I know, I already posted a Mother’s Day gift list. But those were for actual gifts. Shiny, pretty things that you wrap up with a bow. These are the gifts that Moms truly want for Mother’s Day (or their birthday, or Christmas, or a random Tuesday…). Now, not all Moms will want these as a gift – you see, we’re not all exactly the same. But I’m willing to bet that a LOT of Moms (especially those with littles), would be very happy receiving one of these for Mother’s Day.
To the significant others or children reading this, I need to prepare you; I am going to be a little blunt today. I don’t think that tip-toeing or sugar-coating anything will help you or the mom you are here reading this for. I don’t want you to think that I am talking down to you, because I am not trying to do that. I am trying to be clear so that you know exactly what your significant other needs. No game playing or subliminal messages here. Please don’t be overwhelmed by this list. I’m not saying you should give your significant other all of these things; just pick one (or two) that you feel she would like the most (although, I think all moms deserve #14). So, if you think you can handle a little honesty, let’s get started.
15 Mother’s Day Gifts that Moms Actually Want
- Sleep. This one is pretty simple. And it’s free. Most, if not all Moms, need sleep. Long, quiet, restful sleep. I’m not talking an extra 15 minutes while you put the kid on the potty first thing. It’s time for you to take the baby monitor all night, get the kids up when they call, and maybe even delay your shower so that the noise doesn’t wake her. Now in order to get her more sleep, first you need to tell her about it ahead of time. It’s important because she may have plans you are unaware of and sleeping-in may cause extra stress (which we don’t want). Explain to her that you are going to be getting up with the kids and that it would make you happy if she took the opportunity to catch up on sleep. Moms need permission to take time for themselves even when it comes to sleep. We feel responsible to be Mom at all times and unless you tell us otherwise, we will wake up at the first sound of a baby crying. If she’s more of a napper, let her get that nap in (think: park).
- Alone time in the house. Take the kids out for the
weekday. She won’t really care where you go as long as you and the kids aren’t home. You see, Mom’s rarely get time alone at home anymore. There’s something so peaceful about a quiet house. She’s not going to be up to trouble. More than likely she will quietly catch up on some Netflix eating her hidden stash of candy or she’ll clean (I know – sounds crazy right? But cleaning with the kids at home is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos). Now this is one not all Moms would care about – so you’ll have to feel her out. I personally would love this as someone who stays home with two littles and a husband that works from home.
- Meal plan AND grocery shop for her. How many of you simply show up to dinner every night without any thought about what went into to planning and shopping for the meal? Probably most of you. Plan out an entire week of meals (you probably have an idea of standards you eat on a regular basis, just pick 7 of those meals and fill them into the next calendar week). Then make a shopping list that includes the ingredients needed for all of those meals. Don’t forget to check the fridge and pantry to make sure you don’t have 5 lbs of spaghetti noodles in the house already (although if you’re doing the shopping, most Mom’s wouldn’t care if you bought another 10 lbs of spaghetti as long as it meant she didn’t have to go do it). Now, make a list of the other staples you are out of and need: bread, milk, produce, snacks, lunch stuff, toiletries, etc. Now, take that list to your significant other. Ask if there is anything else to add. Then grab the kids and hit the store. It will give her some quiet time which is a bonus.
- Make dinner. Offer to make dinner one night (or two). Plan a meal and make it. Tell her sit down and rest while you make dinner. Don’t have any of Bobby Flay’s chops? That’s okay – grab some take out. Don’t make her decide where to get the take-out from. You decide; it’s easier that way.
- Hire a house keeper for a deep clean. Now, it’s not that we don’t like when you clean (that’s a great option if you’re on a budget). But, sometimes hiring a professional may be the better option (you don’t want that fight when your wife cleans behind you because it’s not how she does it). Nobody likes doing chores (well most people). And while your significant other may be keeping up with the housework, they may want a break. In addition, there are a lot of things that we miss or can’t get to because we just don’t have the time (like the top of the fridge – I mean, who sees it anyway?). Hire a team to come in and do a deep clean. If you do select to give this as a gift, make sure that you stress to your significant other that they’re doing a great job with the housework but that you wanted to give them a break. The last thing you want is for a gift you are giving to turn into a fight because you say “hey, I hired you a maid because the house is gross.”
