Who better to ask for Mother’s Day ideas than an actual mom? As it happens, I am a mom…and so are about half of my friends. I asked them what they’d like most for Mother’s Day and have gathered all of our fantastic, these-are-things-actually-want, gift ideas into one spot. So, without further ado, here is the best Mother’s Day list ever—by moms, for moms.
1. A clean house. This was the most frequently given idea (one mom: “I would like a day where everyone makes their bed and throws their clothes down the chute without being asked”). Thus if the mom in your life is the primary cleaner in the house, give her the day off. Better yet, do it while you send her off to a massage, manicure, or to go shopping all by herself.
If you really want to up the ante, my (brilliant, if I do say so) idea is to get a Roomba vacuum robot as well (not instead of, but in addition to!). This way, not only will the floors be clean without her doing the work, they’ll stay relatively clean without her doing any more work. It’s the gift that keeps giving! Here’s Roomba’s model comparison chart, in case it helps you narrow down which to buy for your house. If there was only one that did bathroom sinks and toilets…
1.5. Highly related to #1: If you do the cleaning, what tasks are always on her list that she does without any help? Figure out what those are and either do them for her, or give her a tool to make it go faster/easier. For example, if she does all the ironing, get her a clothing steamer to free up some of her time. If she’s on kid shuttle duty a lot, get her a Kindle Paperwhite so it’s easier to read on the go. I’m still a fan of my Zojiroshi thermos for having chilled water with me as I run errands.
2. Free time. This relates closely to idea #1 and #1.5, but here I encourage you to think more broadly. Sure, you can’t ACTUALLY give her free time, but you can in round-about ways. For example, book her a massage (actually put it on the schedule so she takes the time to go!), or a manicure, or pedicure, or whatever pampering session you think would float her boat.
A cheaper option: make an effort to cover her job(s) at home for 20 minutes every day (or even an hour or two a week?) so she can think her own thoughts, take a walk, or do crazy things like be in the bathroom all by herself.
3. Outdoor accessories and plants. If the mom in your life loves to putter in the yard, how about getting her a new bird feeder (or a new type of feeder such as a hummingbird one if she doesn’t have one)? I myself am a big fan of fun and silly yard art the whole family can chuckle at. For example, I love my Rampaging Kaiju Garden Gnome and this fallen At-At is a classic as well.
This idea on the cheap: Offer to spend part of the day (or all!) helping her plant, weed, or whatever she’d like done. You can do it together which will make you both happy (it’s all about the quality time, people). Better yet, maybe it’ll become a family tradition like it has in my husband’s family.
4. Cooking/Baking toys. If your mom loves to cook or bake, get her some accessories to make it easier and/or more fun. Our resident Cookie Goddess adores her Cuisinart Mini-Prep food processor, for example. Or heck, if the budget allows, get her a KitchenAid stand mixer (I recommend getting at least the 5-qt model, but know many who swear buy the 6-qt bowl-lift). If she already has a KitchenAid, you could get her the Flex Edge Beater that doesn’t come with most models. I would argue these fall into the “nice to have but don’t really need” category of life—which is why they’re good!
4.5. Of course, even if she loves cooking, the best gift can be a break from the task (are you sensing the theme here???). Take her out for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Or, how about you make her something? Who doesn’t love to have someone make something for them for a change, even if it’s just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or grilled cheese. The point is that she didn’t have to make it herself. And, when you’re done, go out and get her some ice cream/frozen yogurt/piece of pie. Because dessert.
5. Jewelry. It’s a classic for a reason. Get her a mother’s ring, or a neat pendant with her kids’ birth stones. Or, as I always say, a Pandora/Chamilia type of bracelet where you can buy a new charm for these occasions is easy and usually appreciated. Honestly, it’s a rare woman who doesn’t like jewelry. Pair it with cleaning and you’ll be the best son/daughter/husband EVER.
6. Crafting gadgets. I’ve got two, admittedly spendy, ideas for the crafty mom: a Baby Lock serger or a Cricut cutting machine. Which to choose completely depends on the medium the mom in your life likes to work with.
If it’s fabric, and she doesn’t have a serger, Baby Lock is the brand of choice. My friend who loves to knit and sew has this on her list. I myself love paper crafts so I recent got a Cricut Explore and think it’s the best thing since sliced bread and canned food. It’s so much easier than using an Exacto knife to make things! So far I’ve made many Lia Griffith projects and some vinyl stickers for personalizing water bottles and other easy-to-lose items.
7. Workout gear. If your mom is into fitness, it’s a safe bet to support that. One of my friends says she wants some new walking shoes (or a gift certificate to buy some), and another friend wants some crossfit equipment like kettle bells or an AbMat. I’ve had it on the list in previous years but I’ll say it again: a FitBit. And, if she already has one and she loves it, upgrade her to a fancier one. I have a few friends pining for a new model and I recently got the Charge HR to replace my One and am appreciating the extra features.
8. A StitchFix gift certificate. Perfect for the fashion-minded mom or just the busy mom. I have a friend who has become a StitchFix addict who loves getting a box of clothes to try on every month. A personal stylist chooses the selections after you enter in your sizing and preferences (including budgetary desires!). You can send back what you don’t like and keep what you do. My friend says she’s found all kinds of good stuff she never would have given a try otherwise. No-effort shopping and great pieces? #winning
9. Coloring books. For real. Coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore. They’re great for relaxing in front of the TV or just for letting your mind wander and they’re all the rage. Johanna Basford’s books have been so popular they’ve out of stock for a while most places I’ve looked, but they are HOT if you can score one. The good news is, there are many other options out there if you search for “adult coloring books” on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Get her a book and pair it with a nice set of gel pens or colored pencils. It could even become a nice thing for her to do with the kids…if she’s willing to share :-).