Mother’s Day is right around the corner. And while it is generally a happy holiday meant to show love and appreciation for the women who love us, Mother’s Day can be a bit harder for some.
Maybe your mom recently passed away, and you are unsure what to do for Mother’s Day without her.
Or maybe you and your mom live too far away to visit.
Or perhaps your mom is unwell physically or mentally, and celebrating is hard in her present condition.
Whatever the situation, Mother’s Day doesn’t seem like a happy holiday when loving on your mom is difficult or impossible.
However it may feel, there are ways to bring joy back into this holiday, even when your circumstances are sad. By tapping into the things you love most about your mom, revisiting old memories, and showing love to other deserving women, you can honor and celebrate not just your own mom but loving and caring women everywhere.
Are you ready to show appreciation for the woman who made you? Let’s explore four ways to connect to your mom this Mother’s Day, even if you’re apart.
1 | Take up her favorite hobby.
Think about the hobbies that brought your mom genuine joy. Maybe it’s watching a good film or finishing the crossword or pottering in the garden. Whatever it is, embrace it with enthusiasm and make her proud! You can get friends and family involved or keep it to yourself as a special tribute to your relationship. Just remember, it’s the memory (not the aptitude!) that counts.
If you and your mom are apart from one another this May, consider doing something together, but separate. Watch a film and then spend some time discussing it on the phone, work on the day’s crossword together on Facetime, or plant a pot of the same flowers and keep each other up to date on their progress. You will forge a connection with one another whatever the distance and give yourself things to talk about.
2 | Make or bake her favorite food.
Whatever the reason for being separate from your mom on Mother’s Day, whipping up one of her classic dishes is a great way to feel connected. After all, science has proven that our senses of smell and taste are directly connected to memory centers in the brain.
So, see if you can round up one of her recipes or, if you’re able, give her a call to find out exactly how she does it. As soon as you get a whiff of those familiar smells, you’ll feel like she’s right there with you.
3 | Spend some time going through old photos and videos.
Whatever is keeping you from your mom this Mother’s Day, going through family photos is guaranteed to connect you to her again. Watching old videos is even more precious, as some people say that voices are one of the things we forget soonest.
Of course, most of us have a mountain of memories that we’re confronted with—everything from old film to faded prints to unorganized phone galleries. Taking some time to choose your favorite memories and gather them together, whether it’s in a printed album, a video diary of photos, or a digital album will help you access those memories even more quickly the next time.
4 | Connect with someone else’s mom.
Some surveys indicate that a little over half of nursing home residents receive outside visitors. In addition to loneliness, these older adults also deal with a loss of independence, new surroundings, schedules, and decreased mobility. It’s reasonable to believe that many of these women are mothers or have at least had a maternal impact on people in their lives as teachers, aunts, sisters, or mentors.
If you are unable to see or gift your mom with something this year, consider spending that time and money on a woman in your local assisted living or skilled nursing facility instead. You should always check with the nursing staff first, as they’ll be able to share the name of someone who would benefit from your kindness and the best ways to show it.
Whether you are able to take by a bouquet of flowers or a platter of cookies, she’ll no doubt be touched by the gesture. If you would like to consider something more long-term, ask about getting to know her by visiting regularly. I can’t overstate how much regular visitors mean to elderly adults! You can also purchase subscription services, such as monthly floral delivery or an audiobook subscription, that would continue to show love all year round.
The bond between a mother and her child is an amazing force that has led scientists to study it with great care and attention. But I don’t think we need science to tell us it’s special!
Distance is no match for the love we celebrate on Mother’s Day. Hopefully, one of these ideas will strike a chord in you and inspire you to carry on honoring and loving your mom, even if you can’t be with her. And I hope that you’ll also feel encouraged to recognize all of the women and maternal forces in your life and community and show them the kindness and appreciation they deserve.
~ Christin Sanders