Mom's work hard and anything their kids can do to make life easier is appreciated. On Mother's Day, lots of moms enjoy celebrating at nice restaurants, receiving flowers or gifts, or having a little extra time to sleep in. But as moms get older, they also like and need extra help with all they do, so a Mother's Day spent assisting mom will probably please her in lots of ways and make her feel special.
Despite the resistance you might get from mom (“No, I can get this done myself—don't you worry."), putting aside time to help her out will make her life easier and will show her how much you appreciate all she does for you and your extended family.
A “Help Out Mom Mother's Day" is also an opportunity to get the whole family together. Bring the kids and make sure your siblings can join in. It helps if you can get a list from mom before the day starts. If she can use help raking up leaves, you'll know to bring a leaf blower, rakes, and bags. If you'll be doing some spring cleaning, you can have all the supplies in hand.
Just because you'll be working doesn't mean you can bypass a little spoiling. Including pampering is important (it's Mother's Day and she deserves it anyhow!), so greet her with some favorite or special foods when you arrive. Some ideas include scones, jam, and a new tea; burgers you'll throw on the grill (plus all the fixings!); favorite takeout (lobster roll, Chinese, Thai, gourmet brick oven pizza); a cheesecake or decadent chocolate cake from the local bakery; or a big homemade salad with finger sandwiches.
Your day of help might be her big present, but you can always bring flowers if you know she likes them or jewelry if that's your tradition. Show her the latest GreatCall gadget you just got her or bring a basket of her favorite soaps and lotions.
Settle mom in and make sure there's always someone with her to keep her company. If you don't have a lot of people, plant mom right in the middle of all the action, but with strict instructions not to work. Then let mom put her feet up amid her fantastic spread, while you start in on what needs to get done.
Adult children and grandchildren can do everything from yard clean up to household chores. Start a master list of all the things that need some attention so nothing gets overlooked.
If you aren't sure where to start and mom is reluctant to load you down with a list that's too long, consider helping her out by doing some some chores that get tougher with age.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Check under furniture for lost things.
- Clean all the car windows—inside and outside—and vacuum the interior.
- Change and wash bedding and/or curtains.
- Scrub the bathroom – including the shower curtain.
- Chop back overgrown brush or clean out heavy leaves.
- Clean out and wipe down cabinets, fridge, and freezer.
- Vacuum air ducts and baseboard heaters.
- Wipe down ceiling fans and light fixtures.
- Sweep decks, patios, and put in colorful flowers in pots or around the yard.
- Buy and spread bags of mulch.
- If she has a pet, take care to sterilize the litter box, wash the dog's bed, and pick up extra (and often heavy) supplies like cat litter and dog food.
Depending on mom's situation, you might find other tasks to add to this list (and mom probably has a few ideas as well). There's no doubt this kind of Mother's Day gift is a big investment in your time and energy, but it will make your mom feel fantastic. When her home and yard are in order, there's less for her to worry about. And while you are there, take some time to do a home safety checklist and assess if anything looks even slightly hazardous. You can also decide if it might be time for mom to get a medical alert (although bring the subject up the next time you see her).
Your family can modify the day however it will work best for your own schedule, finances, and physical capabilities. But a little help and a little pampering are the key ingredients. Taking care of mom's needs is helpful, but making her feel special is what Mother's Day is all about.
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