The stress of parenthood lasts beyond the childhood years
Being a mother has many joyful moments, but it is stressful too. The stress of parenthood continues even after children have grown, as moms never stop worrying about their kids and having adult children or grandchildren brings its own set of concerns. Adult children may be making decisions that are difficult to understand, or may be dealing with addiction issues or mental illness, and it can be hard for older moms to know how to navigate these issues.
CNN details that the struggles that adult children face, whether it be related to financial worries, divorce, addiction, or other challenges, can cause significant distress for the parents too. As children transition into adulthood, relationships with parents shift in many ways and a new adult's quest for independence can mean that an older parent is facing decreased interaction or communication with their child, and any of these stressors can lead to depression or other mental health issues.
Focus on meaningful gift ideas for Mother's Day
What do older moms really want for Mother's Day? Project Legacy shares that for many moms, getting something that shows a connection to the relationship with their child is quite meaningful. For example, time spent with an older parent that comes genuinely, rather than out of a sense of obligation, creates lasting memories. The gift of time together, whether just the adult child and mom or with grandchildren if they are part of the family too, may be one of the best possible Mother's Day gifts.
Giving your mom a true day off from all of her responsibilities is another great gift, and if you want to give a tangible gift, think of ways to leave a lasting impression. For example, you can give a book or a journal in place of a card or create a memory jar in place of flowers, candy, or perfume. Take old family photos or videos and digitize them so they are safe and easy to view, suggests Love to Know, or create a photo bouquet rather than a bouquet of flowers.
Gifts that continue beyond the holiday can make a big impact
You may also look into purchasing a treat-of-the-month type of membership, so your mom can know you are thinking of her all year long. Other gift ideas for Mother's Day could involve setting up a photo shoot for the entire extended family together, or set up recurring help in the home by arranging for cleaning, cooking, or in-home care. You could also prepare some freezer meals for her, or if she still likes to cook, consider setting up several orders from a meal kit delivery service.
If there are grandchildren in the family, one of the most meaningful gifts you can give your older mom is something handmade from a grandchild. Hand-drawn pictures or cards are great, or you can step it up a notch and go with some of the ideas Babble shares such as creating handprint stepping stones, aprons, decorated flower pots, or coupon books that ensure there is more time together ahead.
No matter how busy your life is on a day-to-day basis, take a step back when Mother's Day comes to consider how you can honor your older mom and make her feel special. Even once kids are grown, the stress of parenthood often remains, and it is important to help your mother find ways to take care of herself and get a mental health break when stressors in life become overwhelming. Focus on meaningful gifts that show a personal connection and think beyond the stereotypical store-bought items that may end up cast aside.
[Image via Pixabay]