Mother’s Day celebrations center on showing your appreciation for mom, duh. From the beautiful bouquets, and thoughtful gifts- even the Barbie with her hair chopped off and the macaroni noodles and glue family photo- making mom feel important is the goal. Why not make the celebration of mom a year-long affair? Is one day really enough?
Being intentional all year long and creating memories that will last a lifetime is the real gift this year- all year.
Growing up, we made a point to celebrate Mother’s Day by giving something thoughtful to my mom. She was always so appreciative of the things we came up with – even the Barbie I chopped the hair off, giving her a makeover worthy of my mom. Being a mom myself, I now realize how much time my mom invested in the moments, gifting us lifelong memories to cherish. Each intentional moment she orchestrated made my childhood more special, I know now that she celebrated Mother’s Day all year long. I intend to do the same with my family. There are several ways to celebrate Mother’s Day each and every day and as a Momma of 2 little ones (ages 4 and 2) I am finding ways to be intentional with them, just as my mom did with me.
Growing up one of my fondest memories was our families’ yearly vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. My mom is an avid seashell collector, she taught me that if you get to the beach before sunrise there are many treasured that come with the morning tide. We would come back to the beach house at the end of each day and lay out our treasures, pointing out our favorites and discussing what we hoped to find the next day. This past summer, we took our family on vacation to the Outer Banks with both sets of our parents. I cannot express how excited I was to initiate my little ones into the tradition of seashell hunting at sunrise. My son still talks about chasing the ghost crabs and loves to look at the seashells we brought home.
The mundane can also be made into a memory- from baking cookies to making dinner, the possibilities are endless. I cannot tell you how many precious memories I have grown up making homemade pierogies, or chocolate eggs at Easter, and cookies at Christmas with my mom. There’s something about making a dish with your own two hands, that gives a sense of pride and ownership. I love that my son can help me put together some of our dinners because he not only loves every second of it, but he is usually more likely to eat all of it (even if there was an ingredient he normally would turn his nose up to in the past). One of the messiest recipes we make together, and the kids favorite, are our egg-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The kids love adding each ingredient one by one, then licking the batter spoon afterward as an extra treat. It can be a labor of love, but the excitement and joy they radiate is beyond worth the mess.
One of the biggest things I have been intentional with, in the past couple of years, has been getting outside to play and explore with the kids. I don’t think there has ever been a time they have refused to go outside; and now that they are both well into toddlerhood, I feel more lenient to let them run around and discover things outdoors. Living in a townhouse community, we don’t have the biggest yard to run around in, but we have found ways to play outside anyway. (Read: Don’t allow yourself to feel limited based off of your current circumstances). There’s a beautiful forest in our backyard that I recently braved taking my son into – and weeks later he’s still raving about it. I took some sidewalk chalk this week and made an obstacle course complete with a balance beam and hopscotch that both of my kids played with for hours. I have blown so many bubbles for my kids, that I sometimes get light-headed from my lack of proper breathing throughout; but it has always been worth it! The smiles, the laughs, and the giggles are always worth it because I know I am imprinting memories on my children's hearts that will last a lifetime.
Special trips are another way to spend intentional time with your little... Our local library has been one of the best places I take my kids, that I neglected for far too long. It’s a completely free-of-cost activity that they absolutely love. We sit and read books, play games on the computers and do seasonal crafts together – not to mention, all of the free events our library hosts monthly. The library has been an amazing way to nurture their love of reading, and it allows me to save money at the same time (by not buying more books). If it were not for the library, I would have never realized my son enjoyed “I Spy” books so much, which are definitely an advanced read for his age. Something so simple as going to the library has given me a glimpse into something he enjoys and excels at; which as a momma, feels beyond wonderful.
Spending time with family – our parents and our siblings is one of my favorite ways to invest in the lives of my children. I am beyond blessed by our close family situation, but I know plenty of people who have friends that are as close as family in their lives as well. My kids and I visit my parents on a weekly basis, and my in-laws usually every weekend. Part of investing myself into my kids’ lives, is by sharing them with the people who have positively shaped my husband and my lives. In the summer, we have backyard water fun with water tables, water balloons, squirt guns and even the simplicity of a bird bath. We even get in plenty of pool time at their cousin’s house, which is another blessing in itself. Our whole family also takes trips to drum corps shows with my in-laws as part of their family traditions and passion for music.
My kids run and laugh and soak in the moments with our families we so deeply cherish.
What I wish all mothers on Mother’s Day, is the blessing of intentional time spent together year-round. I hope you can hold onto every moment and cherish in this journey of parenthood. The simple, everyday activities to the well-planned vacations, the things in life that bring joy and adventure are the moments that make Mother’s “Day,” more than just a day.