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10 Gifts Mom Won’t Just Pretend to Love

10 gifts

I have previously mentioned we will not be celebrating Mother’s Day in my household this year. I swore off the holiday, but that doesn’t mean the rest of my fellow mothers should suffer through another year of moderately adequate gifts and feigned delight.

This is for all the moms who are hoping to finally get a gift that is worthy of their sacrifice, and for all the supportive partners and children who really want to show their mothers that they appreciate them.

What Mom Doesn’t Want:

For most parents having their daily efforts to keep their children alive (while not losing their minds) acknowledged is, in and of itself, HUGE. Which means that at the very least a super sincere, “Thanks for raising me properly, and I love you!” is probably the best gift a parent can get.

Note the use of the word sincere. You can’t pay lip service to a parent’s sacrifice. This will only serve to infuriate them, and make them feel worthless, which runs opposite to the desired purpose of celebrating Mother’s or Father’s Day.

But just in case you were planning on getting mom something more this year, here are some things she doesn’t really want:

  • Breakfast in bed. We want breakfast, but on our own schedule. Honestly, a quiet, solitary breakfast is the best. It is far more appreciated than one that requires balancing a plate while trying not to tip over coffee as the wee ones shower us with love, kisses, elbow jabs and too close crowding for early morning sanity.
  • Another hand-made popsicle stick picture frame/or any other crafty dust gathering object. Love the art, love the effort, but if your goal is to wow mom, save that for a random Tuesday show of appreciation.
  • An over crowded, over priced, underwhelming Mother’s Day Special restaurant outing. Going out to eat with kids on any day is stressful, but suddenly what could have been a laid back Sunday (with some peace an quiet) becomes another occasion to rush everyone to a restaurant and argue about being on your best behavior. Furthermore, Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants. This means that any meal will involve over-worked waiters, surrounded by