Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
Download the app.

I had naively thought that it would be a day where all my anxieties and responsibilities would fall away. But that isn’t your reality when you have a screaming baby who wants to be held only by you. Despite my family’s earnest efforts, each gift felt like a tiny bandage on the gaping wound that was my maternal overwhelm.

So I decided to start doing Mother’s Day differently. If this is intended as a day for moms, I thought, then I’m going to do what I want to do.

So I decided to start doing Mother’s Day differently. If this is intended as a day for moms, I thought, then I’m going to do what I want to do. In all honesty, that was to put my “mom hat” down and just be Sarah. I also talked to other mamas of young children who know a thing or two about how they and others like to feel supported. Here are their mindful mother’s Day gift ideas.

“Ask yourself what you need at that moment, and then go for it,” suggests Karla Misjan, who runs a digital mom’s circle called Mom Classroom at The Class Digital Studio. She’s also, clearly, a strong advocate for moms getting their needs met. But this also puts the onus on the mom to know what she needs, which can be another responsibility at times.

Misjan suggests that if you’re the one trying to indulge someone else, there’s an easy way to make that easier for moms. “Offer a few no-strings-attached, guilt-free hours for whatever that mama wants to do. Maybe it’s a walk, going to take a movement class, get a massage, have a coffee in peace and quiet, or binge-watch a TV show.”

A mom of four, Jenna Hermans, author of Chaos to Calm and COO and co-founder of the business mindset consultancy firm Be Courageous, has received quite a few Mother’s Day gifts. One of her favorite celebrations to date was the year her kids created a home spa retreat for her.

“They provided services such as massage, hair washing, and pedicure. I even got a charcuterie plate to munch on during my pedicure service,” says Hermans. “The customer service was top notch!”

It’s easy for Mother’s Day to become all about our kids. Pranidhi Varshney, mom of two small children and owner of Yoga Shala West in Los Angeles, decided to give herself the greatest Mother’s Day gift ideas she’s experienced to date—a weekend with a friend at a California-based retreat center.

“It was one of the first times I’d left my youngest overnight and honestly, it was wonderful,” says Varshney. “I needed that time to replenish–to not be responsible for anyone’s meals and have all my meals prepared for me, to soak in the baths overlooking the ocean, to read a book. I respect myself for actually choosing to do something for myself that weekend.”

Understanding that there is financial privilege in being able to attend a retreat, Varshney also suggests the partner take the kids somewhere for the entire day. “When do moms ever get to chill in their own house? Even something as simple as being able to sleep in is a gift,” says Varshney.

Destini Ann Davis, a single mom of two school-age girls and author of Very Intentional Parenting, says what a lot of mothers want more than gifts is an opportunity to completely prioritize themselves and get a break from the mental load of parenting—even if just for a day. She also prefers to celebrate Mother’s Day solo.

“I typically opt for a kid-free mother’s day when I can. I don’t have a ton of support, but I definitely lean on the community on this day specifically,” she says. “So most of my highlights from past Mother’s Days have been solo dates and silence!”

Yoga therapist and teacher Ivorie Jenkins is currently in the “thick of it” (as we mothers like to say) with a six- and two-year-old. She jokes, “If you are a mom of littles, and anything like me, all you really want is time away from your roommates.”

She suggests that you book her a hotel room for the Saturday before Mother’s Day, drop her off, and leave her alone. “Let her bathe and eat in peace. Let her sleep in, wake up, and go back to sleep,” says Jenkins. ‘Then on Sunday, pick her up with a bouquet of her favorite flowers and take her to brunch or a homemade picnic lunch outdoors. Mom will feel so renewed.”

“One of the reasons modern motherhood can feel so stressful is the isolation that comes with a lack of community,” says Varshney. She explains that some moms prefer connecting with others rather than escaping to connect with themselves.

“How about organizing a get-together with a few close family friends?” says Varshney. “That way the kids can run around with each other and the grown-ups can have some time to connect. Extra points if someone besides the mom does the organizing.”

Jaime McFaden is a single mom of two, a self-care specialist, and best-selling author of Waves of Self-Care: It Takes a Village. She likes to inspire others toward self-care found through community. Some of her more memorable experiences have been hosting walks, barbecues, and other mom-focused events where the entire family is welcome. She suggests including a mini photo shoot of mom, kids, and partner since, as McFaden explains, “moms are usually the ones taking the photos.”

Peloton yoga teacher and scholar Dr. Chelsea Roberts spent a quiet and restful Mother’s Day at home last year in Harlem with her husband and son, Noble, who was just under one year old. To her, it was perfect.

Yoga and meditation teacher Neeti Narula, who leads prenatal classes for the Melissa Wood Health app, also prefers quiet and simple Mother’s Days in which she has space for her nourishing routines. That typically looks like meditation and coffee and a studio yoga class followed by a long shower followed by time with her two young children and husband.

“The little ordinary moments are actually luxuries when we slow down and appreciate them,” says Narula.

“My favorite Mother’s Day is definitely the time we took a walk to a local waterfall with our dogs and the whole family climbed the rocks to adventure up the side of the falls,” says Susanna Barkataki, speaker, author, and yoga culture advocate. “I love going to the nursery and getting a plant or flowers that we can grow from seed and nurture together. Or going on a walk in nature and sharing fun things we notice,” says Barkataki.

Hermans also has an affinity for drawing inspiration from the outdoors. “One year, my kids created bouquets of gathered flowers from the yard and neighborhood. Another time, the older kids watched the younger kids for a few hours so that my husband and I could do something together—we went for a hike. It was an absolute treat.”

“The best present is always presence, to be honest!” says yoga and Pilates instructor Kristin McGee.

She encourages families to ditch the screens and do activities as a group, such as puzzles and board games or getting outside and moving together. Her favorite way to celebrate includes quality connection with her three boys, including “making breakfast together, doing some yoga poses, taking a walk on the beach, and snuggling on the couch watching a movie.”

One of the most memorable Mother’s Day gift ideas that Mary Vallarta experienced was when her kindergarten daughter presented her with “the most adorable artwork. “There’s nothing like a present that’s made with love by my child,” says the holistic wellness coach for working mothers and head of marketing at Tasty Directives.

It’s not an uncommon sentiment. “I am a sucker for handmade gifts! I will gladly accept the tissue paper flowers,” laughs Audrey Rey Espinosa, owner of Yoga Sanctum LA.

For years, Espinosa had found it difficult to celebrate the many amazing mothers in her life while she was trying to conceive and struggling with miscarriages. “My first Mothers Day was so memorable,” says Espinosa. “When I look at photos of the first year I look so tired, yet I was so happy finally celebrating a holiday as a mother myself.”

Her Mother’s Day tradition is to remind the fellow strong moms in her life that they are appreciated and supported. She usually opts for a phone call or some act of service. If a mother is bereaved and does not have a child earthside, you may still want to send her flowers or a card.

And of course, our most impactful mother-figures are not always the people who birthed us. Barkataki reminds us that there are many alternative forms of caregiving and encourages us to “focus on the role and connection rather than the title.”

Ah the hour-long yoga class. It’s quite luxurious, isn’t it? But let’s be frank—some days, it seems impossible to carve out a large chunk of time for your practice. If you ever feel this way (and who hasn’t?) know this: even a few minutes of movement can make a huge difference in how you approach … Continued

Join Outside+ to get access to exclusive sequences and other members-only content, and more than 8,000 healthy recipes.

By admin