8 Easy Ways to Support a Struggling Mom During the Holidays


When You Want to Give More Than a Card...

Having a well-established support network to rely on when times are tough is an integral resource, especially for moms who are facing illness, divorce or some other crisis. And in the midst of the busy holiday season, dealing with these challenges becomes even more difficult.

It's completely natural to want to offer encouragement to women who are battling unimaginable odds, but sometimes a card isn't enough, and it's difficult to determine the best way to reach out to a sister in need. Still, it's important to remember that no matter how big or small the gesture, any way you press pause on the busyness of gift buying and meal planning to help a friend is a blessing in itself. So in the spirit of generosity this holiday season, we've rounded up some fun, uplifting ways moms can show support to other moms.


Treat Her to a Spa Day

There is certainly something to be said for being a tag-along note-taker at medical appointments or a listening ear when your overwhelmed friend needs to vent, but, sometimes, the best medicine a girl can have is a little getaway from reality. Round up that special lady and a group of her closest girlfriends and hit the spa for a day. With a range of options-from massages, to facials, to mani-pedi combos-a day of relaxation, laughter and pampering might be exactly what the doctor ordered.


Host a Staycation

Speaking of getaways, when it's impossible for your mom-in-need to actually get away due to an overwhelming range of pressing obligations, set aside a weekend (or even a night) to simulate one at her own home! It doesn't take much to turn a plain room into a paradise-themed resort, and if good company is involved, the sensation of being far, far away will instantly feel a little closer to reality.


Give/Send a Handwritten Note Each Week

Sometimes the little things are bit more practical, and no less effective. Sending (or hand delivering) a written note of encouragement each week is a small gesture to let a struggling mom know you're thinking of her-and it's something she can keep and look back on when she needs it most. And almost always, a note written in your voice from your heart is much more meaningful than a card bought off the shelf. To really maximize this effect, get a rotation going with yourself and some of her other friends, so that she receives a note from one of you each day of the week.


Make a Playlist of Upbeat Songs

We can all attest to the healing power of music, and it's ability to help us escape our problems with the push of the "play" button. So why not keep an ongoing list of your favorite songs with upbeat, confidence-boosting messages and turn them into mixtapes your friend can play anytime she wants. If a CD feels a little retro, there's always the 21st century option of gifting on iTunes!


Establish a Weekly Text Theme

Start a group text and post hilarious pictures and memories for Throwback Thursday, or start planning the next big girls' trip on Travel Tuesday-however you spin it, there's nothing like a round of quippy conversation among besties to serve as the ultimate positive distraction.


Give Her a Makeover

Even if she's not dealing with an appearance altering disease that's taking a toll on her self-esteem, a makeover is a fun, virtually effortless way to help the special mom in your life build up some much-needed confidence during her time of crisis. Take her to a salon to try a chic haircut, hit the makeup counter at a department store for a new beauty routine, and take a spin through some fun local boutiques for a fresh take on her wardrobe.


Play Chauffer/Cook/Grocery Shopper/Babysitter

For many moms, managing the day-to-day responsibilities-like transporting the kids to and from school and activities, getting meals on the table and food stocked in the pantry-is the biggest area of need, and it's certainly true for moms who are dealing with additional issues. Make life easier by helping to establish a carpool routine, taking the kids off her hands for a while by inviting them to your house for dinner or offering to handle the grocery shopping one week.


Clean Her House

Take another worry off your friend's plate by organizing a service to come give her house a thorough cleaning. It doesn't take long for everything to start piling up when no one's got time or energy to deal with it, and you can make it easier for her to unwind at the end of a crazy day by allowing her to do so in a clean home. Low on cash? Strap on your rubber gloves, recruit a couple other friends and CIY (clean it yourself).

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