When I was growing up, my mom used to love to tell us kids that “all she wanted” for Mother’s Day was world peace. Or for us to never backtalk her ever again. Or for everyone to immediately get to know and love Jesus. Or, weirdly, for Dave Matthews to come serenade her personally. I was pretty young when I started rolling my eyes at these requests and just drawing her a card. The truth is, she didn’t want to ask for things she really wanted because, first, she of course wanted us to just figure it out and awe her with our thoughtfulness, and second, she didn’t want family money going toward her. If you have a mom in your life who also dodges these questions—and perhaps asks for world peace amid doing so—know that there are things that (most) moms do want and that you can actually give them. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Make the plans. One of the best gifts you can give to so many moms is to make the plans for the day yourself. Her brain is overwhelmed with appointment times and other scheduling concerns, so give her the gift of making Mother’s Day plans. Whether you’re taking her to an expensive restaurant or a picnic in the park, allowing for her brain to take a break is a gift in and of itself.
2. Remember her favorites. Does she drink coffee? If so, how does she like it? Bring it to her in the morning that way. What’s her favorite meal? What’s her favorite adult beverage? What’s her favorite kind of music? Extra points if you remember an experience on her bucket list that you can pull off. The act of remembering is so much more powerful than you might think. Give her the gift of remembering.
3. Nostalgia. Speaking of remembering, many moms would love to take a stroll down memory lane. Print out sweet photos or other mementos from the past and give them to her.
4. Spa-like pampering. Spas are expensive, so no biggie if sending the mom in your life to a spa is out of the budget. Plenty of spa-like pampering can happen right at home. For instance, watch the kids while she takes a long, hot bath. Go the extra mile and procure (or make!) some add-ons like bath bombs, bath salts, a scrub or a mask. These things are so easy to make at home with stuff you already have around the house. Google is your friend here. The gesture of allowing her to finally relax—and feel clean in the way a quick shower can never make a person feel—will not go unnoticed.
5. Tell her how much she matters to you. I don’t mean this in the generic “Gee, I love ya for yer mom-ness” sense, nor do I mean this in the writing-messages-in-the-sky grand gesture sense (though I’d take it). Find a sincere way to really let her know how much she means to you, and use your words. Whether you say it, write it or sing it, words do go a long way.
And if you know someone who knows Dave Matthews, let me know?