For widows, Mother's Day can be a hard holiday, especially if her kids are still at home. It's a day that surfaces what is missing, because their husband would normally plan an outing, or take the kids for the day or bring them flowers. It's a day that shouts - 'yes, I'm here by myself, raising my kids without my husband.'
If you have a widow in your life who is a mom, here are some ideas of how to make the day go better for them.
Write a "you are doing a great job" card: When you are co-parenting, you have someone to talk to about the best way to raise your children, the challenges and the joys. It's scary doing it all by yourself and you aren't sure you are doing it well because these kids just don't give you feedback. Getting a card that tells your friend how awesome they are doing raising their kids will make them feel great about their choices and provide confidence. This is the #1 gift I received when I was raising my young daughter alone.
Get her a massage, facial or pedicure: Widows miss being touched and pampered. Massage releases tension built up from stress. Not all women like to be touched by strangers so consider your widow’s personality before selecting this gift.
Make her brunch or dinner in her home: Especially in the early years, going out on holidays may trigger feelings of loss. Looking around a room filled with couples and families can bring on the waterworks. Instead, bring over brunch or dinner, kick them out for a walk or have them take a nap while you do all the work. You might also get to do some extra cleaning or yard work which might be helpful if your widow is struggling to get the energy up to do these tasks.
Gift her something she’ll feel good in: Husbands often buy their wives gifts of jewelry, perfume, or pretty clothes. These gifts say, ‘you’re special and I’m thinking about you.’ Consider some pretty pajamas, lounge wear or a robe, or a necklace or bracelet that fits her style.
Plan a weekend getaway with or without the kids: Being in a new space and doing new activities can be a good brain break for widows. In the early years, widows are really just trying to survive day-by-day, so having something to look forward to is super helpful. If your widow can get away, plan a trip someplace they’ve never been before with some immersive activities that will bring them joy.
The ideas above are for Mother’s Day but can be gifted any time of the year. The main point is to make her feel special on a day that’s hard, when she’ll feel more vulnerable and invisible. Holidays like Mother’s Day are especially hard, but any day can hold similar feelings. Friday nights, Sundays after church, graduation celebrations…….
Thanks for loving on your widow friend, it means more than you can imagine.