As moms, we’re busy. There’s no doubt about it. Whether we’re working at home or in an office, full-time or part-time (or, as is usually the case, all-the-time), it’s rare that we get to slow down and take a break. So when Mother’s Day rolls around, we usually jump at the chance to go to the spa for a massage, read a book in a café, or finish a meal without interruption.
While a break from doing all the usual “mom” stuff is totally dreamy (and in my humble opinion, totally necessary), I’m going to try something different this Mother’s Day and I invite you to join me.
Because my kids are still young, I find it can be a lot of work just to make it through a day and get everything done. So many days end and I realize that even though I’ve been with my kids the entire day, I haven’t really been “with” them. I’m in my own world of scheduling, working, shuttling, cooking, and cleaning.
That’s why this Mother’s Day I’m going to revel in being a mom by giving myself permission to be completely present. I’ll do every little weekend errand and job the day before and give my whole self to my kids on Mother’s Day.
Here are 10 ways I’d like to be present on Mother’s Day, though I’m sure there are a thousand more. Try one. Try all 10. Or, you know, go to a spa. It’s your day, after all.
- Listen. Really listen. When my kids tell me a story, I want to look at them, take it all in, and hear it until the very last word. No phone to answer. No text to send. Just me and them and listening to each other.
- Play. Do you know what I feel like I never do with my kids? Play. Sure, I join them briefly in make-believe games and dress-up adventures, but my mind is often elsewhere. I want to sit in the middle of the playroom floor with my kids and build Lego structures, sip imaginary tea, and drive a little wooden train around a track.
- Share. Before having kids I played Ultimate and softball and now that my kids are old enough, I want to introduce them to the games I loved. I’m going to pack up the Frisbee, softball, and gloves, and head to the nearest park to show them how much fun I can really be.
- Cook. Too often, I’m in a rush while I’m cooking. I want to invite my kids to the kitchen, plan a meal together, and then make it as a family. Because nothing tastes better than pasta that was once a pile of flour and eggs on the counter. And the more little hands that make it, the better it will be.
- Challenge. Nothing brings my family together like solving a puzzle as a team. So this Mother’s Day I’m going to make time for a little group detective work, whether it’s geocaching, setting up a simple scavenger hunt, or even playing a favourite board game.
- Explore. I’d love to go for a hike or a neighbourhood walk and explore. We can stop to admire flowers. The kids can choose which directions to walk. I’ll make time to admire all the treasures they discover. And, of course, holding hands will be mandatory.
- Dance. There are a lot of family dance parties at my house. And I love to join in. But I also spend a lot of time making videos and taking pictures of the kids with my phone. So I think it’s time to put down the phone, turn up the tunes, and party on the dance floor.
- Picnic. Whether it’s in the nearest park or the nearest bedroom (because breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day is pretty awesome), nothing beats a delicious meal on a picnic blanket. Bonus points if I’m not the one who prepares the meal.
- Climb. It’s easy to go to a playground with the kids and sit off to the side watching them play. I actually get a lot of my work done that way. But you know what my kids (and I) would love? If I climb up there with them and join in the fun.
- Teach. My heart warms every time I hear my children reminiscing about learning to ride a bike. My littlest might not be at two-wheeler stage yet, but we moms always have a trick or two up our sleeves. Skipping? Hopscotch? If we teach them a new playground game, they’ll remember it – and the person who taught them – forever.
If you want to join me, spend Saturday catching up on chores, work, and whatever other little things tend to make your mind wander and get ready to give your kids their mom for Mother’s Day. I don’t know about you, but I’m also going to book that spa massage for Monday. Because the way my Mother’s Day is shaping up, I’m really going to need it.
Some additional inspiration from Active for Life:
This downloadable Mother’s Day coupon PDF (click on the image to download) can be used on Mother’s Day and throughout the year as a reminder that playtime with your children is a special way to create healthy and meaningful memories for you and for them.
Editor’s note: this article was first published on May 7, 2014 and updated on May 8, 2019