There is a whole host of reasons why you might not be in a position (or have the desire) to spend money on a Mother's Day gift. Some people simply don't have it in the budget, some moms would rather their loved ones put their dollars toward other things, and, of course, there are those who would simply prefer to spend time with their kids. Regardless of the reason, there are more than a few free Mother's Day gifts that prove it's the thought that truly counts.
Whether you choose to take your mom to a local art gallery or make plans to go for a hike, your mom is going to love getting to spend time with you to celebrate Mother's Day. Many of us don't get time with our moms — at least not without kids running circles around our feet or sitting on our laps pulling our hair — so carving out one-on-one time to give your mom some well-earned and undivided attention is, truly, a gift in and of itself.
Each mom has different interests, but if you're strapped for cash or don't think she'd appreciate you spending money on her, look out for free events in your local area that you think she'd like. It doesn't have to be a long or impressive outing, but finding something you might not ordinarily have the time to do together can be a real treat on Mother's Day.
1. Take Her On A Hike Or A Walk
I've always found that taking walks is one of the best ways to spend quality time with someone you love (and, well, even yourself). You really can't be on your phone without tripping and falling on your face, and there are fewer distractions than being at home. No kids, no partners, no laundry to fold, just fresh air and the great outdoors. Depending on your mom's mobility, you could even plan to explore a new hiking trail... if she's up for it, of course.
2. Make A Date To Look Through Photo Albums
Even though my kids are still very young, I can already tell that looking through old photos of them years from now will be a wonderful thing. Getting to tell them stories about when they were little and how adorable they were sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon celebrating Mother's Day.
3. Invite Her For Some Grandchild Time
If your mom or mother-in-law watches your kids regularly while you work or do other things, she might like to spend time with them without having to be in charge of them. Bake a batch of cookies and invite her over to sit with a cup of tea and watch the kids make a giant mess... she doesn't have to clean up!
4. Set Up A Photo Stream On Her Phone
My mom lives for photos of her grandkids, but isn't exactly the most technologically savvy. If you don't have a way to share photos regularly with your mom, set up a photo stream that you can add to on a daily or weekly basis. iCloud has a free photo stream option that allows invited followers to comment and like photos, which will give you a great idea of which ones your mom likes the most.
5. Invite Her Over For Coffee
Now, this one involves just a tiny bit of money, but if you have coffee on hand (or tea, if she prefers), it will cost you barely a few cents to enjoy a brew at home. Who needs a $10 cup of coffee anyway, right?
6. Take Her To a Free Local Show
Our local library often has music events that are free to the public and totally enjoyable. Local museums often offer similar options, too. Find something around the time of Mother's Day and write her a little invite to officially make it a date.
7. Take Her To A Botanical Garden
Not all botanical gardens are free, but the one in our city is and it's the most peaceful place for a stroll... especially while you look at flowers you don't have to weed!
8. Visit A Museum
Like botanical gardens, not all museums are free, but a lot of them are and the ones that aren't often have a day of the week or month that's free to the public. Find a new exhibit that's opening at the local art museum and take her along for a leisurely morning.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.