Deciding what I wanted for Mother’s Day was totally stressing me out.
My inbox was chock full of advertisements selling me on what I deserved most for being a mom. My mailbox hadn’t been spared the volume either — between the glossy store flyers and magazine special features, you’d think Mother’s Day was the Superbowl of Hallmark holidays. OK, so it is.
If you believe the numbers from the National Retail Federation (NRF), Mother’s Day is the second most spendy “holiday” after our combined budget blowing on Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
Heck, Mother’s Day is so popular with retailers that the NRF sends me an annual press release on our mommy spending habits — last year each person doled out an average of $152.52 on gifts for mom, with total spending hitting $18.6-billion.
This excited me to no end.
Knowing that my Mother’s Day budget was now set at $152.52 — my tasty piece of the $18.6-billion pie — I wanted to head to the stores to pick the perfect Mother’s Day gift for myself. But being a busy working mom with an even busier 15-month-old daughter, there was no time to hit the mall. So I had to stay home to get my gift buying done. Sigh.
Despite my online shopping limitations, I’d worked hard at being an awesome mom all year so I was gonna milk this “holiday” for all it’s worth.
After going through my various emails, flyers, and a few mom magazine special features, I discovered what I really want for Mother’s Day. I was surprised too.
1. Don’t send me Mother’s Day flowers.
Where to start? A quick browse through my inbox revealed a super pretty “Mother’s Day Gift Ideas” email from Costco. Turns out my favourite warehouse retailer wants me to have flowers on my special day. Like, a lot of flowers.
With bouquets ranging from $49.99 to $54.99 (delivered), my budget would almost allow for all three arrangements, with just a $2.45 overage.
My problem wasn’t the overspending. My issue is that flowers only last for so long before the dang foliage falls to the floor. Who’s gonna clean up that mess? You got it — me, the mom!
So forget the flowers — I’m tired of cleaning floors and I don’t want the extra work. Next.
2. Don’t yank my chain.
The latest edition of Today’s Parent magazine boasts “78 Mother’s Day Gifts” for every mom, whether she’s a “modern day romantic, a food lover, a fashion maven…” Blah, blah, blah, the itemization of mom personality types goes on. Since I’m currently wearing a t-shirt covered in baby boogers and I’m trying to devour a plate of reheated scrambled eggs while bouncing a sick kid on my lap, I’m feeling neither romantic nor fashionable. I’m definitely not loving this reheated food either.
So perhaps browsing this comprehensive list will give me a few gift ideas worthy of uplifting my current disheveled state. Maybe a second set of arms, a box of tissues, and a short-order cook are listed? I could really use the help. I would also love a shower.
What caught my eye though was gift idea #57: The Swarovski Montaigne Black Necklace selling for $430CDN. At this price my budget was fully busted, yes. But have you seen this heavy piece of chained neck jewellery? Wrap it around an ankle, and along with a host of other moms, we’d form a tidy little chain gang hauling kiddlet a$$ around the house. We could form a Conga line and together wipe snotty noses, cook tasteless eggs, and comment on how fashionable we all looked wearing a $430 crystal necklace paired with our stretchy yoga pants.
Don’t get me wrong on the merits of gifting mom with jewellery. I love the sparkly stuff. I just haven’t been able to wear it since my daughter discovered her grabby hands and started pulling on my earrings, poking at my watch, and yanking on my simple gold necklace. I stopped wearing my engagement ring last year ’cause I got tired of digging baby cereal out from between the setting’s claws.
Pretty sparkly things will have to wait until my dearest daughter is older. For now I want something a little more helpful, like a mom Conga line with many extra helpful hands.
3. A kitchen gadget? Forget it!
Kitchen wares and gadgety things can be both affordable and useful. The Today’s Parent gift guide feature happily lists a plethora of widgets and trinkets perfect for your mom’s inner foodie. The most expensive item on the list is the Staub Coq Au Vin Pot selling for $344 — it seems to be a very expensive version of a Le Creuset.
While useful and lovely, here’s the thing about getting cooking wares as a Mother’s Day gift — I don’t want to be told to cook or do chores on my special day. Moms cook enough most days, so perhaps a gift that gives mom a kitchen break is better served than a kitchen gadget? I think so. A clean(er) kitchen would be nice too.
4. I’m skipping breakfast in bed, thanks.
The only thing I want to do in bed is sleep. OK, a little hanky-panky with the hubby is a win too, but only after we “schedule” the sexy times after the kid goes to sleep and before she wakes again. Scheduling $ex is much harder than it sounds — all parents with young kids know this. Getting some decent sleep is nearly impossible too, especially after your spawn learns how to escape their crib. They should make lids for those crib things, BTW. Fun times.
5. Don’t slather me with smelly stuff.
Stores like The Body Shop and Fruits & Passion must make a killing on Mother’s Day. The speciality bundled baskets for mom sure are pretty, but am I really going to clean myself with something called the “CHOCOMANIA™ SHOWER SET?” I don’t think so.
