Some mothers don’t care for Mother’s Day, while others truly relish a day set aside to honor the vocation that occupies so much of their time, resources, and energy. I recently asked a bunch of my mom friends from all walks and stages of life: If they could have anything on Mother’s Day, what would it be? Here are their answers.
Whether the mom in your life has been counting down the days or had no idea Mother’s Day was this Sunday, here are a few things moms have whispered in my ear that might make her feel loved and special.
1. Some Time To Rejuvenate
Many, many moms want a day of quiet. While it may seem contradictory to spend the holiday honoring your motherhood away from the little people who made you a mother, it can especially be the desire of an introvert mother’s heart.
There are many ways you can be a part of this sorry-not-sorry way of helping mom relax and rejuvenate. An Amazon Echo (Plus) or Dot (this one comes in white) can be a subtle way to encourage mom to curl up with a book that Alexa reads to her or while she softly plays the music of her choice.
If your mom is spending the day doing something she loves, Alexa will read her recipes, tell jokes, and admit her favorite song is Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire.” (What mom can’t appreciate that?)
If mom is the spa type, you could team up with another family and purchase a gift card to a spa day together at one of their favorite locations. One friend of mine, who loves motherhood so much she’s pregnant with her sixth baby, really just wants some massage therapy.
If your mom wants to spend half the day in her tub soaking and reading her Kindle Fire (check out this gorgeous Moko case), why not let her? She spends most of her time running around and could use the R&R.
I can’t get over this plush robe Forbes suggested, by Barefoot Dreams. She’ll never want to get out of it. Pair that with her favorite aromatherapy, or one of the most popular things among my friends, an essential oil diffuser, and the ingredients for one of my favorite light summer cocktails, sweet tea vodka with a splash of lemonade. Mom will be more relaxed than Arnold Palmer after a Masters tournament win.
2. A Day of Love and Warmth
While some moms do want to hang out alone and enjoy some downtime, others really do crave, as one of my good friends said, “A fun family day,” especially “with no fighting!” It’s truly the cry of mothers heard ‘round the world.
No problem, right? It’s totally easy to get the kids to love on mom without bursting into tears or fighting over something trivial. Okay, it might be a little tricky, but here are a few tricks to help.
Plan a fun outing where mom likes to go and—here’s the key—the kids can also be easily entertained. If it’s nice outside and mom likes the outdoors, scope out a new hiking spot or picnic area where the kids can play. Often places where the kids can play can give mom just a little bit of relaxation, while still enjoying her family. Consider a casual or kid-friendly winery. I’ve brought my kids to this one more times than I can count.
When night falls, plan a simple movie night. Pair this divine Ugg Duffield throw with the best popcorn on the planet: Garrett’s, which even has this gift set for Mother’s Day. Choose “Peter Rabbit” or “Thor Ragnarok,” both available on Amazon, and mom and the kids will have a great time.
3. Go For These Unique, Thoughtful Gifts
Some moms are truly “gift” people. My mom is one, and I’ll be honest: It’s not my strong suit! So I was happy to hear all the wonderful gift ideas my friends and neighbors threw my way.
If the mom in your life likes gadgets, take a few cues from this friend of mine with wonderful taste in everything from clothing to the latest technological devices. She has her eye on this soft green Keurig, a new “skin” for her Macbook, and a few more new bands for her Apple Watch.
One of my best friends said, “I’m also a flower girl, so a bouquet gets me every time.” Flowers from The Bouqs Company are a bit pricey but mom will receive her flowers perfect every time, often with individual blooms wrapped for security—and who doesn’t want to unwrap each individual flower! Magnolia Farms has all kinds of warm, chic household goods to accompany a beautiful bouquet.
Some moms just love jewelry. Etsy has an array of shops that offer personalized jewelry for moms who want to wear their initials or their kids’ initials on necklaces or bracelets. One of my girlfriends is really hoping for a set of earrings from this gorgeous company, Nickel and Suede, which makes lightweight jewelry.
If you want to give your mom something that will also give back, 31 Bits works with Ugandans to create fashionable, quality products that also help them provide for their families. The jewelry is incredible, and the cause is fantastic.
4. Cleanliness Is Next To…
Now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. Some moms are neatniks and can’t function without clean surroundings. Even if that isn’t the case, most moms, whether they work in the home or outside the home, spend a lot of time cleaning.
Let’s face it: It’s a laborious, monotonous, often thankless task. One of my friends said that on Mother’s Day, “I’d like to not have to do the normal daily tasks I usually do (dishes, cleaning, helping the kids with their food).” Another friend dreamt of having her car “washed and vacuumed.” That does sound like its own kind of wonderful, doesn’t it?
There are lots of ways families can make this happen, suitable for every budget and style. If you’re living the high life, go ahead and treat the mom in your life to a weekly or biweekly cleaning from a local service. If that’s a bit outside your price range, the kids can offer to clean and even make up those cute little “chore” coupons that make even the iciest mom-queen grin.
A new basket of cleaning supplies, whether store-bought or natural products such as this homemade scented vinegar spray, might help them get in the groove. Of course, I’m not the one to talk, because I can’t stand cleaning, but this Shark made even me want to vacuum. Some friends swear by the fancy robot vacuums, like this iRobot Roomba, that clean in your sleep.
5. Take Care of the Cooking
Finally, while a lot of moms enjoy cooking, many want to avoid it on Mother’s Day, or if they are like me, use Mother’s Day as an excuse to avoid it! One of my best friends from college who enjoys dessert as much as I do texted, “I’d like to eat delicious food all day that I didn’t have to make or clean up after!” Sounds divine.
To that end, breakfast in bed never gets old to me, even if the toast is a little burned, the coffee doesn’t have creamer, or the eggs are a bit dry. The effort is adorable and all kids should give it a try (with supervision of course!).
If mom is more of a foodie, try to cater to that. For many years, with help my kids cooked a delicious breakfast for me, something that was totally out of the ordinary and a treat for us given our busy schedule, such as a frittata with potatoes and onions, and French toast made from brioche or challah. If the mom in your life is gluten-free, try a gluten-free bread or skip carbs altogether and opt for a high-protein breakfast like an omelet or Greek yogurt with various toppings.
If you like to go out to eat—although often that can get crowded on Mother’s Day—you can find a new restaurant she hasn’t tried or provide all the ingredients needed for brunch at home and cook it for her there. Two of my friends requested chocolate for their after-lunch dessert or perhaps to accompany that afternoon coffee. One friend swears by this brand, which also makes a delightful special-day or anytime gift.