Mother’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re like most people who are not moms, you haven’t gotten anything yet for your mother. If you’re like most children of moms, you probably have no idea what to get your mother for this totally made up holiday and have resorted to asking your mother what she wants.

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Please don’t ask me what I want for Mother’s Day!

Mostly because I don’t know what I want and of the things I do want, they’re probably not doable. 

When I was a kid my brother and I would ask my dad what he wanted for Father’s Day. I know we’re talking about Mother’s Day here, but my mom was easy to shop for so we never bothered to ask her what she wanted. Dad was a different story. He was impossible to shop for because he already had a bazillion ties and the last one we bought for him had the eye chart on it so there wasn’t going to be a better tie after that.

His response was always the same:

“I want for you two to be good.”

Ha! As if that were even a remote possibility. 

“No, really dad, what do you want?” 

He’d just shake his head and walk away.

I really want a Mercedes GLE SUV, and I’d settle for a brand new Tahoe, but odds are neither of those are in the cards. 

“C’mon mom, what do you want that’s a little more reasonable?” they’ll ask.

“Okay, how about you pick up your rooms?” I ask… hopefully.

We all start laughing because I’ve been asking for that one for years now and I know better. And, yes I finally understand where my dad was coming from….sigh.

Now if you have younger kids, say under the age of 10, Mother’s Day gifts are easy, and usually you aren’t asked at this point because art teachers have stepped in and helped them create some of the most beautiful macaroni jewelry of all time. I say this not the least bit sarcastically. I love every single piece of semolina jewelry I’ve received over the years – best gifts ever because they were made with nothing but love and loads of paste.

As kids get older, they still want to shower you with materialistic love, but it’s more challenging now because they have no taste in the finer things and they have no money. While I have certainly loved the sentiment and love behind every gift my children have given me, I really didn’t want a figurine of Rick Grimes, no matter how much I love The Walking Dead. Certainly not one that costs $20 (my $20 mind you), but couldn’t be worth more than $1.50 of plastic and marketing.

Please don’t ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, because I’m still trying to figure out what to get my mother for Mother’s Day. My mother used to be easy to shop for – she loved anything we got her – usually monogrammed stick pins from Dayton’s because those were a thing back then. Now, she’s in a home, convinced I work for Trump and is always slightly pissed off at me. I end up getting her a balloon because it doesn’t have to take up valuable real estate on her dresser, and she can see it at the end of her bed. Also, they last for weeks. 

Please don’t ask me what I want for Mother’s Day because it’s just one more thing I have to decide and I haven’t had the bandwidth to do that in a while now. Emotional labor is a real thing and it’s women of the world who are carrying the heavy loads, especially if they are mothers. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer in a relatively light hearted post, but sometimes just making decisions that your mom normally would make can be the greatest gift. 

So kids, here’s a quick and dirty guide of what most moms would be happy to receive on Mother’s Day*:

Breakfast in Bed

As long as you clean up the mess in the kitchen before she gets out of bed.

Brunch at a Nice Restaurant

Probably too late to make reservations this year, but save this for next year. All moms want to be taken out for brunch by their kids. You can’t lose with this one. Everyone gets to eat a nice meal, mom doesn’t have to clean any dishes or get the house ready for visitors. Dad might have to foot the bill on this one.


This is a tricky one because buying appliances that help with housework is really not the kind of gift moms want. If you really want to help with housework, do it yourself or hire someone to come in and do it so mom doesn’t have to. Roombas are different because they’re like toys, especially if you have cats or other small pets. I still want a Roomba really badly, and I am sure other mothers out there do too.

Gift Certificates

If mom likes shoes get her a gift certificate to DSW or her favorite department store or shoe store. Does Ferragamo have gift certificates? No, they do not, that’s a missed opportunity on their part. Get mom a gift certificate for her favorite spa, nail salon, or hell even just the movies. 

Clean out the Gutters

This is for bigger kids, my son has been cleaning out my gutters for a while now and it’s almost better than the macaroni frame magnet he made of himself when he was 5, almost. In addition to doing something that desperately needs to be done, I also don’t have to spend time and energy researching someone to hire. This is a huge win.

Spend Time with Mom

At this point in my life I want to fill my time with experiences rather than things (Mercedes aside), spend time with mom on this special day – make lasting memories and take lots of selfies with mom (ask before posting on social media). 

“I Love You”

Most importantly, tell your mom how much you love her. This is all any mom wants to hear on Mother’s Day, or any day for that matter. It doesn’t have to be in the way of a fancy card, just tell her.

*not to be confused with my Worst Mother’s Day Gifts Ever post.