As Mother’s Day approaches, the stores are overflowing with mugs, chocolates, flowers, and candles, almost all of which are some shade of pink. Moms are ladies and ladies like pink, right? It’s cute when the kids are little and dad takes them to the store to let them pick out something for mom from the pink pile. But has anyone thought to ask moms what they really want? Relax, dads and kids. I did a little research for you.
In my unscientific poll of mothers, a very clear pattern emerged. Moms of teens and adults just want the opportunity to spend some time with their busy offspring – a shared meal if they live nearby or a simple phone call if they live further away, maybe a FaceTime session.
It’s no surprise that moms of younger children – these are the women who are currently in the trenches of parenthood 24/7 – are more interested in the gift of time away from their children. When you have a baby or toddler relying on you every moment of every day or an elementary school kid who asks dozens of questions each hour, gifts like a massage, pedicure, or solo beach day feel like a refreshing vacation.
Across the board, moms just want to feel seen and appreciated. Tell her thank you for all she does for the family. Take over some of her duties for the day so she can relax. Give her a card, either handcrafted or store-bought, and write a thoughtful message inside. Another popular option for all ages is brunch. No matter how many kids a woman has or how old they are, she has earned the right to day drink. Nothing says we understand how hard you work for us every day better than bottomless mimosas.
If you have any single moms in your life, please remember them on Mother’s Day. Depending on the age of their kids, they might receive no gifts. Offer to take their kids shopping to pick something out for mom or watch the kids so she can go practice a little self-care and come back renewed and ready to get back to the business of parenting.
As my own daughter grows and gains more independence (Vivi is 7 going on 17 this month), I have been thinking a lot about the last time you do something with your child and not knowing it’s the last time. Before you start spiraling thinking about how long it’s been since you picked up your child or held them in your lap, let me get to my point here. If you are fortunate enough to still have your own mother in this life, know that she went through those same painful lasts. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you gave her a big bear hug or an exuberant kiss on the cheek? If you can find the time, how about curling up on the couch to watch a movie together. Imagine how happy it would make her if you put your head on her shoulder. You can give her the gift of one more last time. Just don’t sit on her lap – we don’t want to break mom on Mother’s Day.
This year put some extra thought into what you’re getting the woman who gave you life on her special day. If I spot anyone over the age of 10 shopping from the pink pile, I’m going to give you that look that only a mom can – that look that tells you I know you can do better. Happy Mother’s Day!