How to honor Mom

It’s always a quandry to figure out what to get your mother for Mother’s Day that truly, uniquely, spectacularly or even adequately shows her how much you love her and really, really appreciate all she does for you and all she’s even been for you and the fact that she’s your Mom.

But companies promoting jewelry, flowers, chocolate and a host of other products oversell the occasion, and we overthink it. Dr. Meg Meeker does the best job of anyone I know explaining the profound blessings and bonds of love and family. And here’s some simple advice for what to give Mom any day of the year:

She needs more of you. How exactly do you give her that? It’s simple. She needs you for one whole day to listen to her. Ask kind questions like, “How are you doing with work and the kids?“ Or, “I know that we think so differently. I can’t understand what you need a lot of the time, so what can I do for you?” Pay attention to the expression on her face. Her mouth will drop—not because you’re a buffoon and never think about her needs. But you could be a bit shy on the verbal end of expressing your feelings.

But don’t just ask her how she is. That’s easy. Here’s the tougher part: Pay attention when she talks. Look her in the eye. Don’t interrupt her (duct tape comes in many different colors). Even if you’re bored, fake it. We don’t care; we just want to be heard. There’s something incredibly freeing and mood-altering when we mothers talk and the ones we love the most listen. It makes us feel loved. And when we feel loved—guess what? Everyone else will too. Because we like to give back.

True. Actually, we love to give first. And when we receive something so simple as the presence or attention of our loved ones, we practially do handsprings for joy, and give back many times over. And yet, as Meg told me and listeners of my show heading into Mother’s Day weekend, we never feel like we’ve done a good enough job of giving or loving or guiding or helping. So we’re always anxious about what we did wrong or need to do more of or try to change, and we really just need to settle down. Get the priorities of God, family and work in order, and the rest will be okay.

So here goes…

I thank God for every grace and blessing. Among those, my faith, family and work. I’m thankful for my Mom who loves and serves and gives so generously, she anchors our family and models ideal womanhood for her daughters and everyone who knows her. I’m thankful for my own motherhood and my family and the sons who put up with my ‘over-protectedness’ because I only and always tried (too hard) to do what was best for them, even when it wasn’t. I’m thankful for my mother’s grace and my sons’ characters and the beautiful relationship I have with them all (and the dads who complete the family).

And I’m thankful for work in a profession that allows me to say all of this publicly. The gift of presence. It’s priceless.


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