Mother’s Day can take on a new meaning for adult children who are their mom’s full-time caregiver. Like any celebration, the pressure of finding the perfect gift or making reservations at her favorite restaurant can contribute to an already stressful role in caregiving.

But, Mother’s Day is really about spending time together and sharing memories. Try these five simple ways to celebrate with your mom that won’t add to your daily stress.

Mothers Day Needs Met

Mothers Day Meal 

Make a special meal at home. You don’t have to go to a restaurant to enjoy a nice meal with your loved ones, and if your mom has trouble getting out of the house, a nice meal at home can be just as special. Make the occasion feel more formal by using a tablecloth and fresh-cut flowers from the yard as a centerpiece. To keep your family members engaged, ask for help with grocery shopping, with preparing your mom’s favorite meal, or with bringing the dessert.

Mothers Day Document Stories

Use Mother’s Day to document her legacy.
Since this day is all about mom, ask her questions about her life and really listen to her responses. With the hustle and bustle of a daily routine, mom will find having your undivided attention very meaningful. To make her memories last longer, use a video recorder or jot down her responses in a journal so the whole family has a record. If your mother is living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, try to let her tell the story without correcting her. Ask questions such as, “How did you feel in that moment?” to let her maintain control of her story. Playing her favorite music in the background can help bring up additional memories.

Mothers Day Refresh Garden 

Refresh mom’s garden. If mom has difficulty getting out and about, create a beautiful outdoor space she can enjoy daily. This can even be a positive activity for you – gardening has been shown to help balance caregiver fatigue. Pick plants that are low maintenance, such as perennial flowers that come back year after year like tulips, asters, black-eyed Susans and lilies. Or, if you need plants that fill more space, try low maintenance azaleas or hardy geraniums that provide good ground cover while stopping weeds in their tracks. The key is to plant the garden in a small space so that watering them is a quick task. There are many online resources for plants that are easy to care for, or you can ask your local garden supply shop for help planning.

Mothers Day Pamper

Give mom a little bit of pampering. It’s not always possible to help mom get dressed up, do her hair, put on her makeup, or do her nails the way she used to do them herself. This can impact any person’s feelings of independence as they grow older. But on Mother’s Day, when you plan to spend extra time with her, why not make her feel special by helping her with her beauty routine? Let her take control and pick the color she’d like you to paint her nails – and don’t stress about painting them perfectly. The extra care and attention won’t go unnoticed, even if it’s not a professional spa service.

Mothers Day Needs Met

Make sure her needs are being met. Gifts don’t have to be elaborate – they can simply make everyday life better for mom. Take time on Mother’s Day to re-assess her needs, daily routine and overall health. Consider these factors: 

  • Are there any pain points in daily routine for her or you as her caregiver?
  • How is her daily hygiene and personal care?
  • Have her physical abilities declined to where you might need to consider help?
  • Does mom seem happy overall? Is she still showing interest in her usual activities? Or does she need more human interaction and engagement?
  • Do her medications seem to be working for her condition? Does she take them regularly as directly?
  • Has she seen her doctors recently to make sure her health is on track?

The way you celebrate and your emotions toward Mother’s Day may change as you move through life or become a mother yourself. It’s important to know that there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Find something that works for your family, however large or small the gesture seems.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers. Share how you plan to celebrate in the comments below.

By Blair Klayko