When it comes to Mother’s Day, gifts tend to fall into predictable patterns. There are the sentimental handmade cards and macaroni necklaces, the well-intentioned breakfasts in bed, the cookbooks, and perfume sets. And while we love and adore anything our children or partners give us, if we are totally honest, we’d gladly trade in the aprons, gardening tools, or “World’s Greatest Mom” mugs for some things we really need. In fact, what moms really want for Mother’s Day might just surprise you – unless of course, you’re a mom yourself.
But for the rest of you, if there’s a special mom in your life, skip the traditional gift guides, leave the mall behind, and look here instead for ten things we actually want.
1. A full night’s sleep
If given the choice between a fancy gift and a solid eight hours of sleep, most mothers out there would likely opt for the latter. Because we’re tired, so very tired. All the time. Even when our children sleep through the night, a mother’s brain never fully shuts off, constantly attuned to the slightest noise or tomorrow’s never-ending To Do List. Offer to feed a baby a bottle. Take over the morning routine. Get the kids outside so we can nap. Not only will we appreciate the gift of sleep, we will be so much nicer because of it.
2. Two hours in a dark movie theater
A trip to the movies is one of the many small things in life a woman doesn’t appreciate until after she has kids. After children, however, two hours in a dark, quiet room without a toddler shoving his sticky hands in the popcorn seems like a little slice of heaven. If you really want to take it up a notch, buy tickets to one of the movie theaters that serve wine. The only downside is we may never return.
3. Pampering – of any kind
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Massages. Manicures. Facials. If it’s quiet, relaxing, soothing, and accompanied by a lavender scented hand towel, bring it on. We spend a large portion of every day wiping another human’s rear end. We deserve a little indulgence.
4. Wine – all of the wine
It’s hard to go wrong with a good bottle of wine, particularly if that bottle is served chilled while someone other than mom handles baths and bedtime. For the gift that keeps on giving, sign her up for one of the many wine subscription services. If mothers need anything on a regular basis it’s wine. I repeat, all of the wine.
5. Cleaning services
It may seem strange to gift someone a cleaning service, but any gift that makes our life easier is a gift that will be deeply appreciated. If your budget doesn’t allow for professionals, by all means, throw on some rubber gloves, pull out the Windex, and do it yourself. Don’t mind us as we sit with our feet up and cackle with glee.
6. Grocery delivery membership
In a similar vein to cleaning services, a grocery delivery membership is yet another gift that will make a mother’s life abundantly easier. There is no hell on earth like taking small, cranky children to a crowded grocery store. Luckily, there are many local services that make it possible to avoid that nightmare. Instacart, Shipt, Amazon Prime, and Kroger all offer grocery delivery subscriptions. Unless you want to volunteer to do all the grocery shopping yourself, this is a great, practical gift that will be well used all year.
7. Time in the house alone
A great Mother’s Day gift can literally be as easy as taking the kids out of the house for an afternoon. We really don’t care where you go, Costco, the park, a sports bar to watch the game. All that matters is we have a few solitary hours alone in the house, something we likely haven’t experienced since before childbirth. Oh, the silence, the sweet, sweet silence.
8. A guilt-free girls night out
Moms love their families, but we also really love some time apart from our families. Offer to watch the little ones while we go out with friends. Make sure to really sell it with a lot of enthusiasm, like it’s really for your benefit. Don’t repeatedly text us for answers you should already know (like what to serve for dinner, or where the pajamas are). In short, let us have a few hours away without the gnawing, ever-present mom guilt.
9. A kid-free vacation
This one is a little extravagant, but if you can swing it and arrange the childcare, a kid-free trip is pretty much the next best thing to paradise. It could be seven days in Bora Bora or one night in a local hotel by the interstate. We will be equally as excited about either option if it means a little time to decompress, recharge, and watch something on TV other than Sesame Street.
10. Appreciation, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day
It sounds simple, but there is nothing sweeter to the ears of a mother than a simple “thank you.” All the flowers or jewelry in the world can’t replace some heartfelt gratitude for all that we do for our family. Save some money and a trip to the mall, and instead make a point to tell us how much you value what we do for our families, on Mother’s Day and every other day of the year.
Of course, we’ll always be grateful for anything you give us – that’s what moms do. But if you’re looking to really make mom feel special? Then trust us when we say, these are the things moms really want this Mother’s Day!