Celebrating Mother’s Day when you live far away from the women you love the most is not easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. When I left my parents in Chile 17 years ago, I hadn’t really realized how much you miss being close to those you love during holidays, birthdays and special dates. Now that I’m a mom, it’s also tough for my children to understand why we aren’t living closer.
Given that Mother’s Day is right around the corner, I’ve already started to plan how to make those special women in my life feel loved and appreciated even if I cannot be with them. My own mom will be in Santiago, just like my 90-year-old grandma. My other abuelita will be in Houston, Texas, so I need to ensure I can show them my love even if I cannot hug them in person on May 11th. Technology will help me out as it has in the past, by allowing me to hear and see my loved ones even if we are thousands of miles apart. It’s so great to see my grandmothers smile when they hear my voice and can see how tall my kids are getting or when my daughter shows them her latest gymnastics skills.
I know many of you share the same challenge, so here are a few tips to help you find meaningful, yet, easy ways to make moms feel special:
- Send a video greeting instead of a regular card. Skype makes it super easy. Just open the app or software, select who you want to send the message to, record and send. The best part is that Mom doesn’t even have to be online or available. It’s also a gift that can be enjoyed over and over again, because she can play the video as often as she wants. This is also super practical if you have very young children and prefer to record a greeting when they are full of energy and in a good mood, rather than hoping they will be willing to cooperate when you finally reach your mom.
- Don’t forget stepmothers! Call her early in the day so your stepmom knows she’s a priority for you. Share with her a special memory you have of the time you have spent with her and tell her how much she means to you. We often think people know how we feel about them and forget to tell them. You can even show her a bouquet of flowers that you wish you could deliver in person.
- Enlist your kids to help you out. Calling a special grandmother (abuelita) or even great-grandma (bisabuelita)? Make sure to have your kids close by so they can show their love, too. Since kids don’t always like to actually speak, have them sing a song. Even better: do a video call and have your kids do a special dance using their favorite music. Need suggestions? Just play some Celia Cruz or Marc Anthony!
- Take a walk down memory lane. Find pictures of when you were a child with your godmother, aunt, grandma or mom and save them on a folder in your computer. On Mother’s Day, use Skype to do a voice or video call and share those pictures with her. You can also create a photo book with those pictures and send it to her via mail.
- Plan a video surprise. If you have a large family, surprise your grandmother by planning a group video call with your siblings and cousins at a specific time. That way she won’t just hear your voice but she will also get to see so many people she loves. This will surely brighten up her day!
Keep in mind that technology can also help you out when you didn’t have time to mail a greeting card. You can write one, snap a picture with your smartphone or your computer’s webcam and send it via email or as an attachment. You can also share the file via Skype.
Regardless of how you plan on celebrating Mother’s Day, just know that no matter the distance, we can always feel close to those we love.
Disclosure: although this is not a sponsored post, I am a spokesperson for Skype.