How to Rock Mother’s Day: 7 women to honor and what to say

Mother's Day is around the corner and it’s a prime opportunity to honor the women in our lives. There's your mom. You'll want to show her you care in a way she'll find meaningful, but what about less obvious, though equally important, women who have shaped us or our children?

Each of us know women we don’t necessarily call “mom” who deserve to be recognized for their sacrifices and gift of presence in our lives. Let’s give a shout out to ALL the ladies who shape our families by their care and example.

Here are seven people who deserve recognition this Mother’s Day and what you can say to honor their influence and brighten their day.


We all have different relationships with our moms. Whatever the dynamic, we can recognize our mothers, while staying focused what is positive and true. Here are a few options that allow you to go deep or keep it light.

What to say:

  1. Share your favorite memory. Give her insight to that time with her you’ll never forget.

  2. Share three positive things you’ve learned from her. These can be sentimental or light-hearted. Whatever you say will communicate that she has shaped you as a human-being and you recognize her influence.

  3. Explain what you like most about your relationship with her. What role does she have that no one else can fill?

  4. Tell her what she’s taught you about being a mother. If you’re a mom too, you’ve likely had mothering moments that came from her example or advice.

  5. Wish her a beautiful day. For some relationships, a big gesture is a card letting her know you’re thinking of her on Mother’s Day. Maybe sneak in a gift card to her favorite store!


Take a few moments to recognize the mom-figures who shaped your spouse. She may be like your second mother or a person you see just on the holidays. Whatever her role, she’ll appreciate knowing you’re thinking of her on Mother’s Day.

What to say:

  1. Mention something you’ve learned from her family traditions and dynamics.

  2. Acknowledge positive things you appreciate in your spouse, which you attribute to her parenting.

  3. Share what you’ve learned from her as a person or about being a mother.

  4. Simply wish her a lovely day, and let her know you’re thinking of her.

Like a Mother

How many women in your world have shaped who you are? Mother’s Day is the perfect time to encourage all the influential mom-figures you’ve looked up to over the years. This might be your favorite grandmother, aunt, friend-of-the-family, or mentor.

What to say:

  1. Thank her for being a positive and caring influence in your life. You could even mention she’s been “like a mother”, a second mother, a mentor to you.

  2. Tell her you look up to her, and list a few ways you’ve learned from her example or hope to be like her.

  3. Mention that her words or actions have shaped you. What is something she’s said or done that you’ll never forget?

  4. Simply say, “I want to honor you on Mother’s Day as an influential woman in my life. I’m forever grateful for the ways you’ve shaped me.

ALL the moms

I bet you could make a long list of all the ladies – new and seasoned moms – who deserve a standing ovation for their constant commitment to family, considering all the sacrifices and balancing acts in life. Every mom has a unique set of challenges and needs an encouraging word to remind her that she’s doing a good job, including:

  • Working moms. Recognize co-workers and friends who balance a career while raising little ones.

  • Stay-at-home moms. Honor friends who dedicate full-time energy to their family and home life.

  • Single moms. Applaud the strength of the single women with kids in your world.

What to say:

  1. Point out what you’re learning as you watch her raise her kids.

  2. Make a list of ways your friend is rocking her mom-role.

  3. For example, “You look really good in spandex and tennis shoes.” or “You’re an amazing host no-matter what your living room looks like.”

  4. Remind your friend of her unique gifts and characteristics – the things that are true about her as an individual, with or without children in her world.

  5. Tell your friend how you’ve seen her grow as a person since having kids.

  6. Mention the ways you connect in parenting approaches and how it gives you perspective, keeps you sane, makes you laugh, etc.

Mother-heart friend

She’s a constant friend and example to your family – the one who came to your baby shower but hasn’t had her own, plays with your kids so you can go out, listens as you talk about your children, and reminds you of your identity in the midst of motherhood. If you’re a mom, you know that it takes a village to raise your child, and your friend with a mother-heart is a huge support to you.

What to say:

  1. Point out the ways she positively influences your children.

  2. Mention favorite memories your kids have with her.

  3. Recognize the generosity you see through her commitment to children.

  4. List the ways she blesses you and helps you to be a better mom.

give with joy wishes you a beautiful Mother’s Day! You have so much to give your family and community, and you deserve all the honor and encouraging words today. May you give and receive generously and with joy this Mother’s Day!

with joy,


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the TO-DO calendar is here

Wow! I have been wanting to share give with joy's first calendar with you all months ago, but it wasn't ready. I didn't want to create another cute calendar, but one that would inspire joy - one that would help us slow down.

When I first started designing the calendar, I had this idea to hand-letter inspirational quotes for each month. I planned out the quotes and began to sketch, but I wasn't loving it. Naturally, I gave up.

But then I prayed for creativity (yes, I prayed for the calendar). I am not joking, the next morning as I was driving into work I had this IDEA! What if I made it a TO-DO calendar?!?

I began to work out the new idea. I hand-lettered each month and created six things for you to do each month with lines for you to include your own.

You see, this calendar is inspired by our busy days. We all make lists to organize our lives and sometimes, we just forget to have fun, forget to call people back or to explore our community.

I've created lists full of experiences, not tasks, for you to do each month. You'll find a few adventures to take each month or a simple act of kindness you can do for someone else.

Here's to a new year. A year where we can slow down and inspire one another to give, live and love with joy in the midst of busyness.

Aneta Nina

Purchase your calendar today! First TEN orders get the hanger included!

Build a snowman
Bake cookies
Send a letter to mom 
Go sledding 
Donate blankets to a local shelter
Shovels for your neighbors

Send out valentines
Surprise someone with a gift
Watch a movie made before 1990
Catch up with an old friend
Donate diapers to a women's shelter
Have a picnic indoors

Invite friends over for dinner
Buy fresh flowers 
Go for a walk
Catch up with an old friend
Go on a bike ride

Clean out junk drawers
Send a letter to a grandparent
Visit a museum
Run in the rain
Have a picnic
Go to a thrift store

Bake cookies
Call a friend
Take a walk in your neighborhood
Buy fresh flowers
Send a gift to a friend
Volunteer in your community 

Send a letter to a friend
Go to a farmer's market
Watch the sunset
Clean a nearby park or your neighborhood
Have a dinner party 
Go swimming

Go on a hike
Go to a free concert
Go strawberry picking 
Enjoy a bonfire
Go out for ice cream
Go for a bike ride

Donate school supplies
Send a postcard
Make a new recipe
Go on a mini road trip
Go for a bike ride 
Look up at the stars

Watch the sunrise
Visit a pumpkin patch 
Host a football party 
Print a photo and send it to someone 
Go to a fall festival 
Send an encouraging note a friend

Carve a pumpkin
Go apple picking
Finish a book 
Take a fall scenic drive
Donate hats and gloves
Jump in a leaf pile

Host a friends giving 
Write gratitude letters for family and friends
Go out for coffee at a local shop
Donate canned food
Play a board game
Make pumpkin pie

Make handmade gifts
Go to a local theater for a holiday show
Send out Christmas cards
Go snowshoeing or skiing
Watch a Christmas movie
Go bowling