- Plan a date night and work out all of the logistics. Pick an activity (or 2). Hire the babysitter. Write the babysitter some notes for the evening (not sure what to write for a babysitter? Click here, print, and fill out). Leave food and/or money for food for the kids and babysitter. Just tell her when the date is and what she needs to wear. Added bonus – give her some kid-free time to primp for you. She loves date night but sometimes prepping for date night can get stressful.
- Girls night. Give her a night out with her friends. Tell her that she’s off Friday night and she deserves some girl time. While she’s at girls night don’t message her unless it’s an absolute emergency. Remember – Moms feel they need to get permission to do things for themselves. Tell her she deserves some time to herself.
- Night out alone. Just like above, give her a night out alone to do something she loves. Whether it’s a paint class or just roaming around Target with a coffee in her hand. Just like #7, while she’s at girls night, don’t message her unless it’s an absolute emergency. Remember – Moms feel they need to get permission to do things for themselves. Tell her she deserves some time to herself.
- Take over her morning duties. Do you have school-age kids? Take over her morning duties for a week. Get the kids up, get them ready for school, pack their lunches, sign their papers, walk them to the bus stop, etc. Give her a few extra minutes to get in a shower or drink some coffee without having to reheat it ten times.
- Take over her nighttime duties. Do you have little ones that still need help getting a bath or going to sleep? Does she handle nighttime duty (or share it)? If so, give her the night off.
- Make her a bubble bath. Light some candles. Set up some of her favorite music. And take the kids out for ice cream. She never gets time to just relax; spoil her a little bit.
- Home made gift. We all (well most of us), always love a homemade gift. Make something with the kids for her. Send her on a Target run and grab some glue, glitter, paper, etc. It doesn’t matter how it turns out. She will love that you took some time with the kids to make her something special. If you send her to Target alone, you’ll have plenty of time to make the craft and clean up. (Check back next week for a list of ideas of handmade gifts you can make with the kids for Mom).
- Thoughtful gift that you know she wants. It doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. Every time you hear her say she wishes she could have something, write that something down. It’s easy to keep a list in your phone (the notes app is perfect for this). Then when Mother’s Day (her birthday, Christmas, Anniversary, etc) comes, she will know that you thought of her and more importantly – you remembered something that she wanted. A pretty necklace is always nice. But a set of artisan coffee mugs from a restaurant on your date night that she was gushing over means a lot more (thanks love).
- Tell her, in writing, why she’s a good Mom. We all know you think she’s a great Mom. But do you tell her? The truth is, she probably doesn’t feel like a good Mom most days. I know – that’s crazy, right? Because she’s wonderful. Even though she may appear to have it handled and she’s a total superstar with the kids, she may be doubting herself every step of the way. Between the tantrums, battles, angry stares, yelling, and hurtful words, she begins to lose faith in her mothering skills. Tell her why she’s a fantastic mom, in writing. Don’t just say: you’re an awesome Mom. Really tell her. Give her examples: “I am amazed at how you handle Joey’s tantrums – you really stand your ground. Even though I know it can be hard on you, you’re doing the right thing by giving him a time out.” And don’t just give her one example. Give her lots. That way when she’s having a bad day, she can pull out your card/letter and remember that she’s got this. Honestly, this is probably one of those things that you don’t do enough because you assume it’s implied. She needs to hear what an amazing Mom she is and that she’s making the right choices. Moms are their own worst critics. Sometimes our inner voice gets so loud that we can’t hear anything else. Give her some words of encouragement so that the next time she’s having a bad day, she hears your words in her head instead of her own.
- Looking for a thoughtful gift for your Mom? Take her on her own date night. While were thinking about gift ideas, here’s a great idea for your Mom. Whether you’re a son or a daughter, Mom is missing the days of spending time with you one-on-one. Give her the gift of a date night with just you. She’ll love the chance to catch up and get all of your attention (instead of fighting to share your attention with your significant other and her grandkids).
Don’t you think all Moms deserve to get number 14? If you’re a Mom, what item on this list would you love to have? Is there anything I am missing? Don’t forget to share your list inconspicuously on Facebook so that your significant other sees it (you know, do that thing where you just share it or you share it with a friend’s name on it. Or just be blunt and tag him directly).