Written by Yuki Hayashi
3 min read
Mother’s Day is huge. According to card kingpins Hallmark, it’s the 3rd most observed holiday by card sales, and the second biggest for gifts. While chocolates and flowers are great, showing mom, or a special someone, some love and gratitude shouldn’t be a once-a-year ritual. Especially as we reach the half-way point of another year dominated by Covid.
Mothers are put on a pedestal in our culture, but the underside of this worship can be a lack of recognition of how HARD mothering is. Caring for others’ daily needs is an emotionally, physically and financially draining task that moms repeat day after day – mostly without complaint.
Thanking mom, or another mother figure in your life (and yes, that may include friends, neighbours, and teachers!), is a gift that gives twice: to you and to them.
Benefits to you: According to positive psychology research, gratitude – a thankful appreciation for the positive things in your life – is strongly associated with lowered depression and anxiety, better sleep quality, and healthier relationships. Look for things to be grateful for in your life, and mom is probably on that list!
Benefits to them: Who doesn’t love being recognized for their hard work and sacrifice? It builds self-esteem, confidence and pride, and creates a positive behaviour loop where moms feel good about doing good by you.
Easy ways to say “Thanks, mom!” everyday
Expressing gratitude doesn’t have to be a huge spectacle, in fact, smaller gestures are often more heartfelt. Here are four ways you could say thanks to your mother, or mother figure, any day — not just on Mother’s Day.
It boosts immunity, reduces stress, promotes trust and helps reduce depression. (Speaking of depression, if you or someone close to you has given birth recently, please familiarize yourself with symptoms of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a mental illness that can occur during pregnancy and up to one year after childbirth. The Canadian Mental Health Association has more information on the condition here.)
Write a note
No need to roll up your sleeves and wordsmith your way to a masterpiece. Just grab a Post-it and jot down a quick sentiment. Put it on their work-from-home desk, tack it to their phone, or send an emoji-laced email.. There’s no sweeter sentiment than a written expression of love. Trust me, it’ll make her day!
Send a text
Near or far, it takes literally seconds to send mom a goofy emoji or bitmoji that says you’re thinking of their famous dance moves 💃🏻, home-cooked meals 🥘, fun family memories 🎣 and so on.
Have a conversation
No doubt about it: everyone’s lives are busy, busy, busy. It’s worthwhile to set some time aside to brew a cuppa, put down your phone, and catch up without distractions. Maybe catch a movie together, too. (If you live elsewhere: call or video call your mom!)
If your mom is no longer with you
Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for those who have lost their mom, or the special mom figure in their lives. Why not spend the day honouring her memory? Was mom an avid gardener? Consider spending quiet time with your hands in the earth (if you don’t have a garden, take a stroll through a nearby park or perhaps nurse a plant). Did your mother figure live for the movies? Have a personal film-fest in their honour. Or simply break out the photos and reminisce about someone who played such a formative role in your life.
Join the conversation: While it’s hard to all be together, how will you pay homage to your mom or mom figure in your life?
Read more: These moms are fighting for housing justice in Oakland. Check them out.