Mother’s Day Canada: What to get mom for mothers day

Mothers

What is Mother’s Day all about? Learn about the origins and purpose of Mother’s Day, and get some tips on Mother’s Day gifts this year 

Mother’s Day is a day to express love and gratitude to the moms in our lives – whether they’re our own mothers, the mothers of our children, or other mothers that we want to feel loved on this day of maternal recognition. 

It can be hard to figure out what to get for the mom in your life. Whether you’re worried about distance or budget or sorting out child care, there are plenty of barriers that can sometimes get in the way of treating mom to a really special weekend when Mother’s Day comes around each year. 

In this blog, we’ve written out what we’ve learned about the history of Mother’s Day, the point of Mother’s Day, and 5 speciality Mother’s Day gift packages you can consider putting together to make mom feel special and appreciated.

In this blog, learn about:

1. The Mother’s Day origin story

2. What is Mother’s Day all about? 

3. 5 Mother’s Day gift ideas for Canadian moms 

4. Mother’s Day isn’t easy for every mother 

5. Even moms need mothers: share the love with moms who aren’t yours 

Let’s get started…

Mother’s Day origin story

    Mother’s Day is celebrated by many cultures in countries around the world. In Canada and America, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, although Mother’s Day is celebrated on other days and in other months elsewhere in the world. 

    The first Mother’s Day took place in 1907, organized in Philadelphia by Anna Jarvis, whose mother was responsible for organizing women’s groups to promote health and friendship before her death. When her mother passed away, Anna held a memorial service at her late mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia – an opportunity to celebrate her mother, and all mothers. Within five years, just about every state in America was observing the day, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day a national holiday, and Canada quickly followed suit. 

    What is Mother’s Day all about?

    Although it’s not a stat holiday – as in, we don’t get the day off work – Mother’s Day is meant to be a day of recognition and gratitude for the moms in our lives, many of whom put their whole hearts into caring for their spouses and children day by day and year by year. 

    Because Mother’s Day takes place in May, it is seen largely as a spring event – which is why the majority of mother’s day gifts tend to be flowers

    Like other holidays, Mother’s Day has become commercialised, so that the amount you spend seems to matter more than what you’re actually investing in. 

    An interesting note is that it seems Jarvis’ original intention was a day to commemorate and honour mother’s and towards the end of her life she fought against the commercialization of it. 

    In 2023, 50% of Canadian families planned to spend $50.00 or more on Mother’s Day – and many of those dollars were spent on flowers. 

    In many busy households, Mother’s Day can pass like just another day. Moms are often expected to be superheroes, which includes the expectation that they give selflessly and ask for nothing in return – even on Mother’s Day.

    Choosing a Mother’s Day gift for YOUR mom

    Contrary to recent popular belief, brunch and flowers aren’t the only thoughtful things that moms want to receive on Mother’s Day. What matters most is to communicate or do something for her that speaks to her unique interests as a person. 

    What mothers really want for Mother’s Day is a feeling that they are seen, appreciated, and beloved by the people they spend their lives loving and caring for. 

    The first question you should ask yourself is: what brings joy to my mom (or your wife, if you’re shopping on behalf of your children)? 

    • Does she need a break? Offer to watch the children, or leave your home with the children so she can have uninterrupted personal time to take a nice bath, read a book, or take a nap.
    • Does she love tea or coffee? Choose a special blend, or buy her tickets to a high tea event at a local venue. 
    • Does she love books? Take her to the bookstore – or send her on her own or with a friend while you mind the children for her, so that she can browse to her heart’s content without needing to pause to meet the needs and interest of her little ones. 

    Also Read: What to write in a baby shower card – take tips from this blog to draft your Mother’s Day card! 

    5 Mother’s Day gift ideas for Canadian moms

    Whether you decide to give a gift, or take the mom in your life out for an experience as her gift, the important thing is to put some thought, time and effort into preparing something that is special to her, rather than just looking at what everyone else is doing, or falling back on doing the same thing each year because it is the easiest thing to do. 

