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picnic on the beachAttention, husbands: If you're just planning Mother's Day now, I won't scold you, but I will save you from the wrath you're about to experience if you don't get things together quickly.

Before you move on to showing her your personal appreciation, you'll want to make sure you've arranged something special from your children. If you're in a hurry, here are some quick and easy Mother's Day projects. You can also help them make this precious card, telling Mom just how much they love her.

Some suggest giving Mom a day without the kids, but personally that isn't what I would want. Mother's Day should be celebrated as a family, but once they've served her breakfast in bed, and spent the day honoring her in clever ways, the two of you can tuck in those sweet little ones and get on with some romantic appreciation.

If you're looking for a way to spoil her, follow me through the break, and we'll discuss how you can shower her with appreciation for little or no cost, and with little preparation (yes, you can pull all of these off before Sunday!).

So here we are: it's Friday, and you're scrambling to find the perfect way to show your wife how much you appreciate her as a mother. Have a look through these ideas and find your own inspiration.

Make her a mix tape

Ok, the modern-day mix tape looks more like a CD, or a playlist, but the idea is the same, and it's timelessly romantic. Include her current favorites, something from the days before she had kids, any special songs the two of you share, and a few new tunes that make you think about her. Curl up with a glass of wine and enjoy the music together, or take her hand and dance in the living room.

According to Esquire magazine, there is an art to making a mix. Here are a couple of their pointers to get you going in the right direction:
  • Don't end with your best song: you don't want to start with it either, but choose those significant songs and mix them throughout the tape.
  • Recognize your audience: this tape is for your wife, not for you, so keep her in mind with each song you choose.
  • Withhold the track listing: You can still make one, but don't give it to her right away. Let her uncover each carefully-chosen song as she listens to it.

Make a coupon book

We've suggested making a coupon book from the kids, but this is a great gift coming from you, too. Keeping in the spirit of Mother's Day, make coupons that offer to take some of the "mommy duties" off her hands. Depending on how you typically split the household duties, these tasks will vary. Here are some suggestions: This coupon is good for one...

  • early morning with the children while you sleep in
  • gourmet dinner
  • day of packing the family lunches
  • week of laundry
  • hour of private time while I take the children to the park

Make a memory journal

Buy a nice-looking journal, or decorate your own book cover, and make her a Motherhood memory journal. She'll use the book to record all the sweet things her children do, and to journal her reflections on motherhood. Start off the first few pages by adding in your own stories. Write down a few memories about the children, or moments when you appreciated her as a mother.

Alternatively, you could make a memory album, and add a little interest to the book by including some photos with your stories. If you really want to embellish the album pages, gather some scrapbooking supplies and set up the journal pages for her. You can even design scrapbook and journal paper in Photoshop with Anna's tutorial.

Plan a fireside picnic

A picnic by the lake with fine wine and gourmet cheese may have been replaced by granola bars and juice boxes in a crowded park, but you can bring back a little romance with a fireside picnic. Once the children are in bed, spread out a blanket in front of the fire, and enjoy some of your favorite treats together. Here are some great suggestions for romantic picnic foods.

Spend your time just visiting one another, and enjoying your alone time. If you want to bring in some added romance, read her some poetry. Share some of these poems and stories inspired by mothers. If you really want to impress her, write your own poem.

So, while you should be feeling a healthy bit of panic due to having left planning Mother's Day until this late date, you are not entirely out of options. Enjoy a family day together, talk to your kids about ways to celebrate Mom, then spoil her yourself at the end of the day. You notice things daily that remind you of what a wonderful mother she is: now take this opportunity to celebrate and thank her.


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