“Aprinted card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world,” said Anna Marie Jarvis, who was ironically the founder of Mother's Day holiday in the United States. She was embittered by the commercialisation of a day that held personal significance for her.
In 1908, three years after her mother's death, Jarvis held a memorial in honour of her mother who was a famed social activist and community organiser. Soon after, she campaigned to establish the second Sunday of May as 'Mother's Day,' a day for families to honour their mothers. The day bears resemblance to many other commemorations held around the world on different dates to honour mothers, grandmothers, and in-laws.
With Mother's Day (11th of May) just around the corner, many choose to show solidarity with Jarvis and to revive the essence of what she had planned out to be a noble cause. Let us start off by not casting aspersions on the motives of those who celebrate Mother's Day. While “everyday should be a mother's day” indeed, there are those who find themselves distanced from their mothers due to unexpected complexities of life. They often choose the universal Mother's Day to do a bit more than usual to honour their mothers.
If you are living overseas, make a long call, mail a handwritten message, or send an item that your mother has always wanted to possess, such as a rare book. Even a printed card can pleasantly surprise your mother if you make it thoughtful. If you live close to your mother, there are sufficient options for you.
Take your mother out for a meal. It does not have to be the usual dinner or lunch. Gloria Jeans' Coffees Bangladesh and Platinum Suites offer breakfast. Fast-food and coffee shops offer a casual ambience as opposed to dine-in restaurants which will provide a more personal and formal experience. Personalise the treat by selecting a place that matches your mother's preferences for food and ambience.
Take your mother to a spot of serenity, such as a park, a lake-side area, or any other natural habitat. Greenery is known for uplifting one's spirits. You may also take your mother to a massage or a spa parlour that provides a range of services, such as foot massages or facials, which a daughter and her mother can jointly avail.
Take your mother out to the movies. Remember that not every mother prefers watching classics or musicals, so involve her while picking the movie. Alternatively, you can take her out for shopping, but only if it works as a therapy rather than making it uncomfortable for her.
Attend an event together. Apart from the mainstream social events hosted by women's associations, you may head to educational seminars pertaining to health or human rights. Then there are fashion and entertainment shows, such as comedy nights, to look forward to. You can also enroll yourself along with your mother in one of the many workshops and short courses taking place on different topics.
If, like Jarvis, you are tired of the “commercialisation” of Mother's Day, visit a neighbour, a relative, or your mother's friend. Host a special event for several mothers and children to get together and to share their cherished mother-child moments. Add a new dimension to the conversation by screening family photos and footages.
While cooking is an all-time favourite indoor activity, you can try something unique this time. Many mothers find it difficult to comprehend your 'technological space.' You may choose to acquaint your mother to the world that seems to occupy so much of everyone's time these days. Introduce her to concepts of online security, e-commerce, and mobile banking. Open a Facebook account for her and have fun teaching her how to upload photos and status updates.
Read out a book or an article to your mother. There are mothers who like spiritual books being read out to them while they catch a breath within the course of the day.You can also pursue her hobby or a creative group activity together.
Assist your mother with her chores. With the mention of the term 'chores,' we immediately associate it with household activities, such as laying the supper or cleaning the room, without acknowledging the fact that our mothers need a helping hand in dispensing their professional duties too. You can choose to sort and file papers, type and print important documents, make phone calls, organise an event, or pick up official items.
Food and conversations can be conveniently created indoors for a small social gathering or a personal one-on-one session of mirth and wisdom with your mother. You can recount past moments as well as discuss the future or a shared goal.
Many of the activities mentioned above can be moulded to fit the preferences of the elderly. Bear in mind her lifestyle and health.
Whichever activity you choose, either involve your mother or know more about her to make a truly successful celebration of Mother's Day. Lastly, but most importantly, be kind to your mother and make sure you tell her how much you love her.
Photo: Star Lifestyle Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed