, like bringing the family for a short hike, visiting a museum, or taking a short day trip to a new attraction, national park, or neighboring city for a change of pace.
4. Be open to change.
It’s true that the best-laid plans can often go awry, especially when kids and tired parents are involved. Be prepared for the day to go differently than you planned it and remember that the most important goal is to make her feel loved.
If it rains, have a backup activity ready to go. If it’s unexpectedly sunny, ditch your indoor plans and head to her favorite park.
5. Enjoy the day.
Of course, the most important goal of Mother’s Day is to enjoy family and friends. We may not always plan it to a T or know the best way to make our loved ones feel appreciated, but we can always enjoy our time together.
Take time to enjoy the day and to be thankful for those it’s spent with.