Moms already have it hard enough. They play the role of maid, chauffeur, chef, dogwalker, personal assistant and more, and lately many of them have had to add homeschool teacher to that list. The least you can do is remember that Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, and do a little something special for the woman who does so much for you.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with 12 ideas for making her day special while still social distancing.
Bake her something
It’s a classic, and even though it’ll be hard to keep a secret if she lives with you, she’ll be so excited you’re in the kitchen, she’ll probably pretend she doesn’t even see you.
Cakes are never a bad idea, but making one from scratch can be daunting. A quick internet search provided plenty of recipes, but perhaps the most mouthwatering article was “21 Gorgeous Mother’s Day Cakes for the Sweetest Woman You Know” found on womansday.com. From lemon poppyseed strawberry to raspberry pink velvet, this article features plenty of recipes for a variety of delectable cake flavors any mom would love, and some don’t take nearly as long as you’d expect.
Too afraid of messing it up? I’m right there with you, which is why I highly recommend copying my own mom’s age-old tradition (which was actually for my birthday, but hey, maybe next time I’m in town I’ll make her one for a change) of grabbing a box of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix from the grocery store, along with some frosting and sprinkles to create a “brownie cake.” Even though it might sound less special coming from a box, trust me, you simply cannot go wrong when you combine decadent Ghirardelli chocolate with some vanilla frosting and a simple “Happy Mother’s Day!” message scribbled out in adorably amateur pastry chef handwriting.
Don’t live with mom? Consider supporting a local business in her city by ordering her a dessert via delivery, or even ordering her a few sugar-filled groceries to be dropped off at her door via Instacart or Shipt.
Plan a paint night
Companies like Painting with a Twist (nationally) and Paint Parties by Autumn (locally) have made wine-and-paint evenings a popular choice for girls’ night out. But just because art studios are closed doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the experience at home.
Grab your mask and head to a one-stop shop like Walmart or Target to pick up some snacks, a few tubes of paint, a handful of brushes and a couple canvases. Then swing by the nearest liquor drive-through for a bottle (or two, no judgement) of mom’s favorite wine. Voila! You have everything you need for a buzzed evening of creative fun.
Not sure what to paint? Head to Pinterest.com and simply search “Paint Party Ideas” to find an endless feed of inspiration – some of which even link to step-by-step instructions.
If you want a professional’s help and don’t feel like leaving home to pick up supplies, you can order an at-home party kit, including supplies and instructions, from websites such as paintingwithatwist.com, shop.crayola.com or sipndrippaintparties.com (the latter of which is donating 100% of the proceeds from its “kits for care” to create and donate masks that meet all the CDC guidelines).
If you don’t live with your mom and can’t share in the artistic fun, consider ordering her an at-home kit or mailing her your own handpicked supplies to brighten her day.
Organize a picnic
Picnics are typically weather-permitting, but if Mother’s Day brings flurries again this year, who said you can’t have a lovely picnic inside?
Regardless of where you host your picnic, the essentials are always the same: a big, comfy blanket for seating, some easy-to-dispose or, even better (aka more eco-friendly), easy-to-clean dishes and the type of food that’s best enjoyed barefoot outside (or pretending you’re outside) with the people you love.
For me, that list of food includes the fancier cheeses I wouldn’t normally treat myself to, a warm baguette, some vegetables and hummus, and some salami or other meat that you can’t find on the same shelf as Lunchables.
Not physically with mom this Mother’s Day? Consider ordering her the type of meal she would never dare splurge on from her favorite local restaurant via delivery or curbside pickup (with the help of a different live-in family member).
Make her a present
It’s time to get creative, folks. But don’t worry, this is the 21st century, and homemade gifts are no longer limited to baked goods and arts and crafts (though we’ll still suggest a couple of those). Here are a few projects to consider:
• Record yourself reading your favorite childhood bedtime story that your mom always read to you growing up. Moms love to feel all sentimental, so get over the problem you have with listening to your own voice and get to reading.
• If you live in the same town (or even better, house) give your mom a coupon for one afternoon of housecleaning courtesy of you. She’ll love watching you do all the chores you were supposed to do decades ago.
• Put together a video or photo slideshow of your favorite memories with mom. If that’s too time-intensive or difficult, consider the simpler and perhaps funnier project of making her a Powerpoint presentation of all the reasons she rocks.
• Using the previous ideas as a jumping off point, if your mom has a family that’s spread out and is missing them extra right now, consider enlisting their help in sending you videos of loved ones offering her a Mother’s Day message from their respective homes. String them together into one video and voila! Instant tearjerker!
• Make a collage. I’ll admit, this is sort of juvenile, but then again it’s perfect for little kids or adults like me who are craft-challenged. Cover some construction paper or even something sturdier, like a piece of wood with Mod Podge, then use more Mod Podge to attach photos, old ticket stubs, charms, beads or anything else (easily attachable) that reminds you of mom. Bonus points if you can make it to fit in a specific place in her home that could use some decoration.
• Write her something. Sure, a homemade card with a heartfelt message is always a great go-to, but you can take it to the next level by including an original poem or mini essay of why she’s so special. If that thought makes your heart pound too quickly, consider something comically easy like an acrostic poem or a simple bullet point list of all the reasons you love her, or you top 10 favorite mom moments.
Don’t have time to make something? Again, you can easily turn to small businesses making it easy to order online or via curbside pickup to buy classic mom items like locally sourced soaps, teas, honey, artwork, etc. If you can’t choose one item, consider getting her a gift card to a local store where she can order something for herself or shop in-person when it reopens.
Simply “be there” for her
Sometimes the simplest of gestures will make mom’s day, even if it’s not a physical gift or activity she can participate in. I personally know how hard it is to live apart from my mom and not have the privilege of visiting her right now, but those who at least live within driving distance could consider doing a through-the-window visit or leaving a message in chalk outside her front door.
What really matters is that your mom knows how much she is loved, and whether that means a family Zoom call or leaving her a voice message of you singing “You Are My Sunshine,” whatever you do to show your appreciation, she’ll love it.