My family, including extended family, about 30 all inclusive, descend on Arby’s for our Mother's Day lunch. It’s perfect! Come as you are, bring all the kids, heck - bring the kid’s friends. The cost is reasonable, kids can eat or not eat, they can stand, sit, spill, run, climb, cry, laugh loudly .... good behavior is a blessing but bad behavior doesn’t create all that high anxiety - it doesn’t matter because we’re usually the only ones in there! However I must confess some have walked in, witnessed our chaos and walked out - maybe McDonalds next door got a new customer!
Sounds crazy - it’s delightful, fun and very well attended! Try it, you’ll like it!
So happy to be here to discuss Mother's Day and caregiving! I cared for my Mom for many years and she passed on 4 years ago. I miss her every moment of every day.
Celebrating Mother's Day when she was living and I (and my sisters) were caring for her was always fun. We found ways to celebrate even when she was in the hospital, as she was when she fractured her spine and was in the hospital for 40 days/nights and then in rehab for 3 months. The main thing is to let her know how much we love and appreciate her for ALL the years she was our Mom. She often felt so badly about needing care and not being able to support us more. I told her she was every bit as good a Mom when she was stuck in bed as she was when she was running us around to activities, coming to our school events, taking us shopping, cooking for/with us, teaching us to sew, helping us through life. She helped us through life right up until her final moment (and I strongly believe she is helping us still now!).
Some fun things you might consider if you are celebrating Mother's Day for your Mom who you are caring for to help her know she's valued and loved and special:
Think about her quality of life - what fills her tank the most? What is most meaningful to her? After all it's about her, isn't it?!
Get her a corsage - it's old fashioned but that's why she might like it and she can wear it so all her neighbors can see it.
The traditional fresh flowers bouquet and a meaningful card brightens up any room!
Take her out - any kind of an outing can be uplifting. Whether it's out for a meal (be sure she can handle the logistics and not tire too easily), a movie, a ball game, a walk, a garden or a cup of coffee, an outing is a memory-maker.
Get her some of her favorite movies on DvD, and watch them with her. Something that makes her laugh is always good, or something that she can sing along to!
Make her a scrapbook or other memorabilia made from photos - a mug, pillow, quilt etc.
Read to her - poetry, a novel - whatever she likes.
New clothes or jewelry - I usually got Mom something new to wear, I used to take her shopping, a big outing and time consuming but she loved it. And when that got to be too hard she loved it when I brought her surprises. If mom lives in a facility you might ask if she needs anything or if there is anything that she doesn't need but that she would like - a soft blanket or pillow, a new bed jacket, pay to get her hair done, a massage...
Visit her - take time to visit her in her space and not be in a hurry, just relax, spend time, listen - that is the greatest gift of all - the gift of your time. If your mom is living in a facility, ask if they will have any special activities and try to be there so she won't feel left out. Some moms will love it if you make a fuss over her in front of the other residents 🙂 other moms will prefer that you not do so!
Above all, value your time with your mom - she won't be around forever. Treasure every moment.
This year, since my Mom has passed on, I will do something to honor her memory and acknowledge how special she was, and still is. I always keep a vase of flowers by her photo and I try to do things that remind me of her. Our rose bush is blooming right now, and the morning she got sick before she passed on, I had picked a bouquet of those roses and placed it at her spot at the kitchen table. She never got to see them. So I'll pick a bouquet of those same lavender roses and place them by her photo. I know she can see them better than ever now.
I can't wait to hear about your Mother's Day plans and afterwards how they went and answer any questions you may have too!