It’s that time of year when we proudly celebrate the Moms of the World by saying ‘YOU MATTER’ in our life. One important, bittersweet part of celebrating Mother’s Day for widows all over the world is they miss one really big missing link- the reason they became a mother- The DAD.
When dad’s are missing from the family unit because of a death, Mother’s Day is often forgotten for the truly hardest working moms on earth. (And dads who double duty as moms deserve recognition too!) Think about it: Two parents now one. Everything rests on her shoulders and the weight can be crushing. So, we took a poll from our MWC Members and asked ‘What are your TOP 5 Mother’s Day Gifts You Really Want?’
We hope this easy guide is sharable on social media so you can rally up a few friends and do one small (or big thing) for one widow in your life this Mother’s Day.
There is such great satisfaction seeing the sparkle come back into a widow’s eyes. You have no idea how your gift is touching her heart and soul. But just know, it is priceless.
Number 1: Repair Her
Project Handyman or Handywoman: Hands down, this is THE one gift across the board our ladies said they wanted. Service. That long ‘To Do’ List, those things that require a ladder or supplies or strength or ingenuity or experience: Leaky faucets, light bulbs changed, trim those trees, pull those weeds, repair that ‘what cha ma call it’, fix that drawer, oil changes, move this over there, hang this, detail her car, power wash the exterior, plant a garden, house cleaning and pool care.
Reason: Think about it. The man of the house is gone and it’s so overwhelming to learn everything he did around the ol’ homestead. All those little ‘things’ add up to big frustration and procrastination in our spaces. We would be so grateful for one small project checked off our list. Sigh. Say ‘I’m making the time, let me see your list’. Take charge because when you take charge, you take one decision off her long list that has been doubled since her husband died. Widows have all kinds of needs, but this is one gift she grows weary of constantly asking for. If she’s like me, she’s learned a tremendous amount about home maintenance already, but there are just some things that require an up-level of expertise and confidence to accomplish. If you teach her a new skill, you receive bonus karma. Everyone is happy.
Number 2: Send Her
Staycation: Quality escape time for a widowed mom is precious and rare. Highly coveted in ways she’ll rarely share with you. She’s proud and has every reason to be: she’s a warrior every day. Every warrior deserves a siesta after the battlefield. It looks like this: Babysit for her overnight or weekend, offer your vacation rental, give her a resort gift card, add in dinner gift card, drive her to a destination day trip, create an experience of joy for her to escape and breathe in a wonderful, different world.
Reason: I say quality because it implies nurturing time without guilt. Real, free escape time that means ‘Go and Be Free’. Most moms don’t go too far away from their kids, so a staycation is one way to give her doable personal time because she may make every excuse in the book otherwise. Send her away reassured this is ok and good for her wellbeing.
Number 3: Pamper Her
Reason: The biggest reason is touch. Widowed moms go from being hugged, kissed, intimately adored, hand holding to zero touch. It’s rarely talked about except in our circles, but the effects are tremendous. Studies show that human touch is required to feel calm and safe in the world. It connects people. Help her make a connection.
Number 4: Feed Her
Home made Meals: Feeding someone’s tummy is as effective as feeding their soul. It’s a time of celebration and when you make a homemade meal, its means that you are celebrating her as a gift to the world. What are her favorite meals? Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan, Ethnic, Farm to Table? Find out and deliver a smorgasbord in throw away containers. Add a little card she can read later to relish the moment long after the smells have left the building.
Reason: As a widowed mom, you prepare meals 24/7/365 days a year….that includes the grocery list, gathering the ingredients and bringing them into the home. Believe me when I say a homemade meal as a gift is like eating from a golden plate. It says loud and clear, ‘This is a labor of love and sustenance because you are loved’. Let me take one meal off your plate (no pun intended).
Number 5: Call Her
Phone Call: This sounds like a no brainer, but when dads don’t exist to make this a special day and the phone isn’t going to ring, the silence is deafening. Be smart and use that smartphone to make her day. Maybe mail a card ahead of time and state ‘I’m going to call you on Mother’s Day’. Then make sure you do it.
Reason: There is so much media that surrounds Mother’s Day for widows and more than anything, this day doesn’t feel much different than any other day being a mom unless someone steps in and makes it so. Kids usually don’t know what to do but often find something meaningful to prepare if someone steps in and intervenes. A phone call to a widow says ‘You are not forgotten and I remembered you today. Know I love and admire you as a mom’.
In general, widowed moms aren’t looking for ‘things’, they are focused on moments and memories.
Because they give so much to their families, communities and the world at large, receiving a little bit back is basically what they hope for. It mainly requires one very important thing: YOU.
Have a beautifully uplifting Mother’s Day to all our moms out there and for those looking to do something extra special for them. Thank you ahead of time.
– Carolyn Moor