In 2021, Americans spent roughly $20.9 billion on Mother's Day, according to CNBC. That's a remarkable amount, given that most Mother's Day festivities were homebound. That's also a lot of flowers, cakes, and cards. What can you do, though, if you do not have the average $200 spent on Mom this Mother's Day? What can an adult child on a budget — or under bankruptcy proceedings — do?
Maybe you've filed for bankruptcy, or are considering meeting with a bankruptcy attorney regarding a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The months of bankruptcy proceedings are not when you should be incurring fresh debt, Mother's Day notwithstanding.
Humbly remind Mom that you are trying to limit your expenses. Let her know you put your household on a budget not to restrict yourselves, but to direct spending into immediate priorities like clearing up debt and making good-faith efforts to repay what you can.
Politely remind Mom that she is special to you, but you and your household are not special to creditors. Creditors are ruthless; you are a number to be called often but just infrequently enough to skirt charges of creditor harassment.
Perhaps you should remind yourself, too, that nothing you can do will ever make up for the gift your mother gave you; namely, you.
She probably doesn't need another mug or kitchen gadget. She definitely does not need exercise equipment, makeup, or cleaning products!
Most mothers want the gift of their children's presence, not presents. Without coming across as a 10-year-old (no handmade construction paper greeting cards ever, please!), you really can provide Mom with meaningful but inexpensive experiences:
- Walk around the neighborhood with her, patiently and enthusiastically allowing her to show you off or introduce you to people important to her
- Attend her church, temple, or mosque service with her and stick around for the coffee hour
- Clean up her garage for her, whether that means throwing out your old high school letter jacket or performing a full “Swedish death cleaning”
- Check every smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in her house, installing fresh batteries just to be safe
- Share your favorite exotic flavor of coffee or tea with her and use the opportunity to ask her questions about her life, favorite moments, and favorite places
Whatever you do with Mom, be in the moment. Concentrate on listening to listen, not to respond. Avoid looking at your watch or cell phone. Tolerate much more than you usually do, and leave when she wants you to, not when you want to “escape.”
Besides avoiding the clinkers already mentioned (why would any adult child give a mother exercise equipment?) and a breakfast-in-bed cooked by anyone less than a three-star chef, also avoid these Mother's Day mistakes:
- Getting her something beyond her technological comfort zone — Spending hundreds on an iPhone, gaming system or tablet that she will never master is wasteful
- Making a hastily assembled, homemade gift of any kind — Unless you are an accomplished painter, graphic designer, woodworker, or potter, do not attempt to pass off something you cranked out 10 minutes before visiting Mom; she'll know, you'll know, and you will (and should) feel awful
- Passing off cemetery flowers as your own purchase — Hey, it's happened far too much, and it's illegal!
- Giving your spouse and mother the same gift — If you buy or make the same generic gift for any female relative — wife, aunt, grandmother, Mom — you miss the point of celebrating the uniqueness of Mom
- Gift cards — #1, you cannot afford ones of a scale sufficient for Mom, and #2, they show you gave zero thought to the gift, unless of course Mom specifically requested one
You can provide some incredible and inexpensive experiences for your mother by lining her up with professional services. For example, many professionals offer free, first consultations.
While you may not be able to surprise Mom with a visit to a bankruptcy attorney, scheduling a complimentary strategy session and assisting Mom with the Zoom log in could be a spectacular gift:
- Explain to Mom your concerns for her financial security and your solution to those concerns
- Ask Mom for a few dates and times she is free
- Contact the bankruptcy law firm and explain your purpose
- Confirm the date and time with Mom
- Accompany Mom to the attorney for the complimentary strategy session
- Listen to her concerns, apprehensions, and practical issues with an open heart and open mind
If Mom is at all worried about her finances, your thoughtfulness and bold action may be exactly what she needs this Mother's Day. The Page Law Firm offers a 40 minute complimentary strategy session. Contact us today or telephone our offices in Frisco, Texas at 214-618-2101. We happily serve Moms and other Texans from Collin County, Denton County, Carrollton, Celina, The Colony, Flower Mound, Lewisville, Little Elm, McKinney, Plano, and Prosper.
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