This year we need to celebrate all of the mothers and mother figures more than ever. The extra weight the pandemic placed on all of them is unlike anything we have seen in recent history. Whether it’s your mom, stepmom, aunt, grandmother, longtime mentor, or a cherished friend, motherly figures are often our loudest cheerleaders, our strongest support, and our greatest inspiration. On May 9, families across the U.S. come together to honor and appreciate all the women who sacrifice their time and energy for our wellbeing and success.
According to the Prosper Insights & Analytics April 2021 Consumer Survey, nearly half (49 percent) say they are planning a special Mother’s Day outing such as a brunch or other activity. While this is up slightly from last year, it is still below pre-pandemic levels.
While some may feel pressured to purchase an extravagant gift or are unsure how to handle unconventional maternal-child relationships, the most important thing is recognizing all that your mom has done and showing your love. These eight Mother’s Day Modern Manners will help you celebrate with grace:
- Not Your Average Mom: Maternal figures come in many forms, and you may be lucky to have several women who have offered endless love and support. Mother’s Day is a wonderful occasion to celebrate all of the women who have nurtured and guided throughout the years, whether a teacher, mentor, sister, or aunt. Consider those who have supported and helped you grow; be sure to recognize them this Mother’s Day.
- Turning the Page: If there’s a mother figure in your life with whom you’ve lost touch or had a falling out, Mother’s Day may be the perfect opportunity to reach out and rebuild the relationship. Whether you give them a call to wish them a happy Mother’s Day or send a surprise bouquet, express your gratitude for their presence in your life and your desire to turn a new page.
- Deciding the Date: While Mother’s Day 2021 falls on May 9 in the U.S., celebrations can occur up to a week before and after. For those with several motherly figures such as grandmothers, mothers-in-law, Godmothers, or aunts, make time to call, visit, or recognize everyone. It is also possible to find days and times that give each special woman in your life the appreciation and recognition they deserve, coordinating with family members (especially siblings) as necessary.
- Unique Experiences: Mother’s Day doesn’t have to include an extravagant present. Special celebrations often include thoughtful experiences rather than gifts. Cherish the chance to share a unique experience by planning a day all about her. It can be as simple as a socially distanced brunch with all her favorite dishes. Consider a virtual cooking class or membership to one of her favorite places, such as the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, as long as it shows your appreciation, and it’s something she will enjoy. Other sweet gestures include cleaning the house while she relaxes with a fresh juice and a personalized playlist.
- Gifts for Home: If your motherly figure is continuing to play it safe, consider gifts she can use at home. Examples include, a Bluetooth speaker, an at-home spa kit, a subscription to her favorite streaming service such as HBOMax, Netflix, or an ebook. Consider creating a Vidday or a digitized version of childhood memories or family holidays.
- Siblings in Sync: Instead of competing to find the best gift, collaborate with your siblings to discover the 2021gift. If you and your siblings live in different cities or have different schedules, start coordinating a few weeks in advance so that everything is perfect for Mom’s big day. Whether it’s a handwritten letter from each of you along with a small memento or a luxury item that you split the cost of, the gift will mean more coming from all of her beloved children.
- Husband’s Helping Hand: Dads, if your kids are too young to understand the meaning of the holiday, take the lead by pampering your wife with her favorite treats, along with a card signed by her little ones (toddlers and infants can “sign” by leaving a handprint using finger paint). For those old enough to lend a hand, let them help select a flower arrangement or guide them in making a card. Mom will love the sweet gesture that shows her children’s love and your appreciation for all she does.
- Light-hearted & Laughter-filled: This is not the day to debate the pandemic or the vaccine. Remember that it is about building the family relationship, especially the one with your mother figure. Make it a goal to set hard feelings aside and focus on the positive aspects of your relationship so the day isn’t ruined.
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.
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