This post was written by Liz Faria.
Even on a normal, non-pandemic Mother’s Day, I don’t expect much. I like to treat myself to some time away from my kids. I know that might sound wrong, since being their mother is the entire reason I get to have a “day” in the first place…but I see my kids a lot, and having a few hours to go out, get a cup of coffee and maybe roam a bookstore for awhile before I settle on a book, that’s a great Mother’s Day for me.
After some alone time, I’m usually up for a family activity. Last year, we went to an antique fair to hunt for “treasures,” and the kids loved it as much as I did. At night, I met up with girlfriends for a “mom’s night out.” It was the perfect day— time to myself in the morning, time with my family in the afternoon, time with my friends at night.
But, we all know things are going to be a little different this Mother’s Day. The world is officially closed. And schools are closed, which means that our kids did not bring home handicrafts to honor us. Unless our partners fired up the glue guns, or we forced our children to make us crafts while we watched, the handmade Mother’s Day sentiments aren’t coming.
A card? Well, maybe a card. Maybe your partner remembered to get a card the last time they ventured out for emergency toilet paper and frozen chicken cutlets. I guess we will have to see.
Initially, all I wanted was a day when someone else was bringing my kids snacks. But then, this morning I woke up and thought, maybe I am aiming too low. Maybe I should put a plan in place to make sure I get the day that I want. And I think that you should do that too.
10 Ideas for Having a Special Mother’s Day While Stuck at Home
1) Let your family know what kind of day you’d love to have. Nobody is a mind reader, and you don’t need to set yourself up for being disappointed that your family didn’t deliver on your secret wishes. If you have something in mind, and it’s reasonable and possible during a global shutdown – let it be known!
2) Breakfast in bed. This is a classic for a reason, and not even a pandemic can ruin it. A cold mimosa wouldn’t be the worst thing either.
3) If you like to be active, plan a special activity outdoors. A hike, kayaking, a family bike ride – you get the idea. You could bring along food for a picnic with the kids. There’s no clean-up, and you’ll tire everyone out with some fresh air to make bedtime smoother. Everyone’s a winner here.
4) Restaurants are closed, so no buffet-style brunch for you! (If you have small kids this is probably a blessing, because in my experience, brunch with toddlers is its own special hell.) Even though you can’t go out to eat, you can pick up some delicious food at your favorite restaurant and have a Mother’s Day Brunch at home. You don’t even have to put on pants!
5) If you’re the type who likes to be pampered, you could set up a little spa for yourself at home. Give yourself a facial, have a bubble bath, play your favorite music – and let your family know that you’re officially off duty for a few hours. Sure it looks like your bathroom, but if you turn off the lights and use some scented candles, maybe you’ll fool yourself. If you love a spa, but prefer to spend the day with your kids, set up a nail salon for everyone. Your pedicure might not be salon quality, but I’m sure it will look better than whatever you’ve got going on on your toes right now.
6) Ask your kids to join you in a screening of your favorite movie – maybe a movie that you’ve been wanting to watch with them for a long time. Make an event of it! Popcorn, coziest PJs, and put all the blankets on the couch. Take the corner of the sectional. Pick the cushiest chair. Claim the favorite blanket. It’s your day, damnit! Check out this great list of family movies from the 80s and 90s.
7) Some types of moms (and I’m not saying I’m one of these moms, although if you ask my husband, he will tell you that I am definitely one of these moms) don’t care so much about being pampered as they like to get shit done around the house. Not like cleaning up the dishes – more like hammering drywall and painting the shed. If you’re that type, then rally the troops to tackle that big project you’ve been itching to do. Rearrange the playroom! Stain the fence! Hang up some shelves! The more I type this, the more excited I get.
8) If you don’t like to pretend you live on an HGTV show and just want to take it easy – try to get out on your own for a few hours. This is possible even without the stores being open. You know what would make for an awesome afternoon? Grabbing your favorite coffee and a book you can’t put down, taking off for a drive to a pretty lookout point somewhere, setting up a folding beach chair and enjoying a few hours of reading with a nice view.
9) Many of us are spending a lot of time with our partners right now, but not necessarily quality time. And there are no nights out on the horizon. So arrange for a Mother’s Day “date night.” Sure it has to be at home. But the right attitude (and getting the kids to bed early) can go a long way. Dress up for it. Set the table. Put on an album. Make it a real date. You can even get your kids a virtual sitter.
10) Perhaps you’re that rare breed of mom who is not tired of spending literally every waking second with your child right now. Or maybe you’re an essential worker and really missing time with your family. If that’s you – have a relaxed family day with your kids. No chores. No tasks. Just find activities that you really enjoy doing together— like baking, art projects or playing a board game. Or maybe it’s watching a reality show marathon on TV. Whatever it is that gets you and the kids in a good flow together, DO THAT. Enjoy every minute of it. And have your partner bring the snacks.
What does your ideal Mother’s Day look like?
Liz Faria is a Mommy Shorts contributor and a licensed independent social worker. She’s has been working with children and families for 19 years and chronicles her own tales of motherhood on her blog A Mothership Down.