social distancing Mother's Day

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day When You Can’t Leave Home

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Planning a Happy Mother’s Day in Seclusion

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll celebrate this year. If you’re social distancing due to COVID-19 this year’s Mother’s Day celebration will probably look a little different than other years. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a special day with your kids. Or honor your own mother and your kids’ grandmother. It just might be different than what you planned. Here are some ideas for making Mother’s Day special when you’re self-isolating. 

First, let’s talk about things you can do at home with your family to make Mother’s Day special. Then we’ll talk about how you can celebrate with your mom and your children’s grandma for Mother’s Day from a distance. 

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Celebrate Mother’s Day While Sheltering in Place

Mother’s Day during social distancing means staying home on the holiday for most people. We stayed home for Easter. And for many of us, there has probably been a birthday, anniversary or other big event that turned into an at-home celebration due to social distancing. 

As moms, we’re used to taking care of people. Making choices that keep our family safe. And teaching our kids about responsibility and caring for others.

Staying home and self-isolating right now is something we’re doing as moms to take care of our families. And the other people in our lives.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. And that it doesn’t sting on holidays like Mother’s Day when it limits how we can celebrate and who we can celebrate with. 

If your usual Mother’s Day plans include brunch out, or a visit to your mom’s house, or getting together with extended family, this year is going to be different. If you’re disappointed about the change in plans, please allow yourself those feelings. 

Experiencing some sadness and disappointment about the limits on this year’s Mother’s Day is completely reasonable. And you should allow yourself to grieve that loss.

But you can still make this Mother’s Day special. And find ways to connect with your mom, your kids’ grandma, your mother-in-law and other special “mom” figures in your life. 

Let’s talk about how we can do that. 

Things to Do at Home on Mother’s Day 

One of the easier things about Mother’s Day during social distancing is that if you have young kids, they’re at home with you. So, with some help from your partner if possible, they should be able to celebrate you this Mother’s Day at home and in person. 

Here are some fun ideas for celebrating Mother’s Day at home. I hope they can inspire your family to make your day special. 

1. The Gift of “Me-Time” for Mother’s Day

For many of us moms, stay at home orders or being told to shelter in place has meant we’ve had LOTS of time at home with our kids lately. Maybe what you’d like for Mother’s Day is a break. 

Of course, you want to spend time with your kids on Mother’s Day. But you might also like an hour or two to yourself during the day. 

If you have a spouse or partner at home, tell them what you’d really like for yourself. A few ideas:

  • A chance to sleep in and have a lazy morning
  • An hour of quiet in the afternoon to take a nap or read a book
  • To take a quiet (uninterrupted!) bath
  • An hour or two alone to spend time on a favorite (possibly neglected) hobby
  • A phone call with YOUR mom or a close friend without the kids interrupting

You probably have your own ideas about this. Talk to your partner and kids about the gift of a little quiet time for yourself this Mother’s Day. 

If you’re a single parent or your partner is working, you might have to get creative. Consider setting your kids up with a movie or some quiet time activities. And tell them they can give you the gift of some quiet time. And let them entertain themselves for a bit while you relax.

Or ask your family for an at home spa day this Mother’s Day!

After taking a break, you’ll be refreshed and ready for some Mother’s Day fun with the whole family. 

2. Let Your Kids Plan You a Celebration

This Mother’s Day might be a fun time to let your kids take over planning ways to celebrate you. Maybe they can make you breakfast in bed or help your partner make you a special lunch or dinner. 

Maybe your kids can set up a family movie night where mom picks the movie. Or a game night where the whole family plays all your favorite games. 

And maybe your kids have their own ideas. But planning something for you could be fun for your kids. And for you. And a great way to make the day special. 

It’s likely as a mom, your role is often organizing celebrations, coordinating the cards, gifts, breakfast in bed or whatever for members of your family.

Even on Mother’s Day, we have probably all found ourselves “in charge” of the celebration at some point. But this really is a day your kids and your spouse or partner should take on the planning. Ironically you might need to tell them this. 

If you want your kids to plan something for you, tell them so. Give them an idea of what you might enjoy. Or if they are little ones talk to your spouse or partner about helping the kids plan a celebration. 

If you don’t have a partner at home, maybe a friend or grandparent can provide some guidance to your kids by phone. Even if it’s just reminding them to make mommy a card or pick her some flowers. You can also tell them these things. 

The perfect celebration doesn’t need to be a surprise. In fact, that can be setting yourself up to be disappointed. Tell your family what would make you happy so you can all be sure you get what you want from the day. 

