Heart-felt Mother’s Day Tributes

Mother’s Day is the time to honor your mom. It’s not so much about physical gifts, but a sincere “thank you” for all the things she does for you. Sometimes these words don’t come easy!

In true GGS fashion, we venture beyond the usual Mother’s Day fare, to find ways to make it easier to say “I love you, Mom!” Your poems, cards, messages, kind words and giving of talents will be sure to light up mom’s heart.

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Mother’s Day cards and notes

Many adult children struggle with what to write in a Mother’s Day card, you’re not alone! You don’t have to write something epic every single year – pace yourself! Some children (adults included) find it easier to say nice things when the message is wrapped up inside a funny delivery. It doesn’t matter how you choose to tell mom how much she means to you, just make sure you do!

A collection of homemade Mother's Day cards by children.
Mother’s Day notes and poems from the heart! Card photo credit: Matthew Rutledge, Flickr.

A simple, one sentence message can mean so much. “You’re a great mom!” “I love you, Mom!” “You are the BEST mom ever!” Think of what you would like to be told and create a mom version of it. Everyone likes to hear that they are smart, clever, and awesome.

That makes me think of the animated King of the Hill series. When Hank is in trouble he instinctively tells his wife Peggy, “You’re pretty!” Peggy melts and all is well. This has become a running joke between my husband and I, but I bet your mom would like to be told she’s pretty, too!

There’s always the simple and direct “Thank You” note. Thank your mother for all of the things that she has done throughout her life for you. Things like changing your diapers, making that cool Halloween costume, and throwing a memorable birthday party. We seldom think of naming these acts of love as a gift, but it is, and a gracious one for a teen or adult to give.

A collection of small Mother's Day gifts and cards.
Say “thank you” to your mom in a card.

Little notes and poems are always my favorite – the cornier the better! If you live a distance away, receiving a pleasant and unexpected surprise like this will be sure to illicit a laugh – which is good for one’s health, by the way!

Of course, I have received Mother’s Day chore coupon books along with some nice Mother’s Day homemade cards. I can tell you exactly where they are at: in a folder marked “Important!” in my bedside stand.

When I cleaned out my parents’ estate, I found my own heart-warming cards to my mother – she kept her’s too! It was very cool to read what “younger me” had written and see what I had drawn for her. It was healing, as well. When you give your mother a gift, it may just come back to you in the future.

Mother’s Day Poem Tributes

Maybe you have the gift of the pen. If writing is your thing, take some time and write the most beautful and thoughtful poem for your mom. If not, there are lots of sources for finding Mother’s Day poems.

Helen Steiner Rice wrote poems for the greeting card industry for most of her life, passing away in 1981. If there was a card for it, she wrote it, bereavement, sister’s love, friendship, etc. She is so immensely popular that it was common to receive Hellen Steiner Rice booklets in the mail as promotional pieces. Now all of her most popular works can be obtained through book form.

If you need inspiration for a poem, visit a poem website which will provide lots of ideas for Mother’s Day poems. I’ve included Helen’s “A Mother’s Love” poem below.

A Mother’s Love by Helen Steiner Rice

A Mother’s love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God’s tender guiding hand.

100 nice things to say and do for your mom tributes

Let’s get epic. Make the longest list you can of all the wonderful and amazing things your mom does. Optionally, write down the messages on individual slips of paper. The slips can be added to a decorative jar and presented with much fanfare (and a bow!).

Your mother can pull a message out when she needs a little pick me up. Moms have hard days, too, and this type of gift can last the whole year. Moms love to revisit thoughtful messages.

My son wrote every nice thing he could think about me and presented it in a list form. How often does someone do that for you? Never underestimate how these considerate gestures mean so much to a mother!

An older African American mother reading caring notes on Mother's Day; to the side are a collage of notes.
Honor your mother with a Mother’s Day tribute: notes of gratitude, thanks, and appreciation.

In addition to your personal messages, include some fun quotes, especially from TV moms -they’re the best! Recall a favorite episode or tie it in with a past funny family memory. If reaching 100 items is hard, team up with a sibling to hit that magical number, even if it’s only 20, 30, or 50.