I’d rather just have a regular daily shower without being interrupted by a crying kid or a diaper change. Saying this, I can’t remember the last day I had time to shower. All moms experience this, right?
The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift
With my Mother’s Day budget of $152.52 still firmly intact, I decided nothing in the consumer-driven marketplace could satisfy my picky mom whim. I could not be tempted by the most popular gifts of flowers, jewellery, kitchen gadgets, breakfast, and smelly things.
So what do I want most for Mother’s Day?
For starters this thing cannot be bought, sold, or bartered. It’s needed by everyone, and without it we moms, humans even, can get really grumpy. This thing won’t cost a fortune, and may just put a smile on mom’s face. Sound good? Good!
Dear Husband and Family: All I want for Mother’s Day this year is SLEEP. Sleep, glorious sleep. Sleeping in until 7AM would be a super delicious bonus. Clean floors would be pretty awesome, too.
Fathers and families of the world — I just saved you $152.52. 🙂
Yes, all mothers experience a lack of shower and sleep time. I usually quickly showered with a baby in a bouncy seat next to the shower. Haha I almost forgot. Now I get lots of sleep, but have no sweet little baby to cuddle and smile with. Love that picture of you and your precious one.
HA! I am totally with you there! To get sleep, though, I have to have this baby! I hate the last couple of weeks of pregnancy. 🙂
The “gift” I request from my family each year, is for them to plan and make Sunday lunches for the whole month of May. We don’t get home from church until about 12:30, on Sundays, and I have about 10 minutes to whip up a fabulous Sunday lunch for the 5 of us. While I enjoy cooking, this just seems like rushed work each week.
I think if you find the one aspect of daily life that seems like “work” for mom, and give doing that job as your gift, your “mom” will be very grateful. And yes, you’re right, it doesn’t have to cost a cent. (But if they want to throw in some dark chocolate nicely wrapped, I’ll be happy with that, too!)
I somehow knew, before I read your post, that you were going to want sleep more than anything else.
My beautiful 9.5 month old boy, who slept 10 hours/night from age 3 months to 7 months, started teething. He has gotten 10 teeth in about 10 weeks.
The last 3 nights I have gotten 9, 8, and 8 hours of sleep. I haven’t slept more than 5 straight hours 3 nights in a row since January. I feel so refreshed!
Enjoy your lack of sleep and your wee one. My sons are now in their twenties and while I can sleep when I want, snuggle time is gone. My favorite Mother’s Day gifts were the hand made artwork (even toddler scribble art) made and given with love.
My kids are all grown up and living elsewhere. Last year I had 1 grown-up kid living with us, so I asked him and my husband for a raised strawberry bed for Mothers’ Day. This is something I can’t manage to make. They made a beautiful 3 foot high 4 foot wide 12 feet long bed and filled it with soil and compost. I added 2 bunches of purchased strawberry plants that cost $20. We already had some crop all of last summer and have great hopes for lots more this year! This was a great gift because it kept on giving! Home grown strawberries – yum!
For years I had requested “peace and quiet,” but never received it!
Agreed- Sleep is the best gift for mother’s day! Now if only I could communicate that to our three month old…For my first mother’s day, I asked for a family photo session as we have no pictures of all of us (we’re really bad with taking photos). I figure some family photos make the perfect gift for us and the grandparents!
I can remember those days vividly when all my wife wanted was sleep. Now she wants other things but happiness for our children is still tops on her list.
Kerry, your comment about not wanting to be told to cook or do chores on my special day reminded me of the opening of this (long) commercial for JC Penney’s jewelry department…
Happy Mother’s Day!
Silvereggplant, I’m with you — I want pics, too. Sleep is also nice but eventually they sleep more and pictures with all of us in them are more rare than sleep in our house. Will also request “a lock on the bathroom door that works” this year.
I hope you get your well-deserved “me time” on Mother’s Day.
Sleep is the most precious thing you could get when you have a new baby! That, and as much help with household chores as possible. When my kids were older, I loved it when they would make coupons for me for extra jobs they would do. Sometimes I just saved the coupon for sentimental reasons.
You know, I’m coming into the conversation late, but …..
My husband, whom I love to distraction, and my kids, I love them to distraction too, could never, ever, ever, understand why I always wanted them, not me, to pack up and go see Grandma for Mother’s Day (preferably beginning the night before). Don’t buy me a card or a gift, don’t take me to dinner, and deciding that the family would get together at our house for Mother’s Day would mean you sleep on the couch. My daughter’s get it now because they are mother’s themselves; the hubs still doesn’t get it.
And yes, cleaning the floors, or house, before they left would have been the bonus of all bonuses.
This year was my wife’s first mother’s day so there was no skipping gifts. See was really happy though to sleep in and this year we actually have 4 generations in one photo. A lovely day indeed. Flowers and candy nothing my wife wants. I do believe next year she will be asking to SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP as well.