Treat Your Mother on Her Birthday

Being a mother is very hard work. Give back by making sure that your mom has a wonderful birthday. You can do just that by getting her a meaningful present or making her big day into a memorable event. However, you don’t necessarily have to spend a dime to make it a special occasion. With a little creativity and thoughtful planning, you can show your mother how much you appreciate her.


Showing Her How Much You Care

  1. Give her your undivided attention. One of the best ways to communicate that you care is to spend some uninterrupted quality time with your mother. If you’re celebrating your mom’s birthday, don’t spend half your time together checking your phone or chatting with a friend.[1]
    • Turn your phone and other distracting devices off in honor of her big day.
    • When you’re together, focus on having conversations and engaging with her. Even if you’re in a group, your mom should be your top priority.
  2. Do a chore that she would normally do. You’d be surprised how much your mother would appreciate a break from a routine task, like cleaning the house or washing the car. Show you care by taking on the work for her.[2]
    • She’ll appreciate it even more if you choose a chore that she finds especially onerous, like doing the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, or raking the yard.
  3. Help her with a project. Giving your mom your time and effort is a wonderful way to show you care while helping her accomplish something that she has been meaning to do. Pick a project that has been on her plate for a while, and lend her a hand to get it done once and for all.[3]
    • For instance, if she has been meaning to plant a garden, help her pick out some seeds, put on some gloves, and pick up a spade!
    • If she would like to redecorate a room, help her shop for supplies, move furniture, paint walls, and hang up new art.
    • Be sure to let your mom supervise the project, so it's completed according to her vision. You want to support her efforts, not take them over. Consult with her about how you can be the most helpful.
  4. Give your mom a day off. Sometimes, the best gift you can give your mother is some free-time to enjoy herself however she wants. To do that, make arrangements in advance to cover any obligations that she might have on her birthday.[1]
    • For instance, if she has other children, arrange a babysitter or babysit yourself. If she has a dog, volunteer to take care of it for the day or while she spends the night elsewhere.
    • Oftentimes, just letting your mother sleep in is a much appreciated gesture. If that’s the case, give her the gift of not bothering her in the morning, and bring her breakfast in bed when she wakes up.
  5. Share your favorite family stories. Your mother will feel appreciated if you can recall memories and anecdotes that you both cherish. Be sure to pick out a couple examples of times when she saved the day or did something wonderful to express your gratitude and show that you’re paying attention.[2]
    • It's as easy as saying, "Mom, remember that time when you surprised me with a party at the skate park for my birthday? That was awesome."
    • Bring up things like your family camping trip to Yellowstone, the time your mom came to your rescue when you were stuck at an airport six hours away, or the holiday traditions that you learned from your mom that make each celebration so special.
    • You can even make this concept into an unforgettable gift idea by creating a memory jar. Pick a pretty container, and fill it with slips of paper that you’ve written your favorite memories of your times together on.
  6. Ask her about her favorite birthday memories. Listening to your mother’s life stories shows that you’re interested in her as a person. You’ll also be grateful you took the time to learn something about what her life was like before you were around.[4]
    • You can spark a conversation about her past by saying, “Hey mom, what’s the first birthday that you remember?” or “What’s the coolest thing that you’ve ever done to celebrate your birthday?”
    • You could even sit down together and look through an old photo album or two to jog her memory. If you see an image that intrigues you, ask her questions about it, such as: “Where was this taken?” or “Who is that sitting next to you?” or “How old were you then?”

Finding Her a Meaningful Gift

  1. Make her a one-of-a-kind gift. Taking time to make your own gift is often better than anything you could buy. Tap your talents to make her something special.
    • If you’re a talented baker, bake her something special or assemble some baking mixes for her. If you’re a whiz at knitting, make her a new set of mittens or hot pads. If you enjoy painting, create a piece of art to give her.
  2. Order a personalized gift. Many products can be personalized with messages, names, or monograms. Personalizing a gift for your mom will show that you’ve gone the extra mile to find a present that’s uniquely hers.[5]
    • Pick a product that she’ll appreciate (and that fits your budget). It could be anything from a mug to a bag, bath robe to a piece of jewelry.
  3. Make her a photo gift. Family photos mean a lot. Give her a lasting memento of one or more of your favorite moments by creating a photo gift. It could be anything from a simple framed photo to a printed pillowcase.
    • Do a family photoshoot. This could be informal or at a studio. Either way, it says that her birthday is day worth remembering.[2]
    • Make her a family photo album. Assemble some of your favorites into a book that she can look at whenever she want a reminder of how much you care.[4]
    • Be creative by putting a favorite photo on an everyday item, like a vase, mug, ornament, apron, or pillow.
  4. Make her a recipe book. Create an archive of the recipes that you’ve enjoyed together over the years. Include all your family favorites in it, from staple main dishes to memorable treats to traditional holiday baking.[2]
    • Besides giving ingredients lists and directions, you can personalize the book more by adding photos and personal stories alongside the recipes. For instance, you can include photos of your family enjoying each dish and/or text that explains the origin of a particular recipe.
    • Consider making copies for the whole family so that your mom will see that her culinary traditions will continue to be passed along.
  5. Add to one of her collections. Demonstrate that you’re paying attention to what she loves by giving her a gift that fits perfectly into one of her personal collections.
    • If she collects a particular kind of china, buy her a new piece. If she’s wild about hogs, get her something with a pig design on it. If she has a favorite series, get her the next book or dvd in it.

Planning a Birthday Event

  1. Take her on an outing. Make sure it’s something she enjoys. If she’s an antique buff, take her to a flea market. If she’s an avid outdoors-person, take her on a hike and a picnic. If she loves cultural events, take her to a concert or a play.[6]
    • You might even consider recreating a favorite family outing, like a trip to a baseball game, cabin, or theme park.
  2. Treat her to a spa day. Being a mother can be demanding and stressful. Give your mom the gift of relaxation and self-care by treating her to a massage, facial, manicure, and/or pedicure.[4]
  3. Make her dinner or take her out to eat. If your mom is usually the one to put food on the table, give her a night away from the kitchen. Cook one of her favorite meals, or take her to a restaurant that she’s been meaning to try.
  4. Throw her a party. This option will require some planning and preparation, but it’ll make your mom’s birthday extra-special. Be sure to pick a time, place, and date that works for your mother.
    • Keep in mind that you should give guests at least a couple week’s notice so that they can get it on their calendars and make any necessary arrangements to get there.
    • Since it’s your mom’s celebration, keep her in mind as you make the preparations. For instance, you should invite people that she’ll want to see, serve food that she enjoys, and play music that she loves listening to. When in doubt, consult with her about her preferences.
    • Remember not to leave the post-party dishes and clean-up for your mother!


  • Don't wait to plan your mom’s birthday until the last minute. Be considerate and plan ahead.


  • Be sure to coordinate any plans that you may have for her birthday with other friends and relatives who may be making arrangements. Unless it’s a surprise, you should also consult with your mom about what she would actually like to do.

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