As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we think about our own mothers or women who have children.

Mother’s Day, however, is not only recognizing women who have children but the holiday also goes far deeper. Mother’s Day has a more broad definition and holds different meaning for various people.

For example, for many years I was not a mother but I was honored by many as a mother figure strictly based on the time I spent with and how I treated children and the things I may sacrifice of myself to purchase for children what they needed — all of which are traits of being a mother.

As I think on Mother’s Day, I think of my dear mother and honor her and her role in developing me into the women I am today. I have been blessed to have several women be mother figures in my life throughout the different stages of my life.

I am sure that many of you can think back and remember people you saw as mother figures. I believe that no matter your age there will always be someone you will see in that image, surprisingly sometimes even younger than you.

As you celebrate Mother’s Day with your loved ones, don’t focus so hard on the gifts but the time you have to spend and make memories of a lifetime.

In times past, I often looked at my grandmother not only as a grandmother but as a mother figure. Over the years, I have seen her daughters, sons and grandchildren give her expensive gifts and not once have I heard her refer to what anyone bought her but the time they spend with her.

Often we think the more we pay for a gift the more excited or memorable the experience will be for the mother. But remember, the time spent together will be the experience that will outlast any gift you could possibly buy your mother or wife.

If I have learned nothing else in this life, I now know that when trouble comes you won’t be concerned with what people have bought you but you will want to see and have your family around.

Here are some little or no-cost ideas for Mother’s Day:

• Rent her favorite movie and watch together.

• Go to a matinee movie at the theater.

• Have a picnic at a local park (should the weather permit).

• Have a candlelight dinner together.

• Cook a meal together.

• Visit a museum or historical site.

For more information, call your local county extension office at 453-6803.

• Jennifer Russell is an area child and family development agent for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. You may contact her at 453-6803 or

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