    If you’re looking for Mother’s Day ideas on a budget, then scroll on down to see these 5 suggestions for a budget-friendly Canadian Mother’s Day. 

    1. Homemade comfort retreat

    This Mother’s Day, give the gift of comfort and relaxation without breaking the bank. Instead of splurging on a fancy cabin retreat, create a cozy atmosphere right at home. Gather soft blankets, perhaps ones you already have or can find and wash from a thrift store. Include a selection of affordable hot chocolate mix or herbal teas, and arrange them in a cute basket or box. 

    For added charm, add some DIY rustic decor or a handmade serving tray. Include a handwritten note suggesting a day of cuddling up with a good book or favourite movie. This thoughtful gesture brings the warmth of a Canadian cabin retreat right to her doorstep.

    2. Homemade Canadian treat tasting

    Craft a delightful tasting experience without breaking the bank. Explore options like maple syrup samples from different regions or cheeses from nearby dairies. Pair these treats with homemade popcorn or simple finger foods. 

    To add an extra touch, create a tasting menu and set up a cozy corner at home for sampling. Spend quality time together exploring the flavours of Canada without leaving the comfort of home.

    3. Nature exploration kit

    For moms who love the outdoors, create a budget-friendly Mother’s Day adventure package. Instead of expensive gear, focus on essentials like a handmade trail mix with her favourite snacks and a reusable water bottle. 

    Include a personalized map of nearby parks or hiking trails, encouraging her to explore nature close to home. You can even make a DIY guidebook filled with local flora and fauna. Plan a day trip to her favourite trail or nature spot, offering the gift of quality time and outdoor exploration.

    4. DIY spa day 

    Pamper the moms you love with a relaxing spa experience without the hefty price tag. Curate a DIY spa day at home using affordable skincare products made with natural ingredients like honey or lavender. 

    Add in some scented candles (if you are feeling ambitious, you can even make candles yourself) for ambiance and a selection of herbal teas for relaxation. Create a cozy spa atmosphere with soft music and dim lighting. Encourage her to relax without leaving the comfort of home!

    5. Regional culinary delights

    This Mother’s Day, treat your mom to a culinary journey without it being an excessive expense. Explore affordable regional specialties like homemade blueberry jam on toast or locally sourced potato chips. 

    Sample maple syrup from a nearby farm or enjoy cheese curds from a local dairy. Get creative with DIY versions of Canadian favourites like smoked salmon or nanaimo bars. Package these treats with homemade crackers or bread and enjoy a delicious coast-to-coast culinary experience without the hefty price tag.

    Mother’s Day isn’t easy for every mother

    Sadly, not every mother gets acknowledgement on Mother’s Day.

    Spending Mother’s Day alone

    According to polls taken by Statista in 2020, there were approximately 352,630 single mothers in Canada between the ages of 35 to 44 years old.

    Although some studies show that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a rise in intact families (that is, families that live together) there are still thousands of moms who are solo on Mother’s Day.

    But being isolated on Mother’s Day isn’t the only struggle families face in advance of Mother’s Day. Household income is another barrier that prevents many families from feeling that they’re able to appreciate mom by purchasing expensive gifts the way other families do.

    Financial barriers to celebrating Mother’s Day

    Between 2020 to 2021, 2.32 million people in Canada were living in low income households. For families struggling to afford basic needs like groceries, gas, rent and clothing, the need to invest in Mother’s Day gifts or Mother’s Day experiences can be overwhelming, stressful, or even impossible.

    And financial worries aren’t the only stressors in moms’ lives leading up to Mother’s Day.

    Mother’s Day and maternal mental health  

    As of 2022, Statistics Canada reported that 11.9% of women experience generalized anxiety disorder, and 18.4% of women had experienced a major depressive episode.

    In 2011, 4.1 million women in Canada were mothers – so we can assume that of the women experiencing anxiety and depression on a regular basis, at least some of these women are mothers.

