How to Celebrate Mother’s Day at Work

A Mom and her Kid

Did you know 72% of American mothers with children under 18 also work? With stats like that, Mother’s Day takes on a whole new meaning at the office.

But you’ve also likely heard in recent years that Mother’s Day can be a complex topic for many. You probably have employees who struggle with their relationships with their mothers, who have lost their mothers, or who would love to become mothers but struggle to conceive. For these reasons, you should thoughtfully plan your Mother’s Day celebrations at work.

It’s no secret that working mothers struggle more with unfair work policies and balancing home responsibilities with the demands of a career than working fathers do. And with many of us returning to the office despite a brief period of remote work for all, this may remain the case for some time. Parenting is essential to many of your employees’ lives, and it’s crucial to acknowledge!

So, how can you both celebrate working moms, especially the ones on your team and acknowledge the nuances of this holiday? Here are a few ideas to celebrate this Mother’s Day at work with an eye toward a more inclusive workplace.

A note about sensitivity: Remember that in any workplace, there’s a good chance that someone is struggling with their relationship to motherhood, for whatever reason. As you consider Mother’s Day gifts for coworkers or employees or write your Mother’s Day email to staff, we encourage you to keep the focus on how much you value working moms everywhere rather than on the more general holiday. See our final note for more!


7 Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day at Work

1. Give Them a Small Mother’s Day Gift

It’s not easy being a full-time employee and a full-time parent! Support your workplace moms by giving them a small gift from the team. A few of our favorite Mother’s Day gifts for coworkers include: 

  • A flower on every desk
  • A “World’s Best Working Mom” coffee mug
  • A gift basket with upscale chocolates to “hide from the kids”
  • A gift card to your local coffee shop


The point is: you can show gratitude for the moms you work with in countless ways that aren’t expensive but do feel meaningful!  


2. Celebrate Working Mom’s Monday

Yep, Mother’s Monday, or Working Mom’s Monday is a thing. It takes place the Monday after Mother’s Day every year, and many organizations provide unique programming and opportunities that day. One great resource to consider looking into: The Mom Project, a brilliant non-profit supporting working moms and their allies, throws an annual summit of free celebrations with guests (last year that included Marie Kondo). Why not let your whole team take those hours off to enjoy themselves while celebrating the moms they work with every day? Sign up for The Mom Project’s email list to hear when they announce this years events.


3. Gift a Family Experience

What is the best way to show gratitude to working moms? Give them a special treat for their days off. Whether it’s complimentary tickets to an amusement park for the whole family or a spa or facial service, experiential gifts are the best. Family-friendly restaurant gift cards are always a good idea, too! 


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4. Throw a Working Mother’s Day Event (In-Person or Remote)

Have a family-oriented workplace? Make celebrating moms a company affair by setting up a happy hour, lunch or coffee break hour with bingo, trivia, or other challenges. We love the idea of quizzing people on whose kids are named what or whose kids are Geminis or Aries. The winner gets a special gift card! 


5. Introduce a New Maternal Leave or Parental Policy

What better time to introduce a new policy devoted to supporting your team’s working parents than around Mother’s Day? Send an office memo announcing an increase in maternal leave days or a daycare stipend. Even if you aren’t planning on introducing a new policy, now is a great time to ensure everyone knows what you offer working moms and working dads. Have your HR team send out some educational materials via email or host an “ask me anything” style lunch hour to answer parents’ questions.  


6. Make Mother’s Day a Company Holiday (Or Early Release) 

If your team works on Mother’s Day Sunday and the time and capacity are available, consider offering your team a full or half-day off — even an hour-early release will mean the world! This perk gives mothers on your team extra quality time with their families. 

Note: If you offer this policy, ensure you do the same on Father’s Day. 


7. Plan a “Bring Your Kids to Work” Party 

End the day with a social hour for kids and parents at the office. It’s a great way to encourage working moms and dads to connect even more deeply, plus parents love showing their kids where they work. If planning this event for Mother’s Day seems like too much of a lift, consider introducing an annual Parent’s Day for working moms and dads. You can send out a memo announcing the plan on Mother’s Monday.

Remember: not everyone wants to be — or can be — a parent. Invite anyone without kids to enjoy the party and offer them the chance to leave the office early. Not everyone wants to celebrate parenting!  


Final Note: Keep it Flexible

You likely have some, if not many, employees who may have lost their mothers, are unable to become mothers, or who don’t wish to observe the holiday for another reason. Be sensitive, and allow them to opt out of any communications, events, or celebrations. When planning Mother’s Day activities, ask yourself whether anyone will feel excluded. You may even want to send a survey before Mother’s Day to ask if your team is interested in celebrating! When all else fails, err on the side of caution. 


Bonus: Build Resources for Parents into Your Onboarding

Recognize their efforts no matter how you choose to celebrate Mother’s Day at work! They are true superheroes!

When hiring working moms and employees in general, provide them with a comprehensive onboarding experience to set them up for success. Working from home, starting a new job, and juggling parenting responsibilities can be overwhelming! Consider implementing an onboarding best practice checklist to help make their transition into the role more seamless and manageable.