Since becoming a mother, I suddenly understand my own mother so much better. How it took ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking to become a successful work-at-home parent. How confusing it must have been for her to cheer on my growing independence when I was a child, while silently bidding goodbye to my baby years. How challenging it may have been for her to part with me during the day when it was time to send me to school.

My mom is my role model, because, with young kids at home, she built a successful career, spent ample time with her family, and gave back to her community. And, on this Mother’s Day, I’m more thrilled than ever to celebrate my mom and show her how much she means to me. Here are some things that I know she’ll appreciate:

Personalized Photo Book

My husband and I capture dozens of photos each week of our little boy with family and friends, and share them with our parents via text message. I know that these photos bring them daily bursts of joy, but for Mother’s Day, I wanted to create a more permanent photo display. So, I selected the best photos that featured my mom in her newest role — as a grandmother — and created a hardcover photo book. She absolutely loved it, and promptly displayed it on the living room coffee table. Three years later, it’s still there.

Special “Us” Day

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When I was growing up, my mother and I had so much “us” time — whether we were shopping at the mall, going for walks in the park, or just doing some errands. Now, life is so busy, and it’s rarely just the two of us. One Mother’s Day, I decided to block off the entire day for the two of us — mani/pedis in the morning, followed by brunch, and then a shopping spree. The best part of the day was just spending time together, and having uninterrupted heart to hearts in between light and lively conversations like we always used to.

Family Meal

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My mother says that she’s never happier than when her husband, children, and grandchildren are gathered around her dining room table. So, this Mother’s Day, we’ve decided to gift her with exactly that. My siblings and I created a menu of salads and sandwiches that she loves most, and are planning to decorate her dining room with collages featuring photos of her with her family. She calls family times like these “little slices of heaven,” and there’s no better occasion to give her that than on Mother’s Day.

Relaxing Day Trip

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My mom has always dreamt of traveling to Paris. How incredible would it be to celebrate Mother’s Day with her there? While I’m not quite at the stage of life when I can offer her that, I can manage a day trip to Fire Island or a Long Island winery. There’s nothing like taking in the sun, as well as delicious food and drink, in a beautiful place on a lovely spring day.

Flowers, Clothing, or a Piece of Art

Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to get together to celebrate my mother on Mother’s Day. When my husband and I lived abroad, I spent hours searching the internet for the perfect gift. One year, we sent a bouquet of sunflowers, my mother’s favorite flower. Another year, I sent a green cardigan to match her eyes. And on another, I sent a hand-painted bowl that I thought would look great on the side table in her den. She always loved receiving something she liked, and especially appreciated the thought we put into each gift.

How do you celebrate your mother on Mother’s Day?

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Rachel Sales
Rachel Sales is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She loves traveling the world, walking with coffee, and enjoying life with her husband and son.

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