FARGO - Once a person reaches a certain age, homemade macaroni Mother's Day cards fade and traditions of sharing quality time take shape. We start to siphon what wisdom we should have followed in youth to forge new traditions of family meals or springtime activities like gardening or landscaping. Locals highlight some of these traditions and share how they will be celebrating their mom before creating their own motherhood experiences.
Megan Hineman, a 29-year-old due to have a baby girl this month, says the day holds a special significance.
"I have been very busy with trying to prepare my work life and our home for baby girl to come, so I can only think two to three days ahead," Hineman says. "It's a daily walk to process that it is really happening!"
Now that she is becoming a mother, Hineman says she sees her mom and all the woman in her family in a new light.
"I come from a beautiful heritage of absolutely incredible, humble women who have overcome trials and truly lived lives of impact," she says. "Starting with my grandma who lost her husband and raised 11 kids, to my mom who has opened up her home to countless youth and serves relentlessly at her local church - I think for me, having a daughter is a special moment to enjoy."
Hineman says the idea of a blissful Mother's Day is very different than the day she found out she was going to be a mom.
Hineman thought she needed an X-ray to clear up a medical concern before she would start a family with her husband Joel. After a preliminary lab was run, she received a phone call instructing her to go home since she could not have an X-ray because she was pregnant.
"I was so stunned I asked them multiple times what they were saying. I also was crying right in the middle of the X-ray waiting room - it's a funny memory to me now," she says. "I called my husband right away, and I was crying very hard and not very coherent so the poor guy thought something was seriously, medically wrong."
Hineman says she and Joel plan to spend the day relaxing with family at her husband's lake cabin, finishing some last minute errands and celebrating with friends in the evening.
Like Hineman, Sarah Oster, a 27-year- old who is due in July, says she couldn't contain her excitement when she first learned she would be soon becoming someone's mother.
"We just got home from a Vikings game, and I had been extremely sleepy the whole weekend so I decided to take a pregnancy test," Oster says. "I had planned to tell my husband in a very sweet and romantic way, but I ended up screaming for joy and dancing around our home."
Today, Oster plans to keep her tradition with her mom, a soon-to-be-grandma, and spend the day in the garden.
"I am helping my mom to do some outdoor spring cleaning," she says. "I want to do anything to make her life just a tad easier today," she says.
Oster says her mom always taught her to always have fun and enjoy life. She says this lesson provides motivation always but is especially poignant on Mother's Day because she has "a little human kicking inside her."
Connecting with nature is a must-do for other area moms like 41-year-old Alecia Hultgren of Fargo. Mom of two (Ian, 4, and Lela, 8) Hultgren says her family just plans on going to church, a greenhouse and out to supper instead of lunch or brunch to avoid crowds.
"I don't per se treat myself to a special thing, but try not to have anything planned that we need to be," she says.
Mother's Day without mom
Whether separated by distance or death, people are often forced to celebrate Mother's Day without their mothers.
Jamie Parsley, a 48-year-old priest and poet in Fargo, says that this year will be especially painful since it's the first year he will not be able to spend it with his mom Joyce, affectionately nicknamed "The Duchess."
"That first Mother's Day after your mom passes away is really difficult," Parsley says. "All the commercials and Mother's Day card displays in the store really hit hard on this first one afterwards."
Joyce Parsley died suddenly and peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, in her home at the age of 81. Jamie Parsley just buried his mom's ashes last weekend with friends and family. Although he can't be physically with his mom, Parsley plans to keep to the same traditions he had when Joyce was alive.
"I still plan buy her the flowers and will go out with some friends to toast her," he says. "But I think that's about what I can do."
Parsley knows participating in Mother's Day traditions will be bittersweet. But he says these rituals are still necessary even when a person's mother has died.
"Nice little tangible things are very helpful, so if you're able to get out to a grave or buy flowers you should, " he says. "We only ever have one mother in life and without our moms we wouldn't be here. It's important to honor them in some way - even when they are not still here with us."
How are you planning to celebrate today and honor your mom? Tell us here.
'No more things' for Mother's Day
National and international organizations encourage others to celebrate their mom by supporting women in need. This year the YWCA Cass Clay invites locals to remember how their moms have shaped their lives and choose to help women escaping domestic abuse or poverty through a donation. Their campaign of #nomorethings encourages these gifts instead of buying an item: A donation fo $44 covers one night in the shelter; $23 purchases essential hygiene care items and $19 provides the woman with a caring advocate when she first arrives in the shelter. Donations can be made at impactgiveback.org/app/#/charity/85. Find out more information at ywcacassclay.org/give.
The International Rescue Committee offers a range of donation levels to help mothers around the world whose lives are disrupted by conflict or natural disaster. Donation packages range from $50 up to $250 and above. People can choose packages for specific programs that focus on education or pregnancy health for mom and baby.
Find out more information at gifts.rescue.org.