How to Get Mother's Day Right: A tutorial.

Does the approach of Mother's Day give you more anticipatory disappointment and "uggggh" than elation and "yaay!"?  

That's a lot of moms, in my experience.

Well-intended efforts have missed the spot.  Attempts at guiding have fallen flat.  Resignation may have set in all around.  

It all stops here.

To help create the best Mother's Day celebration, here's a guide you can pass along so your loved ones can make this day GREAT.  People who want to celebrate mothers need some INSIGHT, not another Mother's Day gift guide.  And here it is.

Mother's Day can be a delightful day for everyone.

Here's how:

If you're a mother, give this to your partner or your old-enough child as a tutorial for this Mother's Day.

If you're a son or daughter, Mother's Day is May 14 in the U.S., (always) May 10 in Mexico.  It's totally different, I think, in Canada and the U.K.  Please save the message, dear international readers.

If you've got a friend who's a mother or the partner of a mother, share this with that person and substantially improve a mother's day.

A note:  I mix gender-neutral language with the pronouns "she and her" in this article.  Nonetheless, I bow to every single mother, whether or not that mother identifies as female.  

What a mother really wants for Mothers' Day...

#1:  Know that with rare exception, every mother wants time ALONE.

Take the kids somewhere to get mom something or just take them out and show them a good time, but leave the mother alone at home with an already-clean house and she will be tickled.  She might also really like time with a friend or a sister on or around Mothers' Day.  But some big kid-outing?  Likely: less fabulous.

#2:  Start early, with a conversation.  

She probably knows something about what she wishes for, even if she'd never say.  Say, "I want to thrill you for Mother's Day.  Help me choose your most-wanted gift or experience?"  Ask her what she's yearning for but (a) she wouldn't buy for herself or (b) it would mean more coming from you.

#3:  After that, tell her "there'll be more, but it'll be a surprise."  

Surprise her, then, with the time alone (#1) and the little acts of service (#4) and the kid crafts (#5).

#4:  Little acts of service mean a lot - but only if they're done as well as she'd have done it.  

Sorry to say it.  But cold tea or burnt toast (unless those are her specifications) don't feel like "spoiling," even when made by the loving hands of people she adores.  Ask her beforehand how to do it just right.  She can tell you and will be glad you asked.

#5:  Things kids have made are totally awesome.  But if she has a partner and they're all she gets?  Meh.  

She'll act grateful but you won't fill her with joy.  This isn't a materialist demand for schtuff.  It's guidance to meet a need or fulfill a desire.  See #1 and #4 above.

#6:  The thing she needs from her partner is thoughtfulness

She needs the clear message "You are an amazing mother.  You are our queen.  We are all so lucky to have you.  I've thought a lot about how to thank you and celebrate you and I've put effort into this special day for you."

Think about what she loves, what she does when she has spare time, what she asks for, what she does for others.  Give her that.

You don't have to spend money you don't have.  And if you have lots, don't overspend to make up for under-thoughtfulness.   You can rock her world.  Start now.

Let me know how it goes!

Love love,