Be sure to list out all of your mother’s best attributes. What does your mom really rock at? Maybe she makes a mean lasagna. You will want to include your mom’s most notable accomplishments or traits. Putting them in a numbered list really sends the message that you put some thought into it.

Another take on this is to hide the notes around the house. Tuck it behind a picture, on a shelf, behind a pillow. Mom will get a smile when she comes across these hidden messages!

Children hugging their mom.
Don’t forget to hug your mom!

Be nice to your mom on Mother’s Day tributes

Sorry to be Captain Obvious, but the simple act of giving your mother a drama-free, pleasant day is an incredible gift! No family is perfect and without flaws, but if bickering is a common theme at your house, GIVE IT A REST FOR ONE DAY!

Here’s my best advice for being nice to your mom on Mother’s Day. This means:

  • give your mom a compliment
  • give her a BIG HUG!
  • call her own the phone
  • let your mom talk and be a good and respectful listener
  • refrain from any negative talk for 24 hours
  • do something your mom wants to do (not you)
  • do something for your mom that she usually gets stuck doing
  • take care of something your mom has been bugging you to do
  • take over a chore she dislikes to do
  • stop fighting with family and kick out a smile!

Sometimes actions speak louder than words 🙂

Mother’s Day chore ideas tributes

I save Mother’s Day for outdoors projects. No one can deny a mother her to do list on Mother’s Day! Working outside in May, sprucing up the landscape, and planting the garden are perfect jobs for a teen to help with.

My mom used to say that for Christmas all she wanted was a clean house. Of course, us kids thought that was a silly gift. OK, now I get where she was coming from – ad a mom, that would be the most glorious gift in the WORLD! Seriously, that would be the nicest thing you could give to your mom if you are living in the same house with her. Even if you’re not living there, I am sure she would appreciate help in sprucing up a few things

It dawned on me I could easily come up with an interesting and diverse list that teens could help with. I’ve had many years to cultivate this chores “wish list” – I can speak for many mothers that this would be appreciated:

  • cleaning behind a stove or refrigerator
  • cleaning out the inside of the refrigerator
  • vacuuming out a car
  • clean the kitchen
  • sort out a junk drawer
  • clean the pool
  • pull weeds in the garden

Sorry, my mom radar is tuned into HIGH mode. I think I am getting this confused with my punishment list, lol! My idea of a great gift may be odd to most people… or is it?

Mother’s Day gift of music tributes

If you are musically inclined, by all means, share that gift with your mother! I am honored to say that my kids wrote a song for me, the “mom’s song.” I really look forward to it every year, especially when they feed me breakfast in bed.

If the thought of writing your own music is intimidating, think of comedy legend Adam Sandler. He is famous for belting out corny tunes with an out of key voice. You don’t have to be an awesome singer, or even a clever song writer. To think of it, you don’t even have to play guitar (just strum it in between lyrics!).

Families singing and dancing with their mom.
Give the gift of music on Mother’s Day! Sing or dance together for a fun time!

Music doesn’t have to be original. Here’s an idea that was actually a birthday idea for my dad. When I was young and taking piano lessons, my mother secretly bought the sheet music for “The Music Box Dancer” – popular at the time on the radio. I practiced my heart out until the big day and surprised Dad with it (he loved it, by the way).

None of us may be the von Trapp family from the Sound of Music, but bringing music into a family celebration is FUN. I used to play music monthly in a nursing home (from the time era that the residents remembered). My own kids “tickled the ivories” for grandma when she was a resident. Everyone in earshot appreciated the impromptu concerts, including the nurses!

You don’t have to overthink this. Just play some music via a karaoke, radio, or online account. Sing some tunes together if mom would like that… or DANCE! I know a lot of women who love to dance and no one else is interested. They go their whole lives on the sidelines, waiting for someone to ask them to dance… JUST ASK THEM! Start a tradition and make it your mother’s day “thing.”

If your mom is a real music lover, you are missing a winning by giving the gift of music.

Art and craft projects for Mother’s Day tributes

Looking for an activity to do with your mom? Find a project that both of you can work on together. This could even mean buying a craft kit that is a planned, one hour activity. Or join your mom on some hobby that she has already started.

