Break Out of Breakfast in Bed! Fresh Traditions for Mother’s Day

By: Tricia Cornell

Can I share a secret? Don’t tell my kids. On my list of places I like to eat breakfast, “my bed” ranks near the bottom of the list, right above “underwater.” Who wants to eat surrounded by pillows and blankets, with your legs straight in front of you, a tray barely balanced on your lap? Who wants to clean up the inevitable crumbs and spills? More importantly, who decided that this should be the iconic way to show Mom you love her?

But twice a year, on the night before my birthday and the night before Mother’s Day, I get a cue from my husband: “By the way, don’t get up early tomorrow. You know why.” So I lie in bed wide awake, listening to a happy clatter downstairs. I try not to think about the mess. I try not to count the minutes until I can get up and make myself a real cup of coffee. And when two happy faces burst through the door with dry eggs and clumsy slices of fruit, I light up. “Were you surprised, Mama? Did we surprise you?” “Of course, I was surprised. What a perfect breakfast!”

And it is a perfect breakfast. One I’m glad I only get to enjoy twice a year.

Whether or not your day begins with breakfast in bed, here are some ideas for making Mother’s Day memorable this year. Better yet, why not make one of these ideas a tradition, every year?

1. Volunteer. Thanksgiving and Christmas are so popular with volunteers that shelters and soup kitchens sometimes have to turn willing helpers away. Why not mark Mother’s Day (or Father’s Day) by helping other families?

2. Plant something. It may just be coincidence that we mark Mother’s Day just as spring flowers bloom. Cut flowers are lovely, but a row of annuals will remind your family of this special day all summer long. And a perennial plant will speak to you for years to come.

3. Write Mother’s Day letters. Take time to reflect, separately or together, on the past year or the year to come. Share your letters now or put them away to read next year.

4. Go for a hike or a bike ride. Fresh air plus physical activity plus time together is a recipe for a refreshing, energizing day that could make the rest of the week to come even better.

5. Get intergenerational. Grandmothers are mothers, too! Invite the grandmothers, aunts, great-aunts, neighbors, and favorite friends into your day. We can all learn something from those older and younger than us.

6. Tell family stories. What stories do you remember about your mother? Your mother’s mother? Or other women in your family tree? Celebrate mothers going as far back as you can find.

7. Take a picture or draw a picture. Save it for next year in a box or an album and add to it year after year. This could become a treasured keepsake.

8. Add to a family recipe book. An annual record of special meals you make together will be a great gift to pass along to your children someday.

9. Avoid the crowds at brunch. For some families, brunch at a restaurant is a treasured tradition. For others, it’s an obligation that just feels crowded and stressful. If that’s your family, give yourselves permission to break that tradition and enjoy something simple at home — together — instead.

10. Brainstorm with your kids. Sure, it’s Mother’s Day. But kids have interesting and fun ideas about how to spend family time. Ask your kids what would make the day special for them and be open to their suggestions. Maybe it’s as simple as playing a game. Maybe it will be something you never thought of.

Tell Us:--> How do you break out of breakfast in bed on Mother's Day?

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Photo credit: fifikins via Flick'r.

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