Of all of the year's holidays, Mother's Day holds the most personal significance for me. While I love all of the other holidays, Mother's Day is the only yearly celebration that recognizes the hardest and most valuable role I hold.
Quite frankly, motherhood is incredibly hard work. Two pregnancies, healing from two caesareans, nursing, pumping, bouncing a colicky baby, not changing out of my pyjamas for days, being the last one to sit down to dinner always, my head hitting the pillow knowing the night shift could begin at any moment, midnight trips to the hospital because of croup, cluster feeding a growing baby, leaving the house unknowingly with spit-up on my clothes, fevers, catching throw-up in my bare hands, diaper blowouts, perpetually drinking cold, stale coffee, cleaning potty training messes out of the carpet, being told dinner is gross, making bagged lunches, rushing to school, waking a napping baby to rush to pick up from school, eating dinner on the road to make it to activities on time, listening to incessant questions of, "Are we there yet?" on road trips, facing bedtime battles, being wedged between two small bodies unable to move in my own bed, being left with a postpartum body well after the postpartum period, and because of so many other facets, there is no doubt parenting is the most all-encompassing role I've ever taken on.
But it is also the most joyous. Oh how joy-filled it is. The smallest of milestones, waking up to their faces each morning, the sloppiest of kisses, their words, their smiles, the leg hugs, the barely legible family drawings, the laughter, their imaginations, the magic of seeing the world through their eyes, witnessing their boundless potential just start being actualized, the way they fit into my arms so perfectly, every day marking a new adventure, really every moment is worth all the work and then some. That said, Mother's Day is a really nice perk. And though the work any mother puts in can seem unbelievable at times, the key to showing appreciation to Mom is really quite simple. You don't need to break the bank or even spend much money at all. In fact, if you're looking to make Mom's day extra memorable showing thoughtfulness is the greatest gift. And so here are five thoughtful Mother's Day ideas cost nothing or next to nothing.
5 Thoughtful, Budget-Friendly Mother's Day Ideas
1. Clean the House
Clean the house from top to bottom without involving her. There are days I really feel like I'm a live-in, volunteer janitor. One weekend day where I have nothing I have to do around the house would be utterly sublime!
2. Make Her Favorite Meal
There is no need to scramble to get reservations and face the hustle and bustle of restaurants. There are plenty of less busy days of the year to try and pull a toddler from out under the table! Dining at home and not having to make it or clean up afterwards is SUCH a nice treat!
3. Plan a Day to Play Tourist
This one may cost the price of parking, but pack up the kids, pack a lunch and walk around the hot-spots in your city. It is a wonderful opportunity to get present and enjoy your family as well as appreciate the beautiful city you live in.
4. Rest and Relaxation
Let mom leave the house sans kids, or take the kids out of the house to give Mom some R&R. It is such a simple act, but being in a silent house with no one to care for or driving without having to reach for fallen sippy cups while referreeing sibling rivlary is almost as great as a spa day. I kid you not.
5. Set a Calming Atmosphere
When the kids are asleep or preoccupied, pour mom a nice cup of tea (or her beverage of choice!), set up candles, run a bath, and let her be. I cannot tell you the last time I crawled into a bath without exuberant spectators adding to the bath or wanting to be added themselves. Just the idea of a warm bath, some candle light, and some time to myself has me smiling.
There is no denying, motherhood has been the greatest gift in my life. Getting a little R&R in as a sign of thanks is really the icing on the cake.
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