What Real Moms Want for Mother’s Day

This year will be the 98th celebration of Mother’s Day since President Woodrow Wilson made it a national observance in the United States in 1914.  It is a celebration observed throughout the world, across cultures, and at various times throughout the year.  In the US, Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May.  A day replete with sunshine, blooming blossoms and some of the best child art ever!

Think back to grade school and the hokey gifts made just for mom – pretty much anything that involved macaroni, sappy poems, paper crafts involving multi-colored hearts, and, of course, pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures!
And all these years later, when we see that our mom (or aunt or grandmother) has kept our silly gift our heart swells.  Not because it’s some masterpiece, but because it’s not.  Those teacher-inspired Mother’s Day crafts were carried with so much pride and wrapped and handed over with such love that all these years later it’s a testament to the love a child has for his or her mother and the love of a mother for her child.

Today, the ads for Mother’s Day gifts fill mailboxes (both real and virtual).  Every jewelry store tells us all moms want to be adorned in silver and gold baubles.  Florists won’t be busier than they are on Mother’s Day weekend, because flowers say ‘I love you’ whether you’re across the street or across the country.  And restaurants will be more booked than they’ve been in a few months, since mom shouldn’t have to cook on Mother’s Day.

But that got me thinking, what do mom’s really want for Mother’s Day?  So I conducted an informal survey of my mom friends (both in person and online) to find out what they really want.  While the specifics were all over the board, I’ve collected them into these five categories:

What Real Moms Want For Mother’s Day

  1. Sleep – number one for most moms, whether being honest or just tongue-in-cheek, was more Zs.  We know that motherhood is a 24/7 proposition.  Regardless of whether your kids are 6 months old or 16, we stay up late, get up early and run all day.  Sleeping in rarely happens and when it does it’s because the alarm didn’t go off and then there is ensuing chaos.  On Mother’s Day, give mom the gift of sleeping in.  Not necessarily on that day (uh, we love our breakfast in bed!), but why not make mom a coupon book with ‘Sleeping In’ coupons she can redeem later.
  2. Quiet – whether you have 1 child or are working on your own reality series with multiple kids, there is rarely quiet in the house.  About the only time there is quiet is when everyone is sleeping.  We moms love our kids.  And we love all their stories and songs and excitement, too.  But we also love a few minutes when no one is talking to us (even through the bathroom door) so we can hear ourselves think.  Dads (or grandparents, or best friends, or a sitter) can give the gift of quiet by taking the kids out for a short time every week.  It’s amazing how much we can accomplish when it’s quiet in the house!
  3. Lunch with friends – besides the fact that many moms get so busy they forget to have lunch, moms often don’t take the time to have lunch with their friends.  And, well, we also won’t tend to plan them either.  Moms need interventions too!  Call up our friends, schedule a time for lunch and then drop us off.  For as much as we keep everyone else organized, it’d be nice to have someone else do all the planning for us.  Even if it’s as simple as lunch.
  4. Mom Time – it’s a struggle.  Mother’s Day is all about being a mom and the kids and the family.  Yet, at the same time, we hope our family recognizes our need to be alone sometimes.  While we love all the crafty gifts, we’d also like a gift certificate for a mani/pedi or a massage or day at the spa.  Dads can call up (call? What am I thinking? They should email) mom’s friends and maybe combine #2 and #3 above with this and plan a girl’s day at the spa.
  5. Clothing – it has to be on here.  Kids love to buy mom clothes.  That’s good because many moms don’t like to shop for themselves.  But here’s the key.  The clothes can’t be too trendy, to ‘mom’ or in sizes way too big or too small.  And since kids don’t often like to give mom gift cards because there is a lack of ‘wow’, moms tend to end up with things we don’t want yet can’t get rid of for fear of hurting our kids’ feelings.  What to do?  This is where it’s up to mom – to do some late night window shopping online, share a few links with dad and if necessary be straightforward and just tell him that if the kids want to buy clothes here are the options.  Make it easy and include size and color.  And when you open it, be surprised!  All the kids want is to see mom smiling and excited at what they bought.  Oh, and remember that anything you wear will only look better when paired with a gold spray painted macaroni necklace!

Are these the gifts you really want, too? And looking back, what are your favorite Mother’s Day gifts from your kids?



Editor’s note: This post was written by Sara Hawkins, author of the Saving for Someday blog.

Posted on April 23, 2012, in Family, Mom Tips. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great ideas. I particularly like the sleeping in and lunch with friends. Those are always welcome. Hope your day is lovely.

  2. Lunch with friends…what a great way for kids to learn that Mom needs a playdate every now and then too!

  3. Thank you both for confirming that moms need time too, and that it’s a good gift from the kids.


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