There are Mother’s Day activities and things your family can do, even if – or maybe especially if – your kids don’t have a mom in the picture. You might have chosen to have your household be motherless. Or that choice may have been forced upon you. The key to navigating this holiday is to figure out what works best for your family and be sensitive to your needs (and not what people think you should need). So we’re sharing 3 Mother’s Day activities for homes without moms – like ours!

Triton’s mom Patricia on the left, and Jon’s mom Anne on the right. Both gone too soon!

The truth is that Mother’s Day can be a mine field. There are families like ours with two dads, single dad families, and loving, non-traditional households that don’t include a biological mother for a myriad of reasons. Forget what Hallmark, your nosy neighbor, and your local brunch spot thinks you should do this Mother’s Day. Just do you.

Here are three Mother’s Day activities for homes without moms.

You’ve got options!

When the girls were little.

3 Mother’s Day Activities For Homes Without Moms

Option 1: Lay low.

Skip the brunches, breakfasts and flower-laden dinner specials that abound every Mother’s Day. Turn off the TV too, and banish those sticky-sweet commercials and TV specials that are sure to come on. Why not spend today playing old school board games with your kids? (Just call it retro and they may be more inclined to indulge you.)

Maybe spending the afternoon baking those special chocolate chips cookies your own mother baked for you. That would make for a sweet day with your kids. (Pun totally intended.) My mom made these rad oatmeal-raisin-chocolate chip numbers that I really need to find the recipe for!

This could also be a good time for a self-care time out. Maybe this means getting a massage, or just giving yourself permission to sit down to read a book, or (Gasp!) take a nap!

lotus flower in girl's hands

Even the smallest of gestures can mean so much.

This option means you choose to opt out of Mother’s Day this year. And listen to me when I say this: That’s totally OK.

Option 2: Focus on Mother Earth.

You may think this is possibly too kitschy of an idea, but why not? The Earth really is the ultimate mother, right?

Spend time in the garden. (A community garden or a friend’s garden is acceptable if you don’t have one handy at home.) You could even decorate planters and bring some flowers indoors. Personally, I think Mother Earth would love a sweet little herb garden on my back deck as a Mother’s Day present!

girl picking carrots

Gardening is a great way for the family to spend time together.

You can also take the kids out to pick up trash in your community and let them post their #cleanupchallenge selfie, (which is trending and guaranteed to get them likes. #Bonus.) We did this on the beach in our hometown recently, and it was actually pretty fun.

If you have little ones, read books about Mother Earth and then get outside and play in the dirt to help them make the connection. This option gives your family the choice of focusing on a bigger, more theoretical idea of motherhood.

girl pushing wheelbarrow

Doing some gardening gets everyone outside in the fresh air on Mother’s Day.

Option 3: Celebrate all the mothers in your life.

Instead of opting out or honoring Mother Earth, you can embrace the holiday with some Mother’s Day activities for the important women in your children’s lives. Why not help your kids celebrate all the mothers that surround them?

Your kids might not have a mom in their home, but there are probably wonderful women all around who have freely given their mothering gifts. Can the kids make cards or cute, little gifts for them? How about inviting those lovely women over for a brunch they don’t have to cook or clean up afterward? Grandmothers, aunts, neighbors, cousins-once-removed, that lady around the corner that always greets them with a smile. If a woman has helped to mother your children in their own unique way, use Mother’s Day to show your thanks and appreciation.

potted flowers

Potting flowers for beloved women in our lives.

This option is best for families who really want to celebrate this holiday and participate in the Mother’s Day activities that tend to occur.

Homes Without Moms

The bottom line is that Mother’s Day activities for homes without moms don’t have to include a mom. And your family doesn’t have to be excluded from any fun on the second Sunday in May because there’s not a mother in the house. You can celebrate this day in your own special way.

Think about whatever makes you and your family happy and feels right to you. Then, with all the love in your heart, go with it.

2DadsWithBaggage family in Puerto Vallarta

Family is what you make it.