Mompreneur is all about celebrating motherhood every day of the year. When it comes to observing Mother’s Day, though, it’s not always so straightforward.
For some women it’s a day of joyful fêting and celebration. For others, it feels like a knife to the heart. And for some, it’s just another Sunday.
The National Retail Federation is predicting record-breaking sales this Mother’s Day, however, and small businesses across the country will cash in on the more consumer-oriented aspects of the holiday. So, for mompreneurs trying to balance business savviness with sensitivity, consider these tips for navigating Mother’s Day in the workplace.
Even if you don’t know the specifics of every single employee’s situation, it’s worth taking some time to consider individual circumstances. Has anyone suffered the loss of a loved one in the past year? Do you know of any miscarriages or women having difficulty conceiving?
Though personal information should always be treated with care and confidentiality, an appropriate acknowledgement of an employee who might be grieving or otherwise alienated by Mother’s Day can let your people know that they are not invisible. A brief, direct conversation or a short note goes a long way toward softening the blows on a hard day.
Offer flexibility with scheduling
If you’re going to be open for business on Mother’s Day, consider asking for volunteers to work or cover the shifts of employees who might want to celebrate with their families. Similarly, if you know of an employee who might have a particularly hard time working while others are celebrating, find a way to give that person a pass for the day.
On a day that’s all about mom, flexible scheduling is often the best gift to give.
Sponsor a visit to a nursing home or hospital
Visiting a nursing home or a rehab facility around Mother’s Day is a great way for your company to get involved in the community or to create volunteer opportunities for employees. Delivering baked goods and cards, offering to paint residents’ fingernails or playing games for an afternoon honors women who helped pave the way and fosters connections between generations–two of the original purposes of the holiday.
Find other occasions to celebrate
Recently a friend of mine went to a 60th birthday party for a neighbor. Though the party was hosted by the woman’s friend, my friend reported that almost all of the birthday girl’s colleagues were there. Never married and childless, the woman had faithfully attended her coworkers’ bridal and baby showers year after year. And as a result, her coworkers were genuinely happy to have a turn celebrating her.
If your company makes a point of celebrating marriages and births in the workplace, consider finding ways to acknowledge other milestone events in the lives of employees who don’t have a greeting card holiday in their honor. If all your employees know that they are cared for and valued, then you’re embodying the very best traits of a mompreneur not just on Mother’s Day but throughout the year.