How to Make a Mom Happy


It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a mom happy. It’s not an all-day spa retreat or an exotic beach getaway -- although, most mothers wouldn't turn those down. The key is to keep it simple, thoughtful and personal, and throw in a bit of spontaneity for good measure. All it takes is a little bit of sleuthing and a touch of creativity, and voila, happy mama.

How Does She Feel Loved?

  • People speak different "love languages" -- the way that love is expressed to them and the way they receive it. Gary Chapman, pastor, marriage counselor and author of the New York Times bestseller "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate," asserts in his book that expressing your love in the other person’s primary love language will enhance your relationship. Chapman's five love languages include: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. Think about how the mom in your life feels most loved.

Words of Affirmation

  • If she most needs to hear words of praise to feel happy, try conducting and videoing an interview all about Mom. Have family members take turns answering questions like, “What’s your favorite memory of Mom?” “What does she do best?” “What is the most important thing she’s taught you?” Then, have a screening of the video movie theater-style with popcorn and dimmed lights.

Acts of Service

  • If Mom is over the moon when someone else takes over her least favorite chores, plan a visit from the housework fairy. Send Mom on an errand and get busy cleaning the house or doing laundry. Give everyone a job and set a timer. When she comes home to see her to-do list is done, she’ll be ecstatic.

Receiving Gifts

  • If presents and surprises make her happiest, grab a pen and pad of sticky notes, jot down some happy thoughts for Mom and then plant them all over the house -- on the bathroom mirror, under her pillow, slipped inside her favorite shoe, tucked into a handbag. The element of surprise here is why this idea works well for moms who love gifts. Plus, words are free. Win-win.

Quality Time

  • If the mom in your life feels most fulfilled when sharing one-on-one time with others, plan a girls’ date with her best friend or group of girlfriends. Send them out for coffee or dinner. Or take a family hooky day during the week. Turn off the screens and go tech-free for the day. Cozy up for an all-day movie marathon at home, or get out for an adventure somewhere new.

Physical Touch

  • If hugs and snuggling are the way to her heart, perform an at-home spa massage for Mom. Invest in some sweet-smelling massage oils, candles, a relaxation CD, herbal tea and a book on massage techniques. Involve the whole family in pampering her by doing an all-hands massage. Or start her day with a surprise breakfast in bed. Join her for a leisurely meal and let it turn into an all-day snuggle-fest in bed.

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