I must admit: Growing up, I’ve never put much effort into my mum’s birthday or, for that matter, Mother’s Day.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s more like we’ve never had a culture of appreciating one another in my family. We go out for dinner somewhere nice on special occasions and maybe watch a movie, but that’s it.
When I was a teenager, I thought of making pancakes for my mother secretly and then presenting them to her while she was still in bed. But after considering how my mum would react, I usually resorted to writing cards. I’m not sure how effective they were in displaying my love and appreciation though.
But that’s the thing isn’t it? Showing love doesn’t just have to be done in a single way. There are many different things we can do.
Have you been looking for ways to appreciate your mother too? Here are some ideas based on the five different love languages!
WHAT ARE THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES?
This concept can be traced back to a book by Dr Gary Chapman.
As individuals, we all have different ways of feeling loved and appreciated, with some valuing quality time over say, gifts. This means that understanding the primary love language of our loved ones can help us to bless them.
Not sure what your mother’s love language is? Try to identify her in the following five scenarios! You could also take this test on behalf of her, or get her to do it (but that might be a bit suspicious).
Let’s get into it, shall we?
This love language involves words that build up. These verbal compliments don’t have to be complicated, but they need to be sincere.
For words of affirmation, cards and letters would work, especially if they are heartfelt. Pen down your appreciation for your mum for the things she has done. Tell her why you love her for who she is.
Want to take it up a notch? You could also do something unconventional.
EXTRA-SPECIAL IDEA: Post-it notes around the house
You could start off with a letter that expresses your appreciation and then fill the house with post-it notes to get into the nitty-gritty.
For example, you could stick a post-it note on the frying pan to thank her for the meals she cooks for you. Be creative and have fun!
The love language involves solid action. Your mother doesn’t just want to hear that you love her, she wants to see it!
Acts of service requires doing things that you know your mother likes. What does she often ask you to help her with that perhaps you haven’t been doing so willingly?
Do them even before she asks and do them with joy, knowing that it would make her happy! Also, where possible, go above and beyond.
What are some things that will make her life easier? You can do them unprompted, or you can make it a game.
EXTRA-SPECIAL IDEA: Vouchers of service
This idea isn’t for everyone, but if you think your mother will enjoy this, then go for it!
To start, brainstorm acts of service that you know your mum will appreciate and write them on different slips of paper. You could also go all out and design them like vouchers.
Finally, allow her to pick from this selection over a certain period, say once a week over a month or two, and then fulfil each task with gladness!
Is your mother especially happy when she receives thoughtful gifts? What is something she would really cherish?
It doesn’t have to be complex – perhaps what would really touch her heart is getting her favourite pint of ice cream.
How about art supplies or a lovely journal? A bracelet or necklace? Or would she like something for the kitchen or bedroom?
And if you have some time on hand, why not make it more meaningful by making the gift yourself?
You could knit, sew or draw something. Maybe attend a pottery class and present her with your creation? The opportunities are endless!
EXTRA-SPECIAL IDEA: Handmade soap
Did you know that you can easily make soap at home? The melt-and-pour technique involves the melting of a ready-made soap base to produce something unique.
Choose from a range of soap bases such as aloe and olive, honey, shea butter and goat’s milk, then add your favourite essential oils and decorations. It’s a fun project to work on that your mother might just absolutely love!
This love language is all about undivided attention. In this digital age we live in, it’s common to see families going out but distracted by their phones.
If quality time is what your mother would appreciate, start off by setting aside time that you will not be disturbed. Then, be mentally present when you are with her. Remember that beyond the time spent together, how the hours are used is even more important.
What are some things that you and your mum will enjoy doing together? Perhaps it’s been a long time since just the two of you have gone out for something fun. Maybe you’ve never done that before.
Whatever it is, here are some ideas that you could use as inspiration:
- Attend a class together. Calligraphy? Zumba?
- Return to the ’70s by roller skating to disco music and lights.
- Try stand-up paddle boarding.
- Have a luxurious sunset dinner onboard a yacht.
- Go on a staycation.
EXTRA-SPECIAL IDEA: Fancy picnic outdoors
Spending quality time with someone could be as simple as sitting with that person and having a heart-to-heart chat. To do this with our mothers, creating the atmosphere might do wonders.
Physical touch is probably less common among our Asian parents. But if you find that your mother likes to hug you more than you like to hug her, then perhaps now’s the time to reciprocate!
If you’re not comfortable with holding her hand or giving her a big hug, what about arranging a relaxing massage for your mum?
EXTRA-SPECIAL IDEA: Luxurious spa day
Pamper your mother with a spa day right in the comforts of her own home. You can choose to be her assistant, guiding her through the experience, or you could leave her instructions that she can follow.
Having the session in the evening might be good because it would allow you to use candlelight to set the atmosphere. Just prepare some face and body scrubs, masks and soaks. Spice it all up with some relaxing jazz music, dimmed lights and essential oils. Finish the experience with a massage from you.
Prefer to leave it to the pros? You can also book a therapist for a home massage! Whatever the case, plan the day according to what your mum would like.
I hope this article inspires you in your search for something special to do this Mother’s Day.
Even if you’re like me and haven’t been putting much effort into showering your mother with love all these years, it’s never too late.
Don’t miss this opportunity to show your mum you love her!
THINK + TALK
- What do you think is your mother’s primary love language?
- What is 1 thing you can appreciate about your mum?
- How can you also honour your spiritual mother(s)?