50 Easy Ways to Spread Joy & Honor All Moms (Not Just Your Own!) This Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day isn’t simply about honoring our own mothers or mother figures in our lives, but honoring all mothers. A simple smile or a compliment can go a long way with someone who is having a rough day. If you’re looking for new ideas to spread some joy for all the mothers you come across—on Mother’s Day or on any old day—I’ve compiled a list of 50 easy ways to spread joy and make a mom feel special, whether it’s a friend, a neighbor, or a stranger:


  1. Hold the door open for someone who is pushing a stroller or whose hands are full.
  2. Help a mom put groceries into the trunk of her car (obviously, ask before you start grabbing her stuff!).
  3. Let a mom with kids go ahead of you at the store.
  4. In line in front of a mom and her kids at Starbucks? Buy coffee for her.
  5. Watch a friend’s kids for an afternoon.
  6. Give a hard-working mom you know a gift certificate for a pedicure and a pair of new soft, comfy slippers.
  7. Make a home-cooked meal for a neighbor (just make a double batch of whatever you’re cooking).
  8. Send hilarious Mother’s Day e-cards to all the hardworking moms you know.
  9. Write and mail a letter to a mom that lives close to you (who wouldn’t expect written mail from you).
  10. Donate gently used clothes, jewelry, bedding, blankets, or towels to a women’s shelter.
  11. Leave a sticky note with some words of encouragement or a funny joke on a neighbor’s door.
  12. Send a bouquet, cookies, or candy to someone.
  13. Compliment a mom on the street. Who doesn’t love compliments?
  14. Put together a “new mom kit” for someone’s first Mother’s Day as a mom. Items can include diapers, onesies, teething toys, and something for Mom like a personalized necklace or a gift card to a local restaurant.
  15. Lend some parenting books or magazines to a new mom.
  16. Buy a box of chocolate truffles and pass them out in the carpool line while waiting for school to let out.
  17. Tell someone they are doing a great job as a mom.
  18. Make a mix CD (remember CDs???) of non-kid music (like your/her favorite music from college) for your mom friends.
  19. Send flowers or stop by a friend’s work with a small gift.
  20. Donate to a charity in a friend’s name.
  21. Send a purely emoji text message. (Don’t forget to include some hearts and the flower bouquet!)
  22. If someone asks for prayers, pray for them, even if you don’t share the same beliefs.
  23. Share a hug with someone who really needs it.
  24. Bake cookies and pass them out to the moms at daycare or school.
  25. Offer to pay to fill up a mom’s gas tank or even pump it for her.
  26. Leave a bottle of wine and a note on someone’s porch.
  27. Buy a gift card at a restaurant and give it to a family who is just coming into the restaurant.
  28. If you run into a mom you haven’t seen in a while, take a couple minutes to ask how the kids are doing and what their interests are, and ask to see pictures.
  29. Arrange a house cleaning service for a busy mom.
  30. If you’re on public transportation or in a busy waiting room, offer up your seat to a mom.
  31. Send a funny joke or meme in an email to all the moms you know. (Don’t forget to use BCC so you’re not giving out everyone’s email addresses.)
  32. Send a compliment to your mom friends via Facebook Messenger.
  33. If it’s raining, offer to share an umbrella with a mom in need.
  34. Don’t forget grandmothers on Mother’s Day! Send flowers to your own grandmother and cards to any of your friends who are grandmothers.
  35. If you have taken pictures of someone else’s kids, perhaps from a birthday party or a school event, have a picture framed and give it to their mom.
  36. Offer to go grocery shopping for a neighbor.
  37. If you have fruit trees or grow vegetables, share your bounty with neighbors.
  38. If you’re in a position to help, offer to do a load of laundry for a friend who doesn’t own a machine.
  39. Host a “mom’s night out” party, complete with movies, snacks, facial masks, and no kids!
  40. Treat a tired mom to a spa day.
  41. If you know someone has a hobby they don’t get to spend much time on—knitting, scrapbooking, gardening—pick up some supplies for them as a surprise.
  42. Pay for someone’s meter.
  43. Bring extra bottles of water for the moms sitting in the sun at school sporting events.
  44. If you’re out at a busy restaurant or amusement park, leave a couple (clean) diapers on the changing table in the restroom. You never know; you may end up helping someone who is really in need!
  45. Send a care package to a mom friend who has moved far away. Send a couple small things that will remind her of your friendship and of the place they used to live.
  46. Sweep the leaves off someone’s driveway or sidewalk.
  47. Take your favorite mom-friend’s car to get washed, vacuumed, and get the gas topped off.
  48. Share a smile with every mom you pass on the street.
  49. Send a hilarious YouTube video to a mom you know.
  50. Simply ask a friend what she needs help with. Maybe she just needs to know someone is there for her.

Got a simple but brilliant way to make a mom smile? Leave your idea in the comments below!

image: Getty / Brigitte Sporrer

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