Mother’s Day is on SUNDAY! When I told my husband what I really REALLY wanted for Mother’s Day he thought I was a little crazy. He thought I was even crazier when I told him I was willing to combine my birthday and Mother’s Day gifts for it. When I started asking around to see if I was indeed crazy, a few friends suggested I write a blog post about tried and true gifts as well as a few more unique ideas for Mother’s Day… and while it doesn’t exactly fit with my “E” themes for the year, many of the gift ideas are kind of inspired by “everyday” wants and needs. So, whether you’re a mom looking to share a bit of a :hint hint nudge nudge: with your children and significant other or someone who has a mom in their life that they want to show some extra love to this weekend… this post is for you.
The Usual Suspects- Here’s a list of tried and true gifts that I think are hard to beat:
1. A favorite food or drink– You can’t go wrong with a tried and true favorite snack, sweet, or beverage. (This is true not just for Mother’s Day… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt a little guilty buying my husband chocolate or beer… but it’s something he loves every time, so why mess with success?!) Bonus if you pair it with a mug or wine glass or other accessory that goes with the theme of this splurge.
2 Pampering products: Manicures, pedicures, or just nice at home bath and body stuff… just do a little detective work here. I used to be able to use almost any of those products but ever since having kids my skin is super sensitive to things like added fragrance. It’s a bummer, but there are a lot of options with natural products out there! If the mama you are buying for is a fan of a specific scent- try to find that! (Bonus tip: If you know she shops with a specific representative of a company like Avon, Mary Kay, Sengeance, or even an Etsy shop you keep seeing pop up on your monthly statements etc. I’m sure if you get in touch with that person they could help you pick something based on what they know of that mama’s previous orders! Way better than computer algorithms doing it for you.)
3. Gift cards– somewhere that is just for her. Not where you’ll have your next date night. Not where she can bring the kids. Something that encourages time for her- an iTunes gift card that is forbidden to be used for kid apps, maybe her favorite place to stop for lunch during a busy day, Target if you can make her pinkie swear that she won’t spend it on something for someone else, etc.
What I REALLY REALLY WANT:
1. A unique or handmade card (help the small kiddos with this!)- My first Mother’s Day I was not very clear about this hope and ended up feeling a little bit bummed out. My husband has been a super star about making sure this has happened every year since then. Whether this means scribbles that are transcribed later or investing in a quirky, more personalized card from an Etsy shop or local artist, if you’re only sending a card or your gift is a little more impersonal, this can make a difference.
2. Anything that shows you listened. The bad news is… it might be a little late in the game for this year. The good news is… it’s never to early to start taking notes for next year. Those things that are casually mentioned as favorites or wish list items and not emphasized too much often end up meaning SO MUCH when they are followed up on. Motherhood can feel so lonely sometimes and I think a lot of that loneliness comes from not feeling heard. (Or only being heard by people who are perhaps too tiny to understand) so something that makes a mom feel seen and heard is a home run. (For me, this meant getting some of my favorite new products from the Cultivate shop!)
3. Speak my love language: For some mamas this might mean writing words of encouragement or taking care of all the usual weekend chores so the family can spend quality time together. For others it may be a bubble bath or a traditional gift like flowers. IN all these things it comes back to the idea that you can anticipate their needs on this day since moms spend so much time anticipating the needs of others.
4. PEACE AND QUIET: This brings us back to the reason I wrote this post. I can’t tell you how many times in years past I would ask my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day or Christmas and she would answer “Pace” (the Italian word for “Peace”) and, of course, it drove me CRAZY. How the heck was I supposed to give her that? Well, the past few years, I’ve found myself biting my tongue to keep from saying the same thing. But I’m not as subtle as my mom- so I got really REALLY specific with my husband about my wish- I want a night alone, a staycation where I can sleep in as late as I want and where I won’t have to worry about cleaning up anything for a night, and where I can watch some TV and not worry about being interrupted with requests for Jake and the Neverland Pirates. When I told hubby he said that sounded really sad. “You want to go be alone?! I would get it if you wanted a night with a friend or a night away with me but… you want to be alone?” OK, he actually thought it was sad and really, really weird. So I started asking around. I asked about a dozen of my closer mom friends- all of them thought it was a brilliant idea. All of them said it sounded like a dream. ALL. OF. THEM. Some had the caveat of it sounded great but they couldn’t do that while nursing a baby (the EXACT position I was in last year), others said they’d done that and now ask for it every year, others weren’t in a financial place to sneak away for a whole night, but had asked for just a day all alone to spend in quiet with no obligations. It all came back to the same idea though- give the gift of a little time for the mom in your life to recharge. I’m not saying abandon her on Mother’s Day and cancel the brunch time plans… I’m saying carve out some more time than usual (because hopefully she’s getting at least a little every week anyway!) to let her remember all of the qualities she brings to the family when she’s not feeling pulled in a hundred ways.