I grew up thinking Mother’s Day gifts were supposed to be homemade macaroni noodle necklaces, inedible breakfasts in bed, and a whole day (okay, half a day) without fighting with your sibling. And these gifts are fine – if you’re five years old. In all honesty, I think this is all most moms expect for mother’s day. But this does not have to be the standard folks. If you were lucky enough to produce offspring with a runner, why not knock your special lady’s compression socks off by helping your kids plan an extra special day around one of their mom’s favorite activities? Straight from one running mother’s mouth, allow me to detail a perfect day to celebrate a running Mother’s Day.
Start Mother’s Day off right by letting Mom do something she’s nearly forgotten how to do – sleep in. Get up with the kids and play with them quietly or, if that’s impossible, take them outside. Odds are, Mom will stumble out of the room within the half our, dazed and confused about why her family is up without her anyway. When she does, encourage her to throw on her shoes and go for a nice solo run. Expect some confusion. She may have forgotten what it’s like to run alone (or do anything alone, really) and may need a moment to process this concept.
Depending on the type of runner she is, Mom will either wipe a tear from her eye and barely manage a, “Really?!” as she sprints back to the room to change clothes before the offer disappears, or perhaps she’ll look wistfully at her family and want you all to join. If you’re getting the puppy dog face, make it easy for her and offer to join – but make sure you get the kid(s) ready and push the stroller throughout the run. Remember, it’s Mom’s day to take it easy.
After the run, Mom gets first shower. Encourage a long one. Perhaps even an Epsom salt bath. While she’s enjoying that, you can brew coffee and prepare her favorite breakfast. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate brunch. It will mean just as much to Mom if you make her peanut butter on a bagel or yogurt and granola bowl that she likes to eat most mornings. Let her know you picked it because you know she likes it. She will love that you noticed the small detail of what she eats for breakfast. (Hint – this sort of gesture will earn you brownie points on any day – not just Mother’s Day. You’re welcome.)
Some families do gifts for Mother’s Day and some don’t. Even if you are of a family who doesn’t involve gifts for this holiday, a thoughtful card signed by all members of the family is a must. Words – especially from those you love – can make or break a day; put it in writing that you love and appreciate your running mom and include a few reasons why.
If Mom is going to get a few material tokens of your appreciation there are a few staples that any female runners will love; if you’re looking for the $20 and under gifts, there’s always a need for socks, chews or goos for long runs, a water bottle with a handle, or a jogging hat. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, a new pair of shoes is always needed and first on the list. Fun extras include timing watches, heart rate monitors, a water belt or backpack, and new shorts, tights, tank tops, or lightweight jackets. If you really want to impress her, buy her a top of the line sports bra. It seems too practical to be fun, but any woman who has run in a cheap sports bra will tell you that there is no price too high to pay for real comfort and durability in a sports bra. (Hint: be sure to check her other sports bras for sizing. Don’t try to guess. Just don’t.)
In all honesty, where you go from there is up to the individual family. So long as you spend the day together and remember to tell Mom periodically throughout the day some specific ways she is appreciated, she will go to bed happy and filled with love. You may also notice that her running stride looks a bit lighter the next day. A little extra love can do that to a mom.