    There are many reasons that women may not feel that Mother’s Day is a positive or joyful occasion. For instance,

    • Mother’s Day can be an extra challenge for women struggling with mental illness, especially if there is some degree of trauma that resurfaces during Mother’s Day.
    • Not every woman has a positive or healthy relationship with their mother and may feel the absence of a healthy maternal relationship keenly on this day each year.
    • Many women have suffered a miscarriage or the death of a child due to illness or accident, and Mother’s Day is a reminder of the child they lost.
    • Some women are unable to have biological children for medical reasons, and Mother’s Day feels like a pang of sadness and a reminder of things they weren’t able to have.

    For women experiencing traumatic memories that are triggered by Mother’s Day, this day can be less a day of celebration and more a day of heightened distress, anxiety and depressive feelings.

    Which is why, on Mother’s Day, it is critical for women to have their village around them. 

    Related: The importance of mom friends postpartum – find out why it’s so important to connect moms with other mothers, on Mother’s Day and beyond. 

    Even moms need a mother: share the love with moms who aren’t yours

     What every mom needs for Mother’s Day is support, love, recognition of her efforts, and help with the things that feel difficult. Maternal health is important for healthy child development, and we want to provide the support moms need to feel healthy and confident in their parenting. 

    At Care For Women, we believe that motherhood was never meant to be done alone. On Mother’s Day every year, we want to raise moms up and connect them with the support they need.  

    Care For Women exists to come alongside women in the complex and challenging first stage of motherhood – the newborn stage – by providing compassionate care and support through the postpartum journey… A time when mothers are tender, both physically and mentally, and benefit greatly from the support of a motherhood mentor. 

    Our mentees are new moms who are:  

    • Eager to find seasoned moms who are here to help and support you 
    • Connect with other mothers in the same stage as you
    • Hoping to access in-house support for approximately 4 weeks postpartum 

    If you are seeking support, you can sign up for care to be connected with a mentor before your due date. 

     We are currently accepting applications for pregnant mothers in need of assistance in Abbotsford, Mission, Langley, and Chilliwack, BC. 

    Whether you have personally struggled with motherhood or not, consider becoming a mentor, a friend, and a helper to a mother who doesn’t have the benefit of the support she needs to thrive in her parenting journey. 

    If you don’t live in the geographic location of our services, but this mission is important to you, you can still support new mothers. Mothering doesn’t just happen on Mother’s Day – and moms need support year-round. 

    Donate today, and help us do motherhood, together.

    A hiking mom watching her children explore nature

    What is the criteria for being a "good mom"?

    For our children to develop a secure attachment to us they need to experience feeling seen, soothed and safe. Renowned psychiatrist  Dr. Daniel Seigel, calls these the 3S’s of secure attachment

    It is so easy for moms to heap on the guilt for having natural human emotions and experiences, such as being tired, worn out, wanting space, or feeling angry or disappointed. 

    If I had to sum up the criteria for what all the books and research indicates about being a good mom is: show up with presence (much easier said than done), allow your humanity to come through, while being the adult to your children. Now before you roll your eyes and dismiss that as a cliche answer, allow me to elaborate because it can be very hard to put into practice. 

    The more you push away or deny your lived experience of feeling tired, bored, sad, disappointed, angry, or lost, the harder living life will be.

    Also Read: Get more information about the effects of mom burnout here. 

    "Good enough" mothering

    You don’t have to be all things to your children at all times. 

    There are so many nights I have checked on my sleeping kids before going to bed myself, and felt a wave of regret for all the ways I wasn’t a great mother to them that day. 

    It’s a common experience for many parents. What is important about this regret, or disappointment with how we behaved, is that it illustrates that we cannot be the parent we always want to be. The reality is that children will thrive without us being superheroes.

    What they need is for us to show up with presence

    And too many parents are not present. I’m not suggesting we need to be present all the time, that’s not realistic or developmentally necessary for children, but when we do talk to our kids, or answer their questions, or read them a story, or nurse them – too often we are distracted (often with technology) and it impacts our ability to attune to our kids. 

    Children can thrive without many things in life, but not without a present parent. 

    Accept your humanity. You aren’t perfect and you can strive to grow; it’s not an either/or situation but a both/and. 

