You may have left this to the last minute, so here I am coming to save your butt. What I am about to suggest, if you are willing to put in the effort, will have some awesome (and possibly hilarious) results on the day itself. Backed by a book I have read and implemented myself!
Gary Chapman’s book – The 5 Love Languages speaks about the ways people show and accept love. According to the book, everyone has a primary and secondary ways of showing and receiving love – with one being an overriding factor. These are broken down into:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
For those that know me, my way of showing my love is Quality Time. However, what this book has highlighted to me, is that people also have a different way of receiving the love. So I could spend all the time in the world with you, but if you preferred Physical Touch, it would mean nothing to you. In hindsight, if I knew about this idea before, I would have saved myself a lot of heartache in previous relationships. (Ah well, I believe that’s why it’s called growing).
Hence, in a very practical way, I thought I would write about how you can apply this to your own Mum. If you do want to change the world, then you need to start with home and for most people, it’s their relationships with their Mum (or Dad or siblings – the rule stands for any close relationship). Now if you are struggling to understand what your Mum’s love language is, then you can try out each of them and see which reaction gets the response. More on this one later…
So here are some practical ways you can demonstrate and fill that love when you do know the love language!
Words of Affirmation
- Saying a sincere thank you
- Man, I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard an insincere thank you. Kinda like the one you hear in the supermarket when the checkout person asks, “How are you?” “Good, thank you”. Or my favourite one….”Have a good night” “You too. Thank you”. Ungh, so cliched. I love it when the checkout person messes with you and says something completely different…but I digress.
- Telling others how great you think she is when she is present
- Telling people your Mum admires or looks up to as to how much you appreciate her.
- Writing a heartfelt letter
- Please note, I said “write” not type. Go the extra mile and you won’t be disappointed.
- Organise to spend time with your Mum at a time that isn’t Mother’s Day.
- Seriously, if you need a day to thank your mother (or anyone important to you for that matter) then you are doing something wrong!
- Organise a sporadic coffee/lunch date and see how much it brightens up Mum’s day.
- Personalised Hand Made Gift
- The key here is to make something that would take time. (See above point about sincere letter)
- Personalised bought Gift
- So, I’m letting you off the hook. If you are going to buy something then make sure you get it personalised. For example – get something engraved or if you’re buying a frame, fill it with your favourite photo of you both.
- A pamper hamper for Mum (and yourself)
- Look, such things are best shared. Even if you are a guy and you got your Mum a spa package, there is nothing wrong with going along with her. Or you can get one of her friends to go with her…
- A night out
- When was the last time you actually went somewhere with your Mum and had a good chat? Actually ask her about her hopes and dreams and what she wanted to do/be growing up. Listen to her stories, there is so much that you can learn!
- Plan on doing something together regularly
- Would a weekly breakfast do? Maybe fortnightly ones if either of you are too busy.
Acts of Service
- Do something Mum likes with her.
- This could even mean that you pick up a new skill like knitting or crocheting.
- Do something Mum doesn’t like for her.
- Heck, I don’t like some chores and will do everything in my power to avoid them. Until it all piles up and I have literally nowhere else to go.
- Volunteer to do some of the chores
- One of the things that could work (depending on the age of your Mum) is doing the gardening or maintenance work around her home for her. That way, you can check in on Mum and hang out for a cup of tea or a quick bite before you head off home.
- Pure, simple and heartfelt.
Now, if any of these are too hard for you – I understand. And there is also a great sense of growth in being able to do the things that you don’t like for someone you care about so deeply. We are all time poor, always looking for more efficient ways of getting things done and ironically, the only irreplaceable thing is time.