This year Mother’s Day is May 14th, leaving you just enough time to put together and ship a special care package for a deployed Mother. Here are a few ideas that will brighten up the day for the special woman in your life this Mother’s Day (these ideas work for any female friend, spouse, sister…)
Photos and Mementos:
- Record messages and upload them onto a portable storage device, so mom can enjoy hearing her little one’s voices.
- You can make a quick photo book of things she has missed (or her favorite pictures with the kids) so she has something to comb through on days she is feeling a little blue.
- Send dual purpose items like; a pillow case with photos, a personalized notebook, t-shirt, or towel. (You can put pictures on almost anything these days- here is a great list)
Homemade from the Heart:
- Have the kids make drawings and crafts for the weeks leading up to Mothers Day to send
- This company offers to send their cookie subscription boxes to APO/FPO addresses
- You can try your hand at sending your own cake in a jar
- My cakes in a jar were a disaster so I was happy to find these mug cake mixes. Send this along with a package of frosting and a coffee mug adorned with the kids faces and she will be set!
- I was reminded by Cindy, who is serving in the Navy, not to forget practical food items too like, “instant noodles, granola bars, tuna packages”.
- It will be hard to give Mom the traditional bouquet of flowers, but these homemade flowers are a good alternative, or you can go with an eco bouquet (that will never die!) like this.
Pampering in a Small Package:
- Splurge on some small papering items (think sample sized!) Beauty stores like ULTA and Sephora often have smaller version of the full sized products that would be perfect to tuck into a care package. Face masks, new lotions, body wash, and fancy bath sponge-something that, just for a moment, makes the conditions they are in seem a little less gruff.
When I asked a few active duty Navy mothers what they enjoyed most in their care packages, what Megan told me really resonated: “We had Mother’s day packages sent to us with a woman's touch in mind. I.e razors, lotion, lip balm, loofah....etc maybe a chocolate bar for those crazy ….days! But when I got mine on deployment I actually cried because for once I could feel like a lady especially after sweating and getting all greasy on the flight deck smelling like jet fuel. It's always nice to feel appreciated out in the middle of the ocean/desert.”
Even if there is not an opportunity to send any of the suggestions above, you can still make a mother (or sister, friend, coworker, Aunt, cousin, etc.) in your life that is deployed this Mother’s Day feel special. I want you to considering taking time to really thank them. This can be in a letter, or email or special note, not only for their service; but for the gift of strength and resiliency that they are giving to their children by example through their hard work and sacrifice.
Please share in the comments what you plan on sending this Mother’s Day. All you deployed mamas- chime in and tell us what you most want this Mother’s Day!
About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (3 years and 1 year), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.