Mother's Day Gift Ideas
Mothers Day is coming up, and it’s the time where everyone celebrates the person who helped give them life. The person who tucked them in at night, packed their lunch every day and kissed away the scrapes and bruises.
It’s hard to put into words our actual appreciation for our moms, even as a mom myself. Being a mom is the hardest, dirtiest, exhausting job on the planet. There is no training available, no manual or guidebook, no direct set of rules. And each season is different. From newborns, to toddlers, elementary age, middle school, teenagers… and I’m sure adulthood is just as difficult- I’m just not there yet! So- reach out to those mamas in each of those seasons, because they need you differently. Here’s some ideas for gifts for all those stages:
Newborn: New moms are exhausted. They aren’t sleeping, they probably aren’t eating great. They have this tiny being who can’t tell you what’s wrong and you have to guess what they need by their crying. And sometimes they cry for no reason. And that’s just if you have 1 kid. Throwing older kids in the mix makes it even harder.
Gift Idea: Hold that sweet baby for an hour so mama can take a shower and get herself dressed. Or make dinner and then clean up. Do her laundry and fold it. Go do errands with her. Take the baby so she can go do errands alone. Don’t ask what she’d like you to do- just go do it. Don’t tell her how she should cherish every moment because it goes by so fast. She knows, she just tired and the days are long and the years are short.
Toddler: Ah, the age where they need to touch you and be near you ever single second of every single day. If it doesn’t involve cartoons or preschool songs you aren’t aware that it’s even a thing. What? Taylor Swift has a new song out? No idea. But Paw Patrol has a new jam. The endless where’s the sippy cup game. Where are your pants? Please just put shoes on. Don’t lick that. Please stop touching me. And children who think their name is “No.”
Gift Idea: Take her out to lunch, kid free. Or take her kid for an hour and let her go to lunch herself. Stop by and sit on the couch with her and watch Mickey Mouse on an endless loop. Laugh with her when the hot dog dance comes on. Right now she’s in the toddler trenches, and it can be an ugly place. Drop by with lunch from her favorite spot, that she can eat warm and doesn’t consist of cut up chicken nuggets and halved grapes. Start a book with pictures and cute phrases that her child says.
Elementary Age: Moms in this stage are tired. Pinterest is ruining everything. LOL. I’m guilty of trying to keep up with everything and create that perfect valentine’s day box worthy of Martha Stewart so that my kid doesn’t feel less than. (I’m over that now. My kids this year went with a cereal box with some hearts taped on it.) Or being at every school event, party, celebration or volunteering. Forget to mention the fact that they are worried about how much nutrition their kid is actually getting, is someone being mean to their child? Are they learning at the right pace? Are they behaving in school? Why do we never have gloves? Or socks? Where do they all go? Motherhood in this stage feels like a huge competition as to who is the “best” mom.
Gift ideas: Pictures of your house on a regular day. The ones when there are dishes in the sink, a mountain of clean unfolded laundry on the couch, back packs thrown around. 16 pairs of shoes in the doorway. Take her out to coffee after the kids get on the bus, laugh about how insane your schedules are. Drop off dinner, kid friendly with at least 3 choices so no one complains. (don’t worry- they will anyways) Swing by with a bottle of wine on a Friday night, chat on the porch together.
Middle School Age: This, I think, is one of the hardest. Middle Schoolers are awfully mean to each other. Everything is the worst, you are dumb, things that they once loved aren’t fun anymore, none of their clothes that fit yesterday fit today. Eye rolls and heavy sighs are their most common form of communication. But yet- they are still little kids who need love and attention and even though they fight it, they still want you to hug them and praise them.
Gift Ideas: Offer to do a pickup/drop off Mom Taxi day. I think I drive at least 50 miles a day in Mom Taxi. Wash those kids stinky socks, or deodorize their shoes. Share funny stories back and forth with how you managed to ruin your kids day- yes, I’ve ruined someone’s day by just asking if they brushed their teeth. Bring dinner to the ball field and watch a baseball game together.
Teenagers: Its tough parenting kids who are way bigger than you. Have you ever tried to get after a 6’1 boy who left his school bag all over the floor and you tripped on it even though you told him 6 times to pick it up? Or being there through their first heartache? Not to mention the endless activities, that usually cost $5/person to go watch. The texts that they forgot something and can you please bring it? Or- the I need more money in my lunch account, because they eat 2 lunches every day. The worrying about the friends they have, and they trouble they might get in. Worrying about their grades and what the future looks like. The worry is more than when they were newborns and all you were trying to do was survive. And then comes the heartache. You look at them and you see a man where a chubby little face once was. You ride in the car while they learn to drive, and then you watch your heart pull down the driveway to go to the movies with their friends. This little person who once fit from your elbow to your hand now towers over you and laughs at your inappropriate jokes.
Gift Idea: Pick her up and take her out to dinner while the teen has her car. Reminisce about being a teenager yourself. Remind her that she’s doing a good job. Put together a picture book through the years of her child growing. Include hand prints or funny stories. Replenish the snack cupboard for her. Bring her a hot coffee and a good book. A punch card to get into her kids’ schools sporting events.
When your mom friends are in the depths of the trenches of whatever stage they are at- reach out. See them. High five them in passing. But if you are reading this list and you’re still not sure what do get those special moms in your life. Flowers and coffee are always good.