Life in lockdown has certainly had its challenges for most of us, whether it’s been the juggle of work and family, the home-schooling battle, or just trying to find ways to keep yourself busy and ward off the loneliness.
But for me, one of the biggest emotional challenges has been working out how to celebrate special times when you can’t be in the same room as those you want to celebrate with. Not being able to see family for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas has been really tough, and now just around the corner (and just before the first real easing of lockdown is likely to happen) is Mother’s Day.
For the simple reason of wanting to protect her, I have only seen my Mum maybe 2 or 3 times since Mothering Sunday last year and I know that will be the same for lots of other people too. I never could have imagined that would be the case and it’s heartbreaking, but it’s making me realise just how important it is to take every opportunity to celebrate . Not just for me, but also for my children who are missing their Granny and Grandma intensely and need to find ways to feel connected to them.
So here is the challenge – how to make Mother’s Day special when you can’t visit or go anywhere. Here are some ideas for gifting and sharing the day together when you can’t be in the same room.
With restaurants and pubs shut, the usual family meal out is off the cards, so how about having a luxury meal kit delivered? Restaurants such as supperclub.tube are offering oven-ready, restaurant quality meal kits for you to enjoy at home so you don’t have to miss out on great food when you’ve got something to celebrate (available for local East London delivery Friday and Saturday nights only). And the amazing Wander have a dedicated Mothers Day offering that can be picked up on Mothering Sunday from their Stoke Newington restaurant. But if you're not in East London don't worry, plenty of restaurants are offering these options so check your local area for something similar.
Or if you think she may be more in need of a little ‘her’ time, how about a box of goodies to pamper herself and provide some much-needed self care? I am absolutely in love with these boxes from Eucy – order via DM on their Instagram account.
If you’d like to gift something more personal there are lots of options out there for products you can add a special message to, or something more subtle if (like me) you’re not into the gushy stuff. One of my favourites has to be Herbert Designs London, who make beautiful handmade silver jewellery to order, and include the option to have dates or initials stamped into the metal.
If you are creative yourself, have some time on your hands and fancy making a gift why not take advantage of the many craft kits now available, including the fantastic pottery kits by The Clay Club (definitely planning to purchase one of these myself and have a go…!) or design her a ring using this amazing box from BABES AND BAD EXAMPLES that includes everything you’ll need to carve your design and have it cast in silver or 18k gold vermeil.
Or if your mum likes crafting too, then take it a step further and arrange a joint crafting session on zoom – this is exactly the sort of occasion my TOGETHER WE CRAFT double macrame kits were designed for. Two complete kits which can either be delivered to separate addresses or together if you want to gift it yourself. You can spend some time (virtually) together creating the same wall hanging, but still choose different colours to suit your style.
All of the ideas above are amazing products from small, independent companies who I love, but there are so many DIY options too for planning a personal, if digital day together.
Film lovers? Why not buy you both a film you’ll enjoy and watch it ‘together’. Package up a box with pick and mix, popcorn and prosecco for the full luxury cinema experience.
If you both love being in the kitchen then plan your own Bake Off – put together a kit including ingredients, decorations and a fancy new cake tin for your Showstopper challenge. Invite your siblings, aunties or cousins to join in too and pick someone from the family to stand in for Paul Hollywood and judge the results. You could even have someone arrange a mystery ‘technical’ challenge complete with obscure ingredients and recipe – set the timer and see who comes out top!
Or if you like a good pamper session then pop together a simple set of luxurious at-home treatments and products that you can both enjoy – clay face mark, some essential oils and matching nail polish are all good options but there are so many more to choose from.
And lastly, how about finding something extra special as a gift from grandchild to grandmother? You can never go wrong with a framed picture and a handmade card, but companies like Olive and Pip are going a step further in creating beautiful, tasteful keepsakes using your child’s artwork for an extra special gift.
I also love the idea of putting together a little set of favourite seeds or plants for both your child and your mum so they can plant matching gardens, compare their seedlings as they grow and finally visit each other’s as restrictions start to lift. Plus it’s something you could add to every year, and even make or buy a little sign for them each to display on their plot.
I hope there are some inspiring options there, and also hope you can take the opportunity to support small businesses – either those above or others you know of in your own area – to create a Mother’s Day she’ll remember for all the right reasons.