How you can honour your mother today

Mother's Day

Members of the public at The Hub Karen during the Mother’s Day on May 13, 2018.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • From your conception, your mother's life was no longer her own but was from then on dedicated to taking care of you.
  • One day is of course not enough to recognise and appreciate your mother's love, sacrifice and efforts.

It is that time of the year when we celebrate our mothers for their priceless care that made us who we are. 
Mother’s Day is the best time to surprise your mother with the crockery set she cannot stop talking about, or buy her a beautiful kitenge, hinting that you are about to make her a ‘mother-in-law’. 

One day in a year is of course not enough to recognise and appreciate her love, sacrifice and efforts. From your conception, her life was no longer her own but was from then on dedicated to taking care of the most important person in her life — you. 

A bouquet of flowers, chocolates, cakes, perfume or a handbag are some of the gifts people can surprise their mothers with. It could also be an invitation to cook her a meal for a change, instead of her doing all the hard work as usual, letting her have the day to herself and be served.

Sentimental gifts work best for such days to show how much one values their mother. A frame of a photo collage, full of beautiful memories captured when you were growing up, coupled with a lovely message, will definitely evoke feelings of joy and earn a permanent place in the living room’s wall unit.

“My mother lives in the village, so I will send my brother to deliver a gift hamper with body oil, braids and shoes so that she can take care of herself,” said Damaris Siaban, who lives in Nairobi. 

Gift baskets, packed with wine, scented candles and flavoured tea, are also a great option that can be delivered easily to mothers if distance is an issue.

Young children dream of having enough money and taking care of their parents by either building them a nice home, buying them cars, or even whisking them on a trip to a place they have always dreamed of visiting. 

Benjamin Mnai, a Kenyan working in the United Kingdom, rarely has time to travel home to see his mother because of his busy schedule. But ahead of this Mother’s Day, he decided to book her a flight to London so that they could spend time together. 

“The last two years were so hard. She was sick and I could not travel to Kenya, which was on the [Covid1-9] red list. Now that she is here, I will spend my time travelling with her, taking her shopping and giving her the best time ever,” he said.

Such moments of joy and celebration are the memories that are held dear to their hearts, even when the time comes to part ways.


Bouquets of flowers at City Market, Nairobi.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

“I want my mother to experience something new and different. She has been to most African countries but not South Africa,” said Georgina Macharia, an IT specialist. 

She asked her mother to pack her bags for a quick trip out of the country where they would enjoy an exquisite dinner. “I will also get her a unique gift. She loves bags.” 

As for Daisy Tonui, this day serves as a reminder of her mother, who died—after battling with high blood pressure — when she had just completed high school. It has been almost seven years since, but Daisy and her sisters give her credit for the women they have become today. 

“We would have most likely surprised her with a gift, probably a timeless bag and a relaxing spa session. We just never knew what she was doing then, but now that we are older, we appreciate her actions,” Daisy reminisced.

So why do we celebrate Mother’s Day? Other than giving us a chance to publicly express love for the women who gave birth to us or nurtured us to become the people we are today, it has two significant meanings. It is celebrated on two different days in March and May in different parts of the world. 

In the US and most parts of the world, including Kenya, Mother’s Day is marked on the second Sunday of May. The origins of this celebration date back to the 19th century when Ann Reeves Jarvis started Mother’s Day Work Clubs to teach women how to properly care for their little ones, according to 

She later organised Mother’s Friendship Day to help reconcile former Union and Confederate soldiers through their mothers at the end of the American Civil War.

Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, continued her mother’s legacy after her death in 1905 by starting a moving letter-writing campaign to newspapers and politicians advocating a special day to celebrate motherhood. 

She argued that most holidays only recognised male achievements. Nine years later, President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th US President, signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.

Also known as Mothering Sunday in the UK, Mother’s Day was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of the Christian festival of Lent, which usually lands in March a few weeks before Easter. According to BBC, children as young as 10 years old would leave home to work and this day was an opportunity for them to visit their “mother” churches, homes and, especially, their mothers.

While most people choose to send some money, others choose other ways to show their mothers how much they mean to them. Hotels and gift shops greatly profit from such holidays where people can spend so much on jewellery, spa treatments, manicures and pedicures, and dinners for their mothers. 

However, such a celebration is not about expensive gifts and extravagant tokens. It could be a simple message, phone call or even a hug to say, “Thank you for everything.”


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