An honest talk about Mother’s Day, and how you can make it count

May 05, 2017
10-Minute Read
Let’s be honest with one another. Come on, it’s a circle of trust here. Mother’s Day is next week, and you most likely haven’t put a lot of thought into what you’re going to do for the Mom in your life, let alone gone out and purchased something. Maybe you didn’t even remember it was Mother’s Day next week!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not judging, I’m really not! I’ve done the same thing (unless you’re reading this Mom…and in that case, your gift took weeks of planning!). I know the mother-child relationship can be complex, taking on as many forms as there are flavours in a bag of Jelly Bellys. Looking back, though, most of us can appreciate her role in helping us become the people we are today.

And maybe it’s because we know (or hope!) she’ll love us anyway, even if we don’t get her something. Maybe it’s because nothing ever seems quite right, so we hem and haw and never actually decide what to do. Maybe it’s because we know she doesn’t really need anything else. Or maybe it’s that she has everything she wants. But those reasons don’t quite seem to justify not doing anything for the woman who gave us the best she could.

There's a solution to your Mother's Day gift woes

Luckily, this year, I have a plan. I’m going to honour the Moms in my life by providing for a mother who’s in need.
As a mother myself, I can tell you that I don’t need bubble bath, a box of chocolates or any more candles. But I would love to know that another mother’s life has been changed, even just a little, because of me. And that’s why I’m asking you to consider honouring a woman in your life this Mother’s Day, by helping a mother in need.
Donating to the World Vision Gift catalogue in your Mom’s name can help mothers like Bimli, in India, who was able to start a small business.

In India, a mother embraces her son and daughter while sitting in their home
“I am now able to provide for my children’s education through this and with my savings, I was able to buy more material to grow the business.”

What it's like for other mothers and kids

When I read about mothers living in some of the world’s toughest places, my heart aches for them. I understand what it’s like to feel empty handed, when you want to give your children the very best.

Although life is much easier here in Canada, I haven’t always felt as though I’ve been able to give my kids everything they deserve. I try my best, and I love them to the moon and back. But there’s this thing called ‘Mom Guilt’. It sits in the back of your mind, wondering if you should have done something different, or could have done more.

Globally speaking, I recognize that my own Mom Guilt comes from a very privileged place. My son turned five last month, and there wasn’t a single day of his life when I was worried he wouldn’t live to reach that milestone.
I know from my work at World Vision that 5.9 million children in the world don’t reach their fifth birthdays. In Canada, my children can attend school without fear of being attacked on the way. There is food in our fridge and three walk-in clinics in my neighbourhood where they can receive care at any time.

A Canadian mom kneels down to take a photo with her young son and daughter
The author with her son Micah and daughter Maddy.

There are, however, mothers around the world who are unable to say these things. In many places, even pregnancy and delivery is a dangerous process. I can only imagine what it would feel like knowing your child could be in danger before they even enter the world.

You may be a Mom looking to give a hint to your family about what to do this year for Mother’s Day. Or perhaps, you want to honour a mother who has helped care for you. Either way, I’ve developed a practical and easy list. I call it the “Top 5 Things You Can Do For Mother’s Day That Don’t Include Candles or Bubble Bath” list. OK, the title needs some work, but the list itself is really good:
  1. Donate to your local food bank. Food bank use is on the rise, with many recipients being children. Give a mother the chance to provide healthy nutritious food to her children.
  2. Through the World Vision Gift Catalogue, provide vulnerable mothers from around the world with baby kits that include things like diapers, hygiene products and more.
  3. Partner with the Canadian Government to provide expectant and new moms overseas with pre and post-natal care.
  4. Donate supplies to a school in a ‘high needs’ area of your city. Many mothers will feel relieved to know that their children have the tools needed to participate in school.
  5. Give to a charity, or support a cause that’s important to your Mom.
So why not get a jump on Mother’s Day right now? You can’t go wrong with any of the above, and I guarantee you they are all way more meaningful than candles or bubble bath. Happy Mother’s Day!