Mother’s Day is an important time to honor motherhood and the influence of mothers in our communities. This year’s celebration falls in the middle of a Stay at Home Order,  issued to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Philadelphia. Still, it doesn’t mean that the celebration is canceled. On the contrary, the celebration continues—just in a different way.  

Our relationship to Mother’s Day is based on our own lived experience. Some of us will be experiencing a Mother’s Day for the first time. Congratulations to new moms! For some of us, it will be the first time that the current circumstances will prevent us from visiting our moms.

We never imagined that on this Mother’s Day we wouldn’t be gathered at a favorite restaurant or a family barbecue surrounded by our children and grandchildren. For some of us, it may be the first time without our beloved mother, grandmother, aunt, daughter, partner, or sister. We acknowledge your grief. And for many of us, this Mother’s Day will be a celebration of newly found gratitude and resilience.   

We must follow the guidance of public health authorities. We should not gather physically, even in small groups—except for household members. All gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are still prohibited. Remember, the virus can spread among a small group of people who are in the same room, even if people do not have symptoms.

For those whose parents live in assisted living communities, long term facilities, or nursing homes, spending time in person with mom will not be possible this year. These facilities are not allowing visitors in order to protect their residents, who are at higher risk of infection or severe illness from COVID-19.

However, despite these limitations, families are finding creative ways to celebrate: 

Spend time together—virtually! 

Online video meetings, virtual celebrations, happy hours, or virtual gatherings have been the new normal since the pandemic began. Try a virtual party for mom. 

Have a video call with your mom through Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime. Technology can bring our loved ones closer. But, if the Internet connection gets slow, or your mom is not tech-savvy enough, simply call her and tell how much you love and miss her! 

Write a letter or make your own Mother’s Day card.

Take a piece of paper and a pen, and let your creativity flow. You don’t need a lot of money to do this and it’s a way to show your gratitude and love. A handwritten letter or homemade card will be a meaningful and unique gift. And if you don’t have any stamps on hand, you can always buy them online.

Create memories. 

Get to know your mom better. Talk to her and find out more about who she is as a person. Here are 38 conversation-starting questions to ask your mom. 

If you live with your mom, you can review old photo albums and cherish good moments. This is also an excellent way to create new memories. 

Support local businesses. 

If your budget allows it, you can buy her a gift, flowers, or a nice dinner from her favorite local restaurant. You are saving your mom from cooking on her special day, and you are also supporting local businesses during the pandemic. If the establishment doesn’t offer delivery, you might be able to pick up the food, and deliver it contactless, straight to her front door. Remember to follow social distancing protocols at all times. 

Treat her like a queen. 

You don’t have to wait until Mother’s Day to treat your mom like a queen. If you want to make this day extra special and you live with your mom—or are currently staying with her—you can cook a special meal, take an online class together, or have a movie night at home. Those little activities can make her day memorable! 

COVID-19 impacts women, especially mothers, in unimaginable ways. On this day, we want to give a shout out to mothers, daughters, and sisters who are experiencing a COVID-19  Mother’s Day. We want you to know that we see you!

  • We see you who hold the hands of the dying at a time when family members cannot be with them for their last breaths. 
  • We see you who get up every morning to care for the sick who cannot care for themselves. 
  • We see you who are frontline workers that can’t be at home with your children to homeschool them because you don’t have the luxury to work from home. 
  • We see you who are working at home and are balancing work, homeschooling, and childcare at the same time.
  • We see you who are experiencing economic and housing insecurity.
  • We see you who are the bus drivers, the postal workers, the food market stock clerks and cashiers, the domestic workers, the teachers, the childcare care workers, and the health care providers.
  • We see you who are expecting and new mothers that are uncertain about the world you are bringing your child into. 
  • We see you who are incarcerated and cannot be with your children and families on this day. 

We see you. We honor you. We cherish you. We love you. Happy Mother’s Day!