Maybe she finally gets around to showing you how to crochet or knit! Another option is to buy some painting or drawing supplies and make your own “paint and sip” event (wine is popular for this!). If you haven’t heard of this, it’s (usually women) getting friends together and having an art session on canvas, chatting, and enjoying favorite beverages. It could be like art class in school, where you set up a central display, and everyone encircles it and recreates it on canvas.

Looking for a unique artsy activity to do with mom? Grab some watercolors or oil paints and hike out to a beautiful spot for some en plein air painting – painting out in nature.

Don’t forget the Mother’s Day card! My own daughter-in-law enjoys following art tutorials online for making card art. For a non-artist, she’s pretty good and thrills in giving these cards away as gifts.

Creative activities to do with mom.
Line up a painting or craft project that the whole family can enjoy on Mother’s Day, or try painting out in the fresh air for a very different experience!

The gift of encouragement for new and expectant moms tributes

You must get this right. I’m speaking to all the dads out there or caring friends and family. The mom or new mom-to-be is expecting something absolutely wonderful and magical. Speaking from experience, our expectations get more realistic later, but for the first-time moms, it’s important to show appreciation.

The first “gift” that comes to mind is encouragement. Tell the mom what a great job she is doing and be specific (it shows you are paying attention). For pregnant moms, commend her on the good job she is doing taking care of the little life inside of her.

Cheer her on. Parent duties often fall heavily on women. Even the most thoughful new dads are challenged when the mother is breastfeeding and they feel helpless in their contributions. Changing every diaper you can, putting nice meals out to keep expectant or new moms’ energy up, and giving a supportive hug goes a long way in saying “you’re awesome, I appreciate what you do for our family!

Mom needs a break! For moms in the trenches

Moms in the thick of life need encouragement AND a huge dose of humor! That’s why mom blogs are so popular, new moms (and dads) just want to connect with other parents and know that they are not alone.

Humorous books, clothing, and cards can be uplifting. If you’re a seasoned parent yourself, throw in your own tips and tricks. Even revealing your fails can be encouraging to new other moms and dads.

Quotes can really get you through some rough times. It doesn’t take much to type out or print out a favorite message and tuck it into a frame. Make a stack of them for backups. Must haves:

  • full time working mom overwhelmed quotes
  • every mom needs a break quotes
  • new mom quotes
Encouraging words for mom.
Encouraging words for mom. Share often!

Give the gift of MOM TIME tributes

Every mom needs a break. New moms need sleep. I knew a mom who designated January 1 as “Mom’s Day Off” day. In addition to Mother’s Day, she found another day to relax (I admire her self-care efforts).

On those days, her kids were completely on their own and were told to not come to mom for anything. LOVE, LOVE THIS IDEA! I know this may seem the opposite of motherly, but moms in the trenches will get this!

For a decade, I had kids chirping nonstop “Mom… Mom… Moommmm!!!” It grinds on the nerves and patience is hard to maintain. “Mom time” is critical for moms to refuel their inner battery. Any mom in the trenches tends to not finish a meal (let alone a hot meal), enjoy an uninterrupted bath or shower, or get to fully immerse in a good book!

An African American dad giving mom a break and playing with his kids.
Mom needs a break! Even 30 minutes can restore sanity!

Even 1 HOUR of interrupted time is SWEET! For new moms, let them sleep as long as they can. None of these ideas cost money, something new parents are probably short of. Never underestimate the gratitude a mom or new mom will have for the generous gift of watching the kids.

Or find someone to babysit the kids so parents can have a night out. A mom just may want to exercise or squeeze in a relaxing walk in nature.

Some moms, especially introvert moms, crave time alone. Alone time actually recharges them. Make sure that on Mother’s Day your introvert mom get a little “me time” after the family time together!

Now go off and make this the BEST MOTHER’S DAY EVER!

Little girl holding a sign that says "I Love You, Mom!"
Actions and gestures, kind words for the woman who gave birth to you. Find 100 different ways to say “I Love You, Mom!”
Renee Cavvy
Renee Cavvy

Renee brings over 30 years of gift giving experience to holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, workplace and faith events. Every life moment is cause for celebration or those times in life when we need the "the gift of support". Her mission: Let's all be better in appreciating one another, put an end to meaningless gifts that clutter our lives, and give from a place of love and kindness. This midwest mom (and grandma) offers novel and creative ideas to do gift giving better!