Honor Your Mom, Keep Your Sanity
This darn holiday. It shouts "Hail to mothers everywhere! Blessed and exalted are you among women!" and leaves the TTC in the cold feeling like outcasts. If mothers are especially blessed does that make us especially cursed?
But regardless of our tender feelings, how can we forgo brunch, babies, and sentimental gifts without dishonoring our own mothers? If you've read my blog, you know I'm all for making alternative plans on tough celebrations like baptisms, Easter, and - yes - Mother's Day. Kayaking, planting a garden, biking a nearby trail, or binge-watching John Hughes movies are all preferable activities to spending the day feeling useless and unwanted.
Now I'm going to present another shocking idea: What if you preempt Mother's Day by celebrating with your mom on a different day? I told you the idea was shocking. Believe it or not, I carried out this plan multiple times during our futile attempts at pregnancy and the earth did not stop spinning.
Yes, I know you have concerns. For instance, is it legal to skip the Mother's Day hoopla? Will my mom even agree to such treason?
First, I truly hope your mama is cut from more compassionate cloth, but if she won't support your plan, c'est la vie. Send a Telaflora bouquet and check "Mother's Day" off of your to-do list. it's more likely, however, that Mom will jump at the chance to spend a special day or evening with you. Need some ideas that are simply too good to resist? I thought you'd never ask.
1. Visit a tea house/tea room
If you are blessed enough to live near one of these quaint establishments, you and your mom will love spending an afternoon daintily munching petit fours and sipping tea (pinkies up, of course!). A simple Google search will locate a tea house near you. Shout out to my favorite English Cottage Tea in Grand Rapids, Michigan where hostess Cynthia Wedge entertains ladies with themed events ranging from garden tea parties to spa nights to chocolate tasting.
2. Pose for a Photo Shoot
Your local Groupon website is rife with new photographers trying to establish a reputation at very little cost to you. Many are even willing to shoot on location. What could be better than a professional photo of you and your mom that she'll treasure for years to come?
3. Visit your local theater or attend a concert
A few years ago, we spent my mom's July birthday on the lawn of a local ski resort listening to a John Denver sound-alike artist accompanied by the Grand Rapids Symphony. Under a sky painted blush by the setting sun, we nibbled chicken pasta salad and spooned still-warm blueberry cobbler from mason jars wrapped in kitchen towels. Later, we swayed on the hillside and sang along to Country Roads while sipping Chardonnay. There's nothing like live entertainment in a unique setting for making memories that sink deeply into your soul.
4. Shared spa treatments
If you've got the big bucks, go ahead and splurge. As for me, I like to save cash by frequenting one of the many cosmetology schools in our area. Most provide mani-pedis, massage, facials, and other fancy salon services at a fraction of the price and are happy to accommodate gal pals.
5. Improv show
I recently attended a Crawlspace Eviction improv show in Kalamazoo with three girlfriends. By the end of the evening, we had cried off our mascara and acquired headaches triggered by incessant laughter. Since improv is unscripted, it can sometimes veer into controversial or lewd territory, so be forewarned. Some cities offer improv teams with a clean guarantee, such as Grand Rapids' River City Improv. Bottom line: Read the online reviews and plan accordingly.
6. Wine and canvas
Another Groupon favorite, wine and canvas parties offer you and your mom a chance to be creative together. Plus you'll each leave with a memento!
At your place or your mom's, it will feel like the good old days. Throw on your jammies, pop popcorn and blend up some chocolate shakes. Then, watch a chick flick or chat into the wee hours. Kicking out the guys is optional.
8. Retail therapy
Whether you prefer Goodwill or Saks Fifth Avenue, garage sales or the Loft, shopping together can be therapeutic. There's no better judge than your mom of what looks good on you and you can chime in with advice for her, as well. Perhaps you both could use a fresh new look.
Years ago, when I was in the middle of infertility with no end in sight, my mom did the only thing she could think of to bring me joy. Along with agreeing to my absence at the large Mother's Day gathering at my aunt's house, she secretly spent an afternoon coaxing our terriers into a formal photo shoot. One can only imagine what the neighbors thought as Mom yipped and yelled, attempting to gain the attention of two hyperactive mutts and capture them gazing into the camera simultaneously.
The truth is, next to God, there's probably no one that empathizes more with your pain than your own mama. And if she knows that Mother's Day Plan B will soothe her daughter's aching heart, she'll be the first one to jump on board.
If you have other ideas about how to honor your mom at Mother's Day and still keep your sanity, I'd love to hear them! Please leave a comment below. (Pssst....if you're on mobile, you'll have to scroll all the way to the bottom to comment!). Thanks!