    The paradox is that when we accept our own humanity and lived experiences, it becomes easier to accept our children’s reality and accompanying emotions. 

    This doesn’t mean you have to like your newborn’s cries or child’s anger. It simply means that your child’s emotions are varied and will come and go, and that instead of creating judgements around which ones are acceptable to you, you are able to accept they have a different reality than you. 

    When we practice this daily, deep acceptance for how we feel (remember, acceptance is different than liking something) or what our children feel we can: 

    • Become less triggered and have more capacity to be curious about what is driving our children’s behaviour (are they hangry, tired, scared, disappointed, are they off their rocker because their brain is developmentally immature and needs help?)
    • Differentiate our reality from their reality (our child may be upset but we have greater ability to not be sucked into their vortex of chaos). For example, say something to ourselves such as, “My child is disappointed and having a hard time, but their reality is different than mine. I am not experiencing their disappointment.”

    • Reframe a hard situation – hearing crying or fighting can be highly distressing and exhausting but it won’t last forever.

    When you learn to accept your humanity – which can be a long process of healing depending on your upbringing – you develop greater capacity to accept your children’s humanity and hopefully see your children for who they are, soothe them when they are in distress and help them feel safe.

    If that sounds foreign or hard, perhaps spend time exploring your internal world with a trusted  loved one, a crew of mom friends, or a mental health professional.

     

    What to do when you are struggling

    I hope it’s clear that “motherhood nature” isn’t a fixed state or trait. Our motherhood nature can change and grow. 

    I want to reiterate, work on letting go of perfection. There is a tension that all parents need to balance in striving to grow and become the best parents they can, while acknowledging their shortcomings. We all have shortcomings. You are a human not a robot, that is what makes you interesting. 

    You have an attachment history that has deeply impacted you the person you are today; most parents are doing the best they can with the tools they have. 

    Though we all struggle as parents, it’s so much worse to do it alone. We are wired to be in relationships with others and we need friends and seasoned mothers come alongside us for encouragement, guidance, and relief. 

    If you are struggling, connect with social media accounts like Diary of an Honest Mom, The Good Mutha, Raising Yourself, or Lindsey Gurk to normalize your experience and hopefully feel a little less alone. 

    If you are struggling, you are being a good mom by getting help; you are not weak. There are many resources available on the Canadian Mental Health Association.

    If you are struggling as a parent from traumatic events you had as a child, check out Complex Trauma Resources to begin the process of healing. . 

    Part of healing means making connections with a village of mom friends who have got your back, and who may be struggling with the same parenting challenges and life experiences that you are. If you are going to be a new mom and you don’t have a village of support around you, make sure you apply for care here

    Put it into perspective: you are raising humans

    Every difficult stage of parenting can feel like it takes forever. The first step to shifting your perspective is to think not about the difficulty of your present moment, but to consider the bigger picture.

    Imagine yourself 5 years from now by asking yourself these question:

    • How old will your child(ren) be? 
    • How old will you be? 
    • What stage of life will you be in? 
    • Who will be in your life?
    • Who may not be in your life?
    • How would you like to have grown as a person?

    One of the best pieces of advice my parents gave me was, “this too shall pass.” The stages of our children won’t last forever. The sleepless nights will one day be over. The behaviour of siblings chucking toys at each other will not endure. 

    Being a mother is one of the hardest things you will ever do. It will change you – and it should. The experiences change you forever, in so many deep and meaningful ways. I believe if you allow it to transform you, it changes you for the better. 

    Your motherhood nature will change as you change. 

    Embrace the complexities and nuance, learn and strive to grow while honouring your humanity. And above all,  find other mothers who will walk-alongside you to be a source of strength and support. You were never meant to do it alone. 

    Help us to support more mothers! Donate now to ensure that every new mom has a village of support around her when she has a new baby to care for. 

    Written by Renae Regehr

    Renae Regehr is a mom to 4 kiddos, co-founder of Care For Women and a Registered Clinical Counsellor who works primarily with children, youth and families who have been impacted by trauma and attachment disruptions.

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