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November 22, 2020

Ideas for Mother’s Day in the Age of Social Distancing


With Mother’s Day fast approaching (It’s on Sunday, May 10th this year—just over 2 weeks away!), it’s looking more likely most of us will be celebrating while still under some form of stay-at-home or social distancing order.  For many of us, Mom’s age puts her in a “vulnerable” demographic, meaning a big outing might be a bad plan even if it’s allowed.  The good news is, there are plenty of other ways to share the love and make your mom feel special, even from a distance.  Here are some ideas for a celebration that nods to your previous traditions while following experts’ safety recommendations.

1. If you usually cook for her, have a meal delivered instead.

It’s not quite the same as breakfast in bed or a home-cooked dinner, but many restaurants are offering delivery so you can order Mom’s favorite meal straight to her door.  Not having to cook is always a gift—and as a bonus, your purchase will help support a local restaurant.

2. Write a letter to make up for lost face-to-face time.

It’s a lot easier to send an email or post on someone’s Facebook, but there’s nothing like receiving a handwritten letter.  It feels much more personal and it’s easier for Mom to save if she needs a pick-me-up later.  Or, if you have time to spare, why not try to make a card instead of buying one?  As a plus for you, letting out your creative side can help you forget the stress of the world for a little while.

3. Make a slideshow of old memories if you can’t make new ones.

Sadly, none of us can plan a big day (or night) out for Mom this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create the same feeling of togetherness.  Gather photos of some of your favorite “Mom” memories and make a slideshow.  You can share it through email or over video chat and tell her why you selected each picture (and memory) to remind her of all the special times you’ve had together.  If you want your mom to have a keepsake, you can convert your picks into a photo book or collage using an online photo service.

4. Send her flowers instead of buying them in person.

Even if you can’t hand over the bouquet yourself, a nice vase of flowers is especially welcome now that we’re all spending more time indoors.  Alternately, if your mother has a bit of a green thumb, send her a houseplant.  Even when you order online, your options range from cacti (easy to take care of)  to begonias (lots of flowers) to lavender (if she uses fresh herbs or likes aromatherapy).  Gardening has become more popular of late, likely because it gives us a chance to connect with nature and to make our homes more beautiful.

5. Set aside time for a future celebration.

Many small and local “non-essential” businesses are selling gift cards as a way to raise revenue during closures.  Whether your mom loves going out for brunch, keeping up with the latest movies, or browsing a bookstore, make a promise in the form of a gift card.  It will give both of you something to look forward to while waiting for social distancing rules to relax.

There Are Many Ways to Say “I Love You”

Many of us have sacrificed special events in favor of staying in to reduce our risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.  Even as stay-at-home orders begin to ease, we’ll likely face restrictions for some time yet. 

Though it can be easy to get caught up in what you’ve lost, it’s a good time to be thankful for all you have.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen communities work together to protect their most vulnerable members and keep hospitals from overflowing.  We’ve seen a wave of ingenuity as people find new ways to entertain themselves and stay in touch using the technologies we now have access to.  Though our days may not look the same, we are finding ways to connect with each other and enjoy time together.

It might not be a traditional Mother’s Day, but in stressful and difficult times it’s especially important for families to come together.  So, thank you to all the mothers who have been there through everything, and who continue to provide that voice of comfort when we need it.