“Do something nice for me,” was always my mother’s answer to my pleading question of, “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” With age, my own motherhood, hopefully more wisdom, and the opportunity to engage with other families as Your Computer Tutor, I have come to understand more deeply what that means.
Flowers and chocolate are great, but the gift of your time and patience is what many mothers really want.
Giving our time is particularly difficult when distance separates us, so some of these are things that would be worked into your next visit. Pay attention to the things that she enjoys, then sit down with her and make it easier for her to enjoy them.
Keep Mom Connected
- If she is a reader, set up her Kindle or other e-reader, and show her how to download books for free from the library.
- Does she have a hobby, like sewing, that has gone by the wayside because of a missing or broken tool? Surprise her by ordering that obscure spare part from the internet, and if you can do so, install it for her.
- Does she have only outdated pictures of your family in her wallet, because the only ones you send her anymore are digital pictures? Create a digital family album on her smartphone that she can whip out as she brags about you to her friends. If a smartphone isn’t her thing, go old-school and print out those pictures and put them in a little book for her.
- Does Mom like games? Why not order up a fresh book of crossword puzzles for her, or connect her to any number of online sources of new games. Sit down and play the games with her, or if distance is a factor, play against her online. My mom routinely wins our Words With Friends (online Scrabble) games!
- Keeping Mom connected, especially to the younger generation, is a great way to keep her plugged in and feeling the love. My kids trained my parents on Instagram and Snapchat recently, and the steady exchange of pictures and short videos adds to our closeness and helps everyone feel included in each others’ lives.
At your next opportunity, sit down with Mom and connect. Connect with her. Connect with her interests and hobbies. Help her connect with others. We rely so heavily on technology today to stay connected that those who haven’t yet embraced it can often get left out. If mom wants to know more or learn how, show her, but don’t press the issue if she’s not ready. Remember, she taught you how to use a spoon, so you need to be patient with her when it comes to modern communication.