Every year at this time, public school teachers work with kids on creating crafts to take home to their moms for Mother’s Day. Since there’s no in-person school this spring, here are a few low-cost ways to honor the important mothers in your life.

First and possibly most importantly, keep it simple. With all the store closures, financial hardships and inadvisability of unnecessary shopping trips during the COVID-19 pandemic, going all-out on expensive shopping is not recommended this year.

“I feel like everyone is juggling so many new expectations and stressors, including kids,” said Shannon Wright of Region Ten counseling center in Stanardsville. “I feel like maybe the most helpful thing we can do for the mothers in our lives is to find easy, relatively stress-free ways to just connect, without a ton of expectation around it.”

Wright’s own children have had birthdays recently, and it has brought to light how much “running around” is usually part of planning birthdays and other celebrations.

“All those errands feel much more stressful if not fully impossible right now,” she said. “When things can be simple and achievable, that’s ideal.”

While Wright could not comment on whether they have seen an uptick in service requests at the counseling center right now, she has definitely seen people—moms included—who are struggling.

“I can say that everyone I have spoken to, whether newly seeking services or an existing client, is sharing concerns or impacts related to the overall (COVID-19) situation,” she said. “I think the need for services related to this will continue to come in waves, likely for a very long time.”

So, what kind of simple ideas come to mind?

If you or your kids are able to cook or bake for mom, treat her to a home-cooked meal or breakfast in bed. Just make sure she doesn’t end up being the one to clean up the mess in the kitchen. For those who don’t live with their mom, see what restaurants in her area are offering delivery and consider sending her a nice meal to show you care.

Feeling crafty? Local art teacher Tammy Hornek has some suggestions for easy crafts people can create at home for mom without needing to spend a lot of money on new materials.

“I think that doing an online painting class with mom would be fun,” Hornek said. “It’s a way for adults to have some fun with mom and feel like they are in the room together.”

Hornek offers online classes at FunArtNight.com and there is a link on the website to order supplies for several painting classes to be shipped to your door.

Don’t have the time or funds for a painting class?

“Truth be told, every mama just wants to know that you know how much she loves you,” Hornek said. “Make sure to tell her how much you appreciate her for the lessons she has taught you. Show her how much you love her in a handmade card. Teens can find a YouTube video of how to make a breakfast, lunch or dinner. Surprise her by making her something.”

Not feeling crafty or don’t have the materials? The Greene County Farmers Market is offering online ordering and curbside pickup, so you can support local while picking up fresh baked goodies, handcrafted items and more at greenecommons.com.

In an effort to help families celebrate, Market Manager Judy Berger has partnered with local vendors to create Mother’s Day recipes based on what will be for sale this week at the market.

“We don’t really want to encourage kids to come to the farmers market right now, so this will be a job for dad,” Berger said. “Brunch, lunch or dinner ideas, vegetarian and meat lovers’ recipes will be available for shoppers to pick up before they start. These simple recipes will include ingredients from each vendor at the market, and they’ll be family friendly and fun to create for mom.”

Don’t forget to think about ways to help her relax this Mother’s Day. Maybe it’s just an afternoon to herself to take a bubble bath, go for a walk or takeout from her favorite restaurant. Maybe it’s cleaning the house so she doesn’t have to worry about it and can spend the time reading a book instead. Maybe it’s picking up her favorite bottled beverage or having it delivered so she doesn’t need to make an extra trip to the store.

“Just be very intentional about listening to the things mom asks you to do over the next couple of days,” advises Hornek. “Keep a list and then on Mother’s Day, make a point to do each one of those things before she has a chance to ask.”

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s something that will help that special mom in your life with some self-care in an otherwise stressful time.

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