Mother's Day is supposed to be a day when mom gets treated like a queen, whether her idea of the royal treatment involves breakfast in bed, a fancy brunch with bottomless bellinis, or just a couple of hours to herself to do whatever she wants. But what about the many, many moms who spend the holiday in the maternity ward or the NICU? It might seem like a challenge, but there are some totally practical yet meaningful ways to celebrate Mother's Day in the hospital.
Maybe she just gave birth, or maybe her little one showed up a bit sooner than expected and still isn't ready to come home. Maybe she's in the hospital for a reason that's not related to childbirth at all, like an illness of her own. Whatever the reason for her Mother's Day stay in the hospital, it's probably not where she wants to be.
"My daughter was born just before Mother's Day in 2012," Jennifer Degl, author of From Hope to Joy: A Memoir of a Mother’s Determination and Her Micro Preemie’s Struggle to Beat the Odds, wrote for the Huffington Post.
"She was born 17 weeks early, weighing just 1 lb. 4 oz. and was not even the length of a ruler. She was born way too early and was in critical condition. I spent Mother's Day in the NICU worrying about if she would live or die and I also had three other children at home who wanted to celebrate with me. Saying it was difficult is an understatement."
Many moms in similar situations probably don't even know if they feel like celebrating, or if it's even okay to want to enjoy the day. But there's no question that mom deserves to be celebrated, and these easy ways to show her that she's loved will most definitely brighten her day.
1. Have an indoor picnic
So she can't get outside to soak up all those springtime vibes. That's okay, because you can throw a festive indoor picnic (as suggested on Headcovers.com). You can go the traditional route, showing up with all her fave picnic foods in a basket and a red checkered tablecloth to spread out on the bed, or you can go with a springtime theme. Make it easy on yourself with one of the gorgeous Mother's Day-appropriate party sets from Coterie, which come with all the utensils, plates, decorations and other accessories you need for a very pretty party (prices start at $56).
2. Spa Day
If you've ever spent any time in the hospital, you know that it's not the most glamorous experience. In fact, after padding around in those standard-issue socks and an ill-fitting hospital gown for a while, the thought of a massage or a mani-pedi sounds like absolute heaven. Pack up some essentials (scented candles, relaxing music, etc.) and transform her room into a zen, spa-like environment where she can enjoy such treatments as sheet mask facials and a foot massage. This Spa Indulgence Gift Set from Formulary 55 ($58) comes in a variety of scents and includes such spa day must-haves as a hand-poured botanical candle, shea butter hand and body creme and more (and the lovely packaging will make her sterile room seem much more cheerful).
3. Get Crafty
Sometimes what moms in the hospital need the most is something to keep their hands busy.
"Many mothers (and I was one of them) cannot even hold their NICU baby for over a month due to their fragile state, so us moms just sit and stare at an isolette for hours on end and wait for the opportunity to help change a diaper or take a temperature so that we feel like we are mothering our babies," Degl wrote.
"A mother's instinct it to nurture their baby and in many cases that is not possible. So, why not get mom a scrapbook and some stickers and offer to print some pictures of her baby for her so that she can spend her time creating something beautiful for her baby (other than breast milk!)." Other crafting options include knitting/crocheting supplies (think booties and blankets).
4. Bring The Movies To Her
Another thing you know if you've spent time in the hospital is that there's always a really strange selection of TV shows and movies available to watch. (When I gave birth to my last baby, my husband and I ended up watching game shows for hours on end.) Bring a portable DVD player (maybe even a projector?) and a movie you know she never got a chance to see, and you just might have some moms from other rooms sneaking in to catch a glimpse of some non-game show entertainment.
5. Have a garden party
Ok, so flowers for Mother's Day aren't exactly a groundbreaking concept; nor is bringing flowers to someone in the hospital. But I'm not talking about grabbing a grocery store bouquet of blooms: If this is an extended hospital stay, opt for a particularly gorgeous potted plant like this Potted Pink Cala Lily from ProFlowers ($25; the Pink Geo Mercury Glass Planter is an additional $13). Potted plants will brighten up her room for the length of her stay, and she can even bring it home and plant it in the yard.