Mother’s Day is just around the corner and chances are you fall into one of two camps:
- Ugh, dumb Hallmark holiday, but my mom will kill me if I don’t do something nice for her
I lean heavily into mimosa opportunism, but also, yes, this is a made-up holiday, full of really bad gift ideas that moms don’t want.
Here’s one of my favorites:
The thing is—buzzkill alert—we make a big deal about celebrating moms for one silly day of the year (a month if you count all the media hype leading up to it), and all of that energy is concentrated around flowers, jewelry, and cards. Oh, and mimosas, obvs.
What would *actually* caring about mothers look like? What would a meaningful mother’s day gift look like? Would it mean maternal health outcomes in the U.S. that rivaled other developed countries? Would it mean prioritizing childcare and education? Would it mean restructuring the way we work so that women can advance in their careers and take care of their families?
A mama can dream, and we can all take small steps toward doing. If you want to do something meaningful for mamas this year—and I don’t mean just your mom—here are some ideas:
Bail a mama out
More than 80% of incarcerated women are mothers and nearly half are in local jails, locked in cages for crimes they have not been convicted of. Most of the women in jail are accused of minor drug and ‘quality of life’ offenses and are languishing in cells simply because they cannot afford to pay bail.
You can help reunite a mama with her family this year by helping to bail her out. More about the National Bail Out, and how pre-trial detention disproportionately affects marginalized communities, here.
Start a meal train for an overwhelmed mother you know
Even if she’s not a brand-new mother, she’d probably still love a meal train. After all the fuss and excitement about the new arrival wanes, the ensuring quiet can be deafening, isolating, and overwhelming. Organizing people to bring her food will spark joy every time food shows up at the door, and no matter what stage she’s at, who doesn’t love not having to think about dinner?
Support a woman-owned business
This doesn’t have to involve spending money; there are so many ways to support women entrepreneurs:
- Buy your next art or jewelry from a woman-owned shop on Etsy.
- Skip Target and pay a little more to support a local, woman-owned business.
- Share your friend’s business on social media.
- Subscribe to her newsletter.
- Write a glowing review for her online, or proactively offer a testimonial.
These are just a sampling of so many ways to rebrand a Hallmark holiday into a meaningful one. More ideas? Please share!