Mother’s Day may be about honoring Mom, but let’s face it:
The traditional take on this celebratory Sunday are not exactly what most moms dream about.
“Whoever thought that breakfast in bed was the way kids should honor their moms?” says Lauren Picker, a 45-year-old mother of two in New York City. “I’d much prefer coffee, paper and peace — at the kitchen table.”
What about going out to eat on Mother’s Day? Wouldn’t that be nice?
Maybe if you went at dawn.
By midday the restaurants are packed, kids are running around, the waiters are stretched to their limits.
“It’s the last thing a stressed-out mom wants on Mother’s Day,” says Jeanne Benedict, a 35-year-old mother of two and author of Celebrations (Penguin/Putnam.).
Ask most any mom and her dream day would probably sound a lot like yours: A little time to herself; a treat or adventure she wouldn’t dare indulge in on her own; some relaxing time with the family; and a heaping dose of appreciation.
We’ve got a range of untraditional ways to celebrate the big day with (and without) the ones we love:
Take a (Half) Day Off
It’s the dirty little secret shared by many moms with kids in the house: We’d love some time without them.
It doesn’t have to be a whole day away from the clan. Avid road biker Lori Becker of Montclair, N.J. loves starting Mother’s Day with an early morning ride with her cycling partner — another mom — while the dads deal with the kids.
At the end of the moms’ 50-mile trek, the dads and kids are waiting with a celebratory picnic.
Make It a Full Weekend Event
If separating from the family on Mother’s Day isn’t doable for you, consider scheduling two Mother’s Days: Sunday, for you to spend with your family (and the grandmas, if they’re nearby) and Saturday as the day that’s just for you.
“I would love a day off to go wine tasting with a friend and enjoy a nice meal out,” says Kathy O’Connell, from Corte Madera, Calif.
Saturday would also be the perfect opportunity to actually use the gift certificates, or wacky gifts (a flying lesson, pole dancing class, private yoga instruction, spree with a personal shopper) you’ve gotten during the year, but stuck in a drawer because of lack of time.
Give Them the Shovel
Plant a garden, flower, herb or veggie — but have Dad and the kids do the heavy lifting.
Pick out exactly what you want to be planted, but let them do the dirty work of building the beds, turning over the soil and putting those posies in the ground.
“Serving my husband a cold drink while he’s baring his arms and breaking a sweat is sexy and sporty to me,” says Melissa Halas-Liang of Pasadena.
Plus, an elevated garden planter is something I really want but can’t afford to buy so this would be a fantastic present!
It’s a gift that will keep giving all season long.”
Organize a Picture Perfect Day
If you spend the day with your own Mom — and even if you don’t — why not pull out all of those old family albums and spend the day tracing your family story from the old days to the present.
If you’re game, set out supplies and get the family to help put all those loose photos into albums.
And when the sun goes down, get out the family videos and settle in for a nostalgic night at the movies.
Celebrate for a Cause
Make strides for all mothers and sign up for the Breast Cancer Network of Strength Walk to Empower.
Sponsoring walks in 17 major cities across the country, it’s a Mother’s Day tradition that allows family and friends to spend the day together while supporting a worthy cause. In the past 17 years, the Walk to Empower has raised nearly $42 million to help ensure that no one faces breast cancer alone.