No More Mother’s Day Cards

Three years ago my husband (with the prompting of his very wise mother-in-law) started a fabulous tradition. It’s frugal and priceless – the best kind of traditions – and gives him some major husband points!

mother's day journal

This is my Mother’s Day Journal.

Every year on Mother’s Day my husband sits down with our two kids and they create a new page for me in lieu of a Mother’s Day card. Being one and three years old, my first few pages are full of scribbles and a photo or two to commemorate another year of love and motherhood. In the future I suspect I’ll see first sentences with adorable sounded out words and then later on, hopefully some heartfelt and funny memories as my children reflect on our relationship.

md journal 3

I love that all my Mother’s Day “cards” are bound together. It provides a sweet place for me to flip back and see how we’ve grown as a family over the years. Best of all, my husband can put the money he would have spent on a card or two towards my gift, lol!

So mamas, this year, task your husband with purchasing a pretty journal and join me in saying “No more Mother’s Day cards”! Some favorite options here, here, here and here.


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About Gretchen Bossio

Gretchen hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest along with her husband and two young children. Before transitioning to life as a stay at home mom, Gretchen worked in sales and marketing while earning her Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership. Now her days are focused on managing meal plans and nap times while organizing her sewing stash and children's toy bins. My oh my, how life changes in the blink of an eye! Gretchen writes frequently about natural parenting, becoming more environmentally conscience, her affinity for thrifted treasures, and hopes of making it out of yoga pants each day on her blog That Mama Gretchen (


  1. We have had one of these for my mom since 1990! My sister was still a toddler. Not only do we get to see the progression of our messages and our hand writing and art skills, we traced our hand every year until it stopped growing and it was easy to see when my dad got the next greatest printer! :) Three kids in the family, two of us are married…and we still write it in every year…and now my husband and sister-in-law contribute too! Never fails…a happy tear is shed looking back on where it all began!

  2. What a fabulous and unique idea. Cards are wonderful but what a lasting memory for the whole family to look back on in years to come.

  3. Tabitha says:

    P.S. Love this mothers day idea – I’m going to start my own :)

  4. I so love this idea. What a smart mother-in-law and husband to follow her advice.

  5. Katie says:

    Great idea! I am going to start a personalized one for each of my kids families when they start families. I will put it in their baby shower gifts!!

  6. Karsyn's MiMi says:

    Excellent idea! Much more practical and might be used for all of the “Festivities” that naturally occur during the year. Love this and obviously so does my daughter because she sent me all of the info!!! Excellent idea!!!!!!

  7. A Nonny Mouse says:

    This is so sweet! And thoughtful!!
    Usually the only thing that I get is forgotten…
    And whatever the teacher has my kid make.
    Hubby says, “You’re not MY mother!!” and doesn’t get at all that it is HIS responsibility to teach our child how to be thoughtful toward me.
    It really hurts, frankly.

  8. Eileen says:

    What a great idea! My kids are all grown up, but I am going to keep this in mind for future grand kids plus I have many young nieces and nephews who would benefit from this. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love this idea and will share it on my hubbys Facebook so all his friends can get this idea too. What a wonderful keepsake, thanks for the idea :)

  10. Racheal says:

    Love this idea! Going to show this to my hubby :-)

  11. Thanks so much for sharing, Paula! :)

  12. Yes, definitely show it to your hubby so that you can start this tradition with your children! :)

  13. Ohhh…I’m so sorry to hear that! Definitely share the post with him and hopefully it will take the hint!

  14. Tiffany Head says:

    My husband and I have a journal between the two of us that we use on anniversaries, birthdays and Mother/Father’s Day. We started 7 years ago when we got married. I love it so much. No wasted cards for holidays and anniversaries. I love it so much, I started giving it as a wedding present with a description of what it is used for . Live the idea from the kids though. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I absolutely love this idea!! My husband creates his own cards foe every occasion but they are loose everywhere while I try to keep them in one place! So this is a wonderful way to keep them in one place.

  16. Brandynicole says:

    Great idea! Would love the article even more if it wasn’t so heterosexist.

  17. I LOOOOOVE this idea. Even nice for all family members to have so we can leave little messages for eachother. Nice keepsake. Thanks for the post!

  18. Oh, my word. This is the best idea EVER. It’s so simple. How did we not think of this. Mine are grown now, but how amazing would this have been. They have always written sweet notes in the cards. I would have loved that in a journal. And I seriously hate how expensive cards are. This is just a win-win all the way around.

  19. naomi Melend says:

    Interesting… I have been doing this for 13 years now :) I love looking back at it each mothers day and birthday ( My husband has my son write me letters for both occasions). So loving to see his baby scribbles to his now “more meaningful” letters.

  20. Love this idea! If only we’d started it 10 years ago. Crap.

  21. Debbie says:

    Great idea, will give one to each grown daughter so they can start. Another great place to get a journal is “Trades of Hope” , they help women around the world out of poverty and difficult situations with the sales of their hand made items. A win-win-win situation!

  22. Sylvia says:

    I did this for my grandsons birthday last year, it’s a great idea for Mother’s Day!

  23. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for the great idea!

  24. Hello! I would like to purchase the notebook shown on this post – is it possible to provide the link? Someone I know wants to start this tradition with their family, with this exact notebook! :) Thank you in advance!!!

  25. It doesn’t look like this exact one is still available. This is the publisher though –

  26. I love this idea. It’s not just for moms though. My son recently asked me to give him a journal with all my words of advice and favorite scriptures written in it for his birthday, and then we can add to it each year. He’s only 10, but he said he wanted to make sure he had our words forever. Yes, I’m raising one incredible kid.

  27. Brittney Rodriguez says:

    My husband bought my “Mother’s Day Journal” from Vera Bradley. It’s beautiful and just the right size.


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