7 Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day If You Can’t Spend It Together This Year

published May 3, 2021
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Mother’s Day is often painted as a time to celebrate either your mom or another special mother figure in your life — but it can prove challenging for those who can’t or don’t want to spend the day with their mom for whatever reason. Maybe you live in a different city from your mom or have been physically separated for a while due to some other reason. You might miss her, even more, this year if you haven’t seen each other in a long time or may never again due to COVID-19. It might feel like a card or a phone call doesn’t cut it — and if you have the means, you might want to do more than send flowers and schedule a digital catch-up, if that option is available to you.

Below are some options for activities you can do with a mom figure (or, tbh, on your own or with friends if Mother’s Day is fraught, complicated, or just not something you or your family celebrate). Each one offers a fun experience and a chance to connect — with a mom or momlike person, with a friend or other family member, or with yourself.

Try an online class.

If you’re thinking about inviting your mom or a beloved mother figure in your life to a virtual class this Mother’s Day, there are plenty of options to choose from. Airbnb Experiences in particular offer one-of-a-kind classes hosted by people from around the world, from internationally renowned sommeliers to palm readers. Some highlights include an Argentinian tango history class and concert with a Latin Grammy Nominee and a Portuguese cocktail-making class titled Sangria and Secrets with Drag Taste.

Go on a virtual adventure.

Places you may have never been able to visit are now accessible due to the mass normalization of online experiences — and that includes virtual tours. Now, you can take your mom or the mom in your life to the Vatican in Rome or Holland’s tulip farm Keukenhof at the click of a button. Go ahead, send her a link and start exploring new places together, from the comfort of your home!

Play an online game together.

If the mom you’re celebrating is into board games, invite her to play an online or app game like Scrabble, chess, and Trivial Pursuit this Mother’s Day. You can even make a day of it by competing in multiple games. And if you have siblings or a group chat of friends, invite them to join! Better yet, you can all design your own quiz to see who knows each other best.

Cook the same dish “together.”

Cooking can be a bonding experience between generations. It serves as a way to connect and pass down traditions, be they a traditional take on Sunday dinner or something that feels like a specific family relic. This Mother’s Day, why not bust out that recipe box and try a new recipe at the same time! Even if you have to set up a Zoom or video call, the exercise might be a fun way to see each other’s cooking quirks and how you each approach the dish differently. 

If your mother figure has passed on, Dr. Cío Hernández, a licensed family and marriage therapist, recommended cooking a favorite dish that your mother made. “Be kind to yourself and hold beautiful intentions for your mother for what she gave you,” she told Apartment Therapy. You can also refer to a recipe your mother shared with you to commemorate her on this day. 

Make a video in her honor.

After a long year apart from loved ones, the mom in your life would surely be happy to hear from all of their friends and family. You can put together a compilation video by reaching out to her close friends and relatives and asking if they can send you a video expressing their affection for your parental figure. You can easily stitch these videos together using iMovie or another video editing app to share with her this Mother’s Day.

As Dr. Hernández noted, “Mother’s Day can be very lonely for those who had loving mothers who have passed on.” If you’re feeling this way, you can also reflect on the time you spent together through old videos and photos. If you’re up for it, make a video in her honor so you can turn to it for comfort in the months and years to come.

Send some flowers.

The mom in your life likely misses you more than you know. Sending her flowers can add an extra pop of color into her home and serve as a reminder of your love. Share your affection by crafting a thoughtful message you know she’ll appreciate, too. 

If the maternal figure in your life has passed on, consider buying yourself a bouquet of her favorite flowers or one that most resembles her spirit, so you can remember her on Mother’s Day and the days to come.

Visit a place of joy or comfort.

“Whether you are spiritual or not, Mother’s Day is a perfect time to nurture your inner little with memories of the past where you felt loved, held, and supported,” Dr. Hernández said. She advised visiting “a place you know [your mom] would have loved.” There you can reminisce about the past year and think about what you would’ve liked to share with her.

Or, if your mom is still around, consider taking her to your favorite place and sharing it with her on FaceTime. Just be sure the wireless connection is strong and you keep a safe distance between yourself and other people in the vicinity — but you’ll feel closer than ever to your mom.