Figuring out what to do for your own mom on Mother’s Day may be nerve-racking, but it’s nothing compared to knowing what to do for your boyfriend’s mom when the second Sunday of May comes around. While your relationship with your own mom is pretty clear-cut, the expectations lying between you and your boyfriend’s mom are far more open to variation and interpretation.
Before deciding what you should do for your boyfriend’s mom, first you need to figure out whether you should do anything at all for her.
How close are you with your boyfriend’s mom?
Whether you should actually do anything for your boyfriend’s mom depends a whole lot on the relationship you share with her and her son.
- If you and your boyfriend just started dating, then you don’t need to do anything for his mother. If you and your boyfriend have been together for a year or less, then you are unquestionably in the clear.
- If you and your boyfriend have been together for about a year, then you can do something for his mom for Mother’s Day if you want to, but you’re under no obligation to do anything.
- If you and your boyfriend have been together for two or more years, then you should do something for his mom this Sunday.
These timelines are conditional on what sort of relationship you have with his mom. If you and your boyfriend have only been together a relatively short period of time, but you’ve grown close to his mother during that time, then you are welcome to do something nice for her this Sunday. However, if you and your boyfriend have been together for years, and you’ve never even met his mom, then Mother’s Day might not offer the best opportunity to reach out to her.
Do something small.
Unless you are incredibly close with your boyfriend’s mom, you should only provide her with a small personalized gesture or thoughtful acknowledgment of your appreciation for her.
Here are a few good ideas that show you care without crossing any lines:
- Send her an email wishing her a happy Mother’s Day. Include a personal memory or sentiment in this email.
- Give her a quick phone call touching base and wishing her well. Don’t feel you need to call if you and your boyfriend’s mom aren’t close.
- Send her a card with a thoughtful, personal message written on it. Don’t just send a generic card you’ve simply signed.
- Send her a small bouquet of flowers.
- Send her a small box of chocolates or a similar little gift she would enjoy.
- Consider attending any event (like brunch) that your boyfriend is attending, but only if it doesn’t interfere with plans you have with your own mother.
- Do not provide her with a greater gift than you provide your own mother.
- Do not consider Mother’s Day a good time to win favor with her. Instead, use it as an opportunity to deepen the connection you already share.