How to Celebrate Mother's Day With Your Family

How to Celebrate Mother's Day with Your Family - Photo Illustration by Madelyn Goodnight - Images of boy with flowers, cooking with a woman and child, and two adults and two children playing on the floor

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Mother's Day rolls around each year as the days start to lengthen and the weather begins to warm up. This holiday might bring up memories of making fresh cinnamon rolls with your siblings and presenting them to your mother. Or maybe you remember marking this special day by hiking along your stepmom's favorite mountain trail.

For some families, celebrating Mom means giving her the "day off" from all the work she normally does for her family. Maybe you send her off to the pool with her friends while the rest of the family takes on whatever chores she might usually be doing that day. In other homes, this is a day to come together and bond through family activities, like fun projects or going out for a nice Sunday brunch.

If this is your first Mother's Day, you may be thinking about how you would like to be honored for your role as a mother figure. Or maybe you have seen many Mother's Days but you're looking for a new way to celebrate. We have a few ideas for you.

Something to Keep in Mind

Mother's Day is meant for celebration, but it can be a sad day for some. It can be a day to grieve mothers who have passed on, babies who died in the womb, or infertility. It can also bring up painful emotions for those whose mothers were not able to give them the love and care they deserved.

This Mother's Day, think carefully about your words. You don't know who wants desperately to be a mother but cannot or who never got to enjoy a loving relationship with their mother.

What Is Mother's Day?

Mother's Day honors mothers and motherhood. The first Mother's Day in the United States dates back to 1908. The idea sprang up from a group called the Mother's Day Work Clubs, a group in West Virginia that cared for both confederate and union soldiers during the civil war. This group was founded by a woman named Anna Reeves Jarvis.

Jarvis's daughter, also named Anna, announced the first Mother's Day in 1908 in honor of her mother. Jarvis campaigned to have the holiday made into a national holiday and in 1914, President Wilson signed it into law.

A day recognizing mothers has much older roots than the American celebration, however. The Ancient Greeks held festivals for their mother goddess, Rhea, and the Ancient Romans did the same for the Roman equivalent, Cybele.

Early Christians observed Mothering Sunday, where children working as domestic servants were given the day off to spend time with their mothers. It was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Today, Mothering Sunday is celebrated in the UK as a similar holiday to Mother's Day in the US.

When Is It Celebrated?

Mother's Day is observed every year on the second Sunday in May, so the date itself varies from year to year.

Why Is It Celebrated?

Mother's Day is celebrated to recognize and honor mothers and mother figures.

Being a mom is not always easy. From dealing with late-night feedings to hours-long tantrums, mothers work hard to play an important role in a child's life. It seems only natural that they should have a day of recognition.

Family-Friendly Way to Celebrate Mother's Day

The following are some fun ideas to try this Mother's Day.

Breakfast in Bed

This classic Mother's Day tradition can be perfect in homes where mom, grandma, or another mother figure wakes up before the rest of the household to prepare breakfast. Letting Mom sleep in while the rest of the family prepares an elaborate breakfast made from her favorite foods could be a welcomed change of routine.

Just know that this one can get messier and feel less relaxing than expected, especially if you have small children at home. It might be that the thought counts the most here.

Family Picnic

May often means warm, sunny weather. Families who love spending time together outdoors could pack bag lunches and head out to a beautiful spot. Maybe this spot is at the end of a long and steep hike, or maybe it's just around the corner at the park.

You can go all out with picnic food and bring along everything from wine glasses to several varieties of cheese. But you can also keep it simple and affordable. Make-your-own sandwiches can be a delicious option.

Garden Projects

Planting seedlings can be a fun way to bond as a family on Mother's Day. Many flowers or vegetables do best when planted in May. Get some seed packets from your local hardware store or buy small plants that you can transfer to garden soil.

If you don't have access to a garden, potted plants work well, and there are many that thrive indoors. Ask at your local garden store to see which plants will work best where you are.

To make your garden project extra special, everyone can paint their pots and decorate them just for Mom.

Go to the Movies

Seeing a family-friendly movie can be a fun and relaxing way to spend this Mother's Day. Choose a matinee time if you have younger kids. You can get popcorn and snacks at the movie, or save room for pizza or another fun dinner afterward.

Spa Day

Some moms will love being dropped off at the spa to relax and let go. A spa day might include a massage, beauty treatments, and a nice long time in the sauna or jacuzzi.

Spa days don't have to be expensive gifts though. Families can organize a spa day at home, by stocking up on bath bombs and giving Mom a mani-pedi themselves.

A Word From Verywell

Mother's Day is a fun day to celebrate the mother figure in your life. Whether that means spending the day pampering them, giving them some alone time, or coming together as a family, take some time to thank them for all they do for you.

5 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History. West Virginia's historical people.

  2. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. RheaEncyclopedia Britannica, 26 Jun. 2020

  3. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. Hilaria.

  4. British Broadcasting Corporation. Mothering Sunday.

  5. Time and Date. Mother's Day in the United States.

By Elisa Cinelli
Elisa is a well-known parenting writer who is passionate about providing research-based content to help parents make the best decisions for their families. She has written for well-known sites including POPSUGAR Family and Scary Mommy, among others.