It’s Not About You: 3 Mother’s Day Traditions for Your Kids

child spraypainting mom

On Mother’s day, my kids’ eyes sparkle when they give me macaroni necklaces and glitter-heavy cards. They don’t see the mess they leave behind in the kitchen after they make me breakfast. Yet their faces beam when they bring buttery toast and coffee to me. Three pairs of hands tickle me awake on Mother’s Day, it’s definitely one of our Mother’s Day traditions. Sometimes after the sun shines through the blinds.

Once I realized that Mother’s Day really isn’t about me (i.e., the Mom), the holiday blossomed with significance. Now we’ve created 3 Mother’s Day traditions as a family. Mother’s Day is an opportunity for me to teach them how to love each other. 

Mother’s Day Tradition #1: Play with Those You Love

On Mother’s Day, I want to go to bed tired from playing with my kids. This year we will conquer an amusement park because I want them to look forward to Mother’s Day as much as their birthdays. Quit having fun with the people we love best? Nope! Call it quality time, call it a funfest– it doesn’t matter. Play is a language of love. 

Mother’s Day Tradition #2: Speak Love to Each Other

We’ve got this Mason jar that I keep in the kitchen the week before Mother’s Day. It’s the trendy blue version, perfect for flowers, pens, centerpieces, and the notes that we write to each other. I leave slips of paper near the jar, and I encourage the kids to write notes of love to each other. Of course, since it’s the Mother’s Day Jar, they write me sweetie-pie notes, but they slip in notes to each other, too. I contribute my notes as well,  each slip of paper narrating a memory of a child’s infancy, birth, special moment, etc.

On Mother’s Day morning, we read the notes to each other during breakfast. I model how to speak love, and just as important, how to receive loving words.

Mother’s Day Tradition #3: Give Intangible Gifts of Love

What do I want to get for Mother’s Day? I want a knock-knock joke, a dance party, a tickle war, a solo, a game of basketball, and a bike ride. I am putting my wishlist on the door of the fridge. But, I still wonder what they’ll get me? Oh, and I want one of my kiddos to take Polaroids of each gift. Perfect.

When I was a new mom, Mother’s Day didn’t feel like Mother’s Day. Maybe I had expected a Mother’s Day in which I would wake triumphant. Maybe I had imagined spending the day at the spa, sipping champagne while chitchatting about my wee cherubs who would be home napping. I’m so glad that my children taught me that Mother’s Day is about so much more.


Jackie is mom to Sydney (11), Landon (8) and Harper (4). They enjoy swimming and riding their bikes. Jackie earned her B.A. from Wheaton College. She’s originally from West Michigan and taught secondary language arts for seven years. She has lived across the United States and Canada, but she has lived in Tampa Bay since 2015. Jackie enjoys running the Belleair Bridge, writing and traveling. Follow her at IG #jackiesager1, FB Jackie Sager PrayWriteRun and personal blog