Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you’ve done so much for everyone, but no one even noticed? I did just the other day. The house was clean, dinner was cooked, laundry was washed, folded and put away.
As a parent myself, I know how easy it is for my children to forget to say a few kind words. To thank me for dinner, or for cleaning, or for anything really. I get it, I really do. But it also really sucks sometimes because parents need recognition and love too.
I’m not writing this from the standpoint of a parent though. I’m writing this from the position of a person who has lost a parent. Lost the opportunity to truly appreciate the sacrifices a parent makes and the love that a parent gives daily.
If this is the first post of mine that you’re reading or even your fifth, you may not know this about me.
Just a week after my eighth birthday, my father lost his battle with mental illness and alcoholism. Eight doesn’t seem very old and it certainly doesn’t seem like an age where children may understand the concept of death. But they most certainly do.
I look at my son, who will be eight very soon and I see a very smart and aware child. Much like I was when I was his age. I may not have known what mental illness was. I’m actually positive I didn’t. Mental illness wasn’t something openly discussed 19 years ago. It’s still difficult now but I know that we’ve made incredible advances since then.
I just can’t imagine the torment he had gone through not being able to disclose the pain he felt. And I only wish that I could have had more time to appreciate him for who he was, aside from the struggles he faced.
Why It’s Important To Appreciate Your Parents
We all know how good it feels to be praised for a job well done, thanked for the hard work, or even just shown affection for, well, just being you. This is no different for our parents, except they sacrificed for us and they know that nothing could ever give them back what they gave up. And they’re okay with that because they love us.
Just because they’re okay with how much effort they put into our lives, doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve appreciation once in a while. Taking the extra time to appreciate your parents makes the task of childrearing that much more satisfying.
I know how much my heart swells when one of my boys thanks me for something that I think they’d take for granted. Like the time my youngest thanked me for taking him clothes shopping. It’s truly an incredible feeling.
How You Can Appreciate Your Parents Today
It’s tough to admit that I myself haven’t always shown my mother the appreciation she deserves. But I want to start to make a conscious effort to do better.
Have mistakes been made? Sure.
Has she done her best to give me what I needed? Most definitely.
And that’s all we truly can do as parents. We have to do the best we can with what we have. Nothing more, nothing less.
Because I’ve chosen to make more of an effort, I wanted to share with you a list of ways you can appreciate your parents today. Because you’ll regret it if you don’t. And I can promise you that.
11 Ways You Can Appreciate Your Parents Today
Write a letter thanking them for being great parents
This one may be tough to do over the phone, with the waterworks and all. It can be hard for us to express such deep and meaningful emotions.
And I bet they’ll like the genuineness of a hand-written letter. Especially since we live in such a digital age. In my opinion, this is probably one of the best ways to appreciate your parents and show them that you’re thankful. It’s just more heartfelt.
Invite them over for a family meal
As with most families, we tend to lose touch. Even if it’s only for a few days here and there. And chances are, it isn’t often your parents get to sit down and have a family dinner like it was when you were a kid.
Have them come over for dinner and make one of their favorite meals.
Make a quick phone call
Just call them. Check in and see how they’re doing. See if they need help with anything.
Drop by and look through old photos and reminisce
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that, for the most part, your parents remember all of the laughs shared and memories made over the struggles you faced as a family. Pay them a visit and just sit and talk about those memories.
I’m sure they’ll love to hear that the memories mean a lot to you too.
Send your mom some flowers
Pop in and clean their house up
They’ll appreciate the break and they’ll love that you did it without them asking you to.
Send them a thank-you card
It doesn’t even have to be long and mushy. Just mail them a thank-you card.
You can even write “Thank you for everything,” inside and I guarantee they smile from ear to ear.
Just simply tell them how much you appreciate them
Prep some freezer meals and drop them off
With instructions of course. I’m sure Mom & Dad would love a week off of having to worry about what’s for dinner.
Buy them a present
Yeah, cheesy I know. But maybe there’s something they keep mentioning but won’t buy for themselves. Just buy it for them out of the blue and give it to them for seemingly no reason. This is a great way to say thanks for everything they’ve done.
Related: 12 Gifts as Unique as Mom
Plan a family “daycation” and take them with
They’ll love the time with you, and it could be really fun to do a family activity with your parents again.