Moms everywhere are more stressed than ever, and it isn’t just because of how many times she has to tell you to put that phone down at dinnertime and could you—just once, just one danged time—clean up the table without having to be asked? It isn’t just because, in all seriousness, aprons show up on Mother’s Day gift lists right here in 2021. Was an apron ever the point of a day meant to honor the woman who cooked every meal you ever ate? She has a freakin’ apron.
Give Mom what she really wants: relief from all this stress that you certainly didn’t cause, you sweet precious angel who has left the refrigerator door open again. Can you please use that big brain so I don’t feel like I got a massive episiotomy for nothing? You have Christmas morning to make up for, don’t forget.
Here are some ideas for de-stressing moms. Mother’s Day is a great time to show appreciation— but so is any day ending in ‘y.’
A recent survey by Motherly showed that 74% of moms feel their stress level has risen since COVID changed everything. Most moms have had to add “teacher” to their already absurd list of roles, and it’s wearing them out. You know what’s incredibly rejuvenating? A great laugh. Give mom a hilarious book and the peace and quiet in which to read it. In other words: Get out of the house for a couple of hours.
She loves you, truly, but you are a hurricane. The price of your being home all the time is that you have infinitely more opportunity to mess up the house. That’s not good for anyone—least of all Mom, on whom the burden of re-ordering the house tends to fall. Get her out of the house for a couple of hours (or six? Ten?) and clean up your filth. All of it. Bonus points if you get her out by giving her tickets to the garden show she’s been dropping hints about.
Unknot and unwind
You’ve heard of massage, right? It’s this amazing experience wherein a person goes into a quiet, dark room and lies down on a bed of sorts and does absolutely nothing for an hour. But wait—there’s more. During this blissfully quiet hour, the person gets rubbed all over by someone who knows how to unknot stressed-out muscles and relax a poor, frazzled mind. Your mom wants that, for this holiday and probably at least once a month. Gift her a massage and get out of the house so that when she comes home, she has a little more peace and quiet in which to enjoy that delicious, melty post-massage calm.
She worries about you, you know. She just wants what’s best for you. You know what would really blow her mind? Show her you’ve been listening. Start with the holiday itself, and if it feels good, by all means continue, but do all the things she’s been asking you to do: Make your bed. Clean up after yourself. Get your homework done before the last minute. Master Hollandaise sauce. Whatever you know darned well she’d like you to do, do it. Especially if it means getting out of the house.
Build up (and out)
Feeling underappreciated stinks, and it’s bad for Mom’s health. Here’s a role you are uniquely qualified to fill—show your dear mama how very much you appreciate the things she does. Need ideas? Here are 50 great ones. And here’s ours: tell her you appreciate her love, attention, and the million things she does every day. Tell her she makes the family’s life so much better. Tell her something specific about her that you love. And then get out of the house.