What Moms Want to Hear
In any relationship — marriage, family or otherwise — the hidden source of most problems is a lack of appreciation from one or both parties. And there’s no one who is more underappreciated than Mom.
This Mother’s Day, steer clear of the canned greeting card sentiment and take some time to let your mom know just how much she means to you. Here, we asked a couple family and parenting experts to tell us what matriarchs are hoping to hear from their kids and spouses say on May 10.
Marriage and family therapist Carin Goldstein says that, many times, Mom never gets asked what she wants to do for Mother’s Day. “Often, I’ll ask my patients how their holiday was, and they’ll laugh and say, ‘What holiday?’” she says. “Many times, no special attention is given to the day. Mom’s still going to make breakfast, Mom’s still going to pick up after the kids.”
Moms want to feel considered on their special day, and Goldstein says they’re usually looking for their spouses to lead the way. “Ask her, ‘What do you want to do?’” says Goldstein. “That’s a good place to start. Maybe she wants to do a little pampering, get out for the afternoon and go to the beach by herself. It’s never a bad idea to make sure you know what she wants.”
It’s super-simple, but always an effective sentiment: moms want to hear thank you. “Moms work so hard for their families and it can be a thankless job,” says parenting expert Hindi Zeidman, founder of The Ollie Swaddle. “ Taking time to share ways that they matter can be a huge confidence booster and make them feel like all they do is worth every sacrifice they make to do their best.”
When it comes to gratitude, Goldstein says to be specific. “The more personal and intimate the thank you, the better,” she explains. Some other good ways to say it? Zeidman suggests:
- Leaving her a voicemail or send her a text saying you love her and what makes her so special to you. She can replay it or look at it whenever she wants.
- Letting her know her advice makes a difference in your life. Remind her of advice you’ve taken and how well the situation worked out.
- Reminding her how much you appreciate her being in your corner. Knowing she has your back makes you feel safe, secure, and loved.
Ultimately, moms want to feel loved and essential to their family clans, so expressing that love in uncommon ways can be a really special Mother’s Day gift. “Share what she has done to make your life better, and how she has shaped you,” says Goldstein.
Every mother’s goal is to shower her child with love and affection, so if you can reflect that back to her and show her she’s succeeded, it’ll make all the difference, says Zeidman. She says any of these sentiments work:
- Mom, I carry a special place in my heart for you. I’m the woman I am today because you are my mother.
- Mom, it’s so comforting to know that I can always come to you for advice, a friendly ear, and a hug, as it always makes me feel like somehow everything will be okay.
- Mom, thank you for always giving so much of yourself to me. I can see how hard you worked to gave me every opportunity at a happy life and a bright future.
Lastly and most importantly? Think it over, and make sure your words for Mom are specific and from the heart this Mother’s Day — and that you couldn’t have made it this far in life without her.