It’s safe to stay that this Mother’s Day is going to look very different than any Mother’s Day that most of us have ever experienced. Social distancing has introduced a brand new set of obstacles to spending time together. To put it bluntly, it’s really not allowed… which means you might even be missing the good old days of arguing with your siblings over family meals or managing the stress of your parents’ expectations of a big occasion. Who knew that was even possible?
True, this is going to be a very unique Mother’s Day, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate it. With a little creativity, you can still make the moms and mother figures in your life feel extremely special this year, in spite of the reality of social distancing.
Here are a few ideas to help you plan an amazing Mother’s Day celebration in these strange and unique times…
1. Don’t underestimate the power of the written word.
One thing that hasn’t changed as a result of social distancing is what a difference a few words from the heart can make. And if you’re not going to be able to spend Mother’s Day with your mom and other family members this year, those words will make an even bigger impact.
Writing cards, letters, or even thoughtful emails might not be a regular habit of yours, but there’s no time like the present to get started. Spend some time before Mother’s Day thinking hard about how the moms in your life have impacted you as a person. If there’s time, jot those thoughts down on paper (no need to buy a fancy card!) and drop them in the mail. If you’re worried it’s too late for snail mail, that’s totally cool — an email can be just as meaningful!
The card or letter you write for this socially distanced Mother’s Day might even inspire you to start writing to your loved ones more often in the future… no occasion necessary!
2. Plan a remote activity.
Families everywhere may be dealing with social distancing these days, but that doesn’t mean we have to sit around feeling bored. If you’re late to the party on getting creative with remote activities in these strange circumstances, Mother’s Day might be the perfect excuse to start exploring your options.
According to UC Davis Health, family fitness enhances the health and mood of every member of the family… so why not apply that principle to an online workout? Invite your loved ones to join you for an online yoga class! If Mom has been looking to expand her fitness repertoire, you might even consider gifting her some additional classes to use in the future.
You might also consider a remote game night (gaming platforms like Steam and Jackbox are good places to start), a remote game of trivia (ask each family member to contribute a handful of questions), or a remote family dance party (featuring an awesome playlist of throwback jams, of course).
3. Support local businesses and send something delicious.
As if it wasn’t already a serious bummer that social distancing is keeping us away from our loved ones on Mother’s Day (and, well, every other day), it’s also posing a threat to small businesses everywhere. The good news is that you can be part of the solution to both of those problems this Mother’s Day by sending a thoughtful care package or goodie bag to the moms in your life.
Research local businesses in your loved one’s neighborhood that are being affected by social distancing and find out which ones are offering mail order or delivery options. You may even strike gold and find a shop or restaurant that sells Mom’s favorite treats! (Count us in for a fruit basket, baked goods, fancy popcorn, or basically anything chocolate.)
Place an order for Mother’s Day and trust that you’re helping a small business in the process of making your loved one’s day a little brighter… and yummier.
4. Share a socially distant meal.
If you’re lucky enough to live in close proximity to any of the moms in your circle, there are ways to remain socially distant and still enjoy a meal together (especially if we’re #blessed with good weather this Mother’s Day).
Bring a picnic lunch to Mom’s house — one basket for her, and one basket for you. Drop her basket outside the front door, set up some folding chairs in the front lawn for you (at least six feet from the house, please!), and invite Mom to join you for a Mother’s Day meal from just inside the door or from the comfort of the front porch. Wear your protective masks and do plenty of handwashing for good measure.
See? There are ways to follow the rules of social distancing without totally losing out on each other’s company this Mother’s Day.
5. Do a window or drive-by visit.
Skip the socially distant meal in favor of another variety of social distancing Mother’s Day hangout — a window drop-by or drive-by visit!
If the important mother figures in your life are within driving distance, you can pay them a visit without putting anyone in harm’s way, either by saying hello through a window or by organizing a little drive-by parade with other loved ones.
A drive-by Mother’s Day parade can be especially fun as a surprise! Thanks to social distancing, most of us aren’t going out very much, so you can pretty much bet that Mom will be home almost any time you and your other friends or family members decide to drive through her neighborhood. Call her when you’re approaching and tell her to look outside. Up the ante by decorating the car with hand-drawn Mother’s Day signs and streamers.
6. Plan ahead for a group call.
Making the most of Mother’s Day under these strange social distancing circumstances may just come down to doing a little extra planning. Zoom calls and Google Hangouts are awesome and you can definitely add a little extra sunshine to Mom’s special day by bringing her favorite people together on one screen — just organize the details ahead of time so that she doesn’t have to be the one scrambling to pull everyone together on the day of.
Reach out to your loved ones now (yes, like right now) to see when they’re available to jump on a group video call on Mother’s Day. That way, the lady of the hour can simply sign on and enjoy.
7. Find and share old photos.
A little nostalgia can really go a long way — and with the extra time that so many of us are spending at home as a result of social distancing and sheltering in place, it should be easier than ever to dig up some nostalgic mementos to share this Mother’s Day. Look for funny, sentimental photos of you and your loved ones, then find a way to share them.
You can put the photos together into a digital slideshow, post them on social media, or simply share them with Mom in your FaceTime or Zoom call. Trust us — it will mean a lot to her that you took the time to find the pictures and to reflect on why she might care about them.
8. Keep the mood light!
If we’re being totally real, no one’s mental health is especially stellar right now. As a result of COVID-19 and social distancing, many major life milestones are being postponed and canceled and are feeling generally disappointing. We miss our friends and family members and are nervous about the future. And that’s to say nothing of the health implications of the virus, of course.
These are the unfortunate realities that we’re all dealing with these days, but harping on them isn’t going to make this Mother’s Day feel any better. In fact, we can pretty much guarantee that it’s going to make it feel worse. Like, a lot worse.
Regardless of the way you’re communicating with loved ones this Mother’s Day, we encourage you to stay away from statements like, “This is so sad” or “We’re so sorry your day is ruined, Mom.” Staying light and positive will help Mom enjoy the good elements of her day and will be better for everyone’s emotional health, too.
9. Make an in-person plan for the future.
At the moment, we’re not totally sure when life is going to get back to normal — or a new normal, at least — so it’s difficult to plan for anything too specific… but that doesn’t mean you and your loved ones can’t start to dream up what your ideal Mother’s Day rain check might be down the road! Talk to Mom about how she’d like to celebrate the occasion in the future and reassure her that you’ll do what you can to make that happen when social distancing finally becomes a thing of the past.