Mother’s Day can be fraught with stress for both mothers and their family members alike. How do you acknowledge such an important figure in your life?
Rather than guess or follow the glut of flashy marketing ploys, I polled over one hundred moms to ask them what they’d truly like for Mother’s Day. Here’s what they said:
1. A day off
You take the kids and she gets to be home alone with some peace and quiet. Better yet, you stay home and let her go out and be free! Moms are “on duty” 24/7. Give her a day where someone else takes care of the kids, does the cooking, and manages the schedule. (And no fair asking her how to do it during that day. Figure it out in advance, because if she still has to manage your efforts that’s not a day off.)
2. A clean house
Housework can take up a lot of mental and physical energy for moms. Hire her a cleaning service to come clean the place from top to bottom. A clean house for the whole family, and built-in relaxation for Mom = win-win.
3. A day at the spa
A massage, a mani/pedi, or all of the above. Moms love to feel special and catered to, and that’s built-in to the spa experience.
4. A family outing
Many moms spoke of wanting to be with their family on this day, but in a way that was special. A picnic, a ball game, or any special event that Mom will enjoy and doesn’t have to organize.
5. Something handmade
You might worry that it’s cheesy but if you sincerely put your best effort into making something for your mom, she’s likely to love it. Why? Because it means you were really thinking about her and giving from the heart. (On a personal note: Please supervise any “breakfast in bed” efforts, and if no one knows how to cook consider ordering-in. Gummy bears for breakfast was cute. Once.)
6. A hotel room — alone
Solitude, a housekeeper, the TV all to themselves and room service. What’s not to love?
7. No fighting
Got an argument? Table it ’til Monday or take it elsewhere. Bickering between siblings or spouses stresses mom out. Make up a certificate that all parties sign so that Mom can wave it in their face as a reminder.
8. To sleep late
Most moms are sleep deprived (especially if they’ve got little kids). Getting to sleep as late as she wants could be just the ticket for your weary mama.
9. A family photo
A nice picture of you and your siblings, the kids and you, or the whole family (schedule it so that Mom just has to show up.) Mom loves a good quality memento of the most important people in her life.
Book a table at her favorite restaurant. Hire a babysitter. Show her that she still lights your fire.
11. A Roomba
A surprising number of survey respondents asked specifically for this. While robot vacuums are clearly desirable, buying household appliances for Mother’s Day can be tricky. Make sure it’s something she really wants, not something you think she needs.
Being a mom can often be a thankless job. Tell your mom directly (or write in a card) how and why you appreciate what she does. Be specific.
Most moms aren’t looking for something expensive or fancy. They’re looking to know that you love and appreciate what they do for you.
What’s the best Mother’s Day gift you’ve ever received or given?
Photo credit: Big stock Photos