3. Do Something Together with Your Kids

If your idea of the perfect Mother’s Day this year is a quiet day with your family, I completely understand. The day can be special AND low-key. 

Consider some things you might like to do with your family on Mother’s Day this year. Maybe something as simple as taking a walk together. Watching a movie or playing a board game. Maybe your kids could help you plant some flowers in the yard. 

Think of a few fun and social-distancing approved activities you actually enjoy that your kids can do WITH you to make the day special. 

How Mother’s Day Might Not Be Different this Year (Without Some Planning)

You may have noticed on previous Mother’s Day that when your family tells you to take the day “off” they don’t necessarily plan on picking up the slack. Often the day after Mother’s Day you find yourself doing two days of household chores in one. Not cool, guys. 

I know it’s exhausting to always be the household manager but if that’s a role you typically take on Mother’s Day by itself isn’t going to fix that. Let your family know how they can help you. 

You should get the day off as much as possible on Mother’s Day. But that might mean you need to let your teen know they need to start a load of laundry. Or talking your grade school kids through clearing the table.

Or whatever needs to happen so that the household still runs without you taking on an extra burden for the rest of the week following Mother’s Day. 

Is it Safe to See Grandma on Mother’s Day?

So, the answer here is probably “no”. At least not in person. I’m not a medical expert, so please check with your doctor or a reliable source like the CDC website to assess plans for visits with extended family. Particularly with regards to the increased risks for older adults

But, just because your kids can’t visit Grandma in person on Mother’s Day that doesn’t mean they can’t still celebrate her this year. 

One of the best things you can do is set up a virtual visit with Grandma and your kids on Mother’s Day. Use FaceTime if you have iPhones or free apps like Zoom to set up a video call

If you live nearby you can also do a drive by visit and wave from outside the window or from your car if you can maintain social distance and want to give your kids a chance to see Grandma in person and blow her a kiss. 

Mother’s Day Ideas for Grandma During Social Distancing

In addition to a video chat, there are lots of other fun ways to make Grandma feel special this Mother’s Day. Your kids can send cards, draw pictures, or fill out something like this free Mother’s Day printable and mail it or drop it off on Grandma’s porch. 

One of my absolute favorite ideas for Grandma this Mother’s Day is to send a hug. All you need is a roll of butcher paper and some coloring or painting supplies. If Grandma is missing your little ones, she’s going to love this!

You can also send flowers or drop them off on her porch. Or order gifts from online retailers. Send spa gift certificates, almost anything is going to brighten Grandma’s Day. 

Basically any gift you would have given her on any other year is fine as long as it can be given from a distance. 

I know this isn’t a dream scenario. But we’re keeping our distance out of love. And Grandma knows that. 

What if You’re Missing YOUR Mom?

We’ve talked about the kids missing Grandma and vice versa this Mother’s Day. But she’s YOUR mom. And you’re no doubt missing her too. This is hard for all of us. 

You should definitely set up a phone call or video chat with your mom this Mother’s Day. If you can, arrange for a time when your kids are busy elsewhere (maybe planning your celebration) and you can have an uninterrupted chat that’s even better.

Send your mom a gift you know will be meaningful to her. Send flowers or a card. And together make plans for the awesome get together you’ll have when this is over and you can be together in person again. 

When You Can’t See Mom on Mother’s Day

Being separated from your mom or your kids on Mother’s Day sucks. But there are ways to share the day without meeting in person. 

Video calls and cards and letters are a wonderful way to stay connected during social distancing. For Mother’s Day consider something more.

For example, you might want to set up a movie watch-along using Netflix or another app you both have. 

You can read the same book and discuss it on the phone. Or order at home spa supplies and use them at the same time while you chat on the phone for a virtual spa day. 

Play games together online. Or send videos of you and your kids with messages of love for Mother’s Day. 

It’s a tough time. But necessity is the mother of invention this Mother’s Day. Do your best to get creative and find a meaningful way to connect with your mom and celebrate her on Mother’s Day. Or to connect with your kids, if you’re separated from them this Mother’s Day. 

Keep Social Distancing on Mother’s Day

Social distancing has been tough on all of us. It’s a stressful time. And we feel it acutely on days that are supposed to be celebrations. Especially when we’re forced to keep our distance from our loved ones. But the truth is that we’re staying home out of love. And we can still have a special Mother’s Day. We can still celebrate our moms and enjoy time with our kids. And make the most of the day. It just might take a little extra creativity. 

I hope these ideas can help you have a special Mother’s Day at home with your family. And find creative ways to celebrate your mom (and grandma) even when you can’t be together in person. 

Alternative Mother’s Day Plans When You Can’t Go Out


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