Friday, May 6, 2016
What a Real Mother's Day Gift Guide Should Look Like
I get it. Mother's Day is hard because Mom's needs, just like the needs of her children, change over time. You wouldn't give a toddler a dirt bike for his first birthday. It may be way cool, but something else might be more practical and exciting for him (like a nice empty box or that tangle of computer cords under the desk that you've been trying to keep him away from) What the mother of a toddler wants and needs differ greatly from the needs of the empty nester. So here is a real and practical gift guide to what Mom really wants based on her own developmental needs.
For the mother of an infant: What this mom really needs is sleep. Just an extra hour would be glorious. Want to make her feel like a queen? Throw in an uninterrupted shower. It will make Mother's Day feel like the Best. Day. EVER!
For the mother of a toddler: Sleep is still the best gift. "Let sleeping moms lie" should be the Mother's Day mantra during this phase. Extra bonus points if you can get the jelly stains out of her favorite blouse and the permanent marker mural off the hallway walls. A contribution to her secret chocolate stash would also be greatly appreciated. Homemade cards are great, especially the ones with tiny toddler handprints. They may seem silly now, but just trust me on this one. Consider them an investment for future Mother's Days. Just avoid the use of glitter, or she'll be cleaning that up for the next six months
For the mother of small children: Still the gift of extra sleep is never underrated. A clean kitchen and folded laundry are a thoughtful addition as are a day-long vacation from Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Dinner at a nice restaurant may seem tempting, but only try this if the kids can handle good restaurant behavior. If not, consider ordering take-out. Nothing stresses mom like trying to intercept flying food before it hits other diners in the face. Also handmade gifts, even if they can't be easily identified. Don't forgo the hand-sculpted ashtray (Wait... Mom isn't a smoker), randomly painted rocks, or misshapen coffee mug. Especially the misshapen coffee mug... she can hide wine in that!
For the mom of middle schoolers: Just one afternoon without drama. No eyerolls. No slamming doors. No thrown shoes. Moms of this age also appreciate random hugs, hand-holding, and other spontaneous signs of physical affection that tend to be diminishing at this age. Kids actually cleaning up after themselves earns major league brownie points. And maybe consider keeping that old coffee mug filled with wine.
For the mom of teenagers: Peace of mind. Good luck with that.
For the mom of grown children: Visit her. Call her. She wants your time. She used to have it all while wishing for just a moment's reprieve. Now she can't get enough of it. She will also be pulling out all of those old handmade glitter cards and painted rocks. She will marvel at how tiny the hands were that once held hers. Those gifts that seemed so silly and cheap and haphazard in years past will seem like the most precious diamonds.
There you go, Mother's Day revelers. Plan your revelry accordingly.
And Happy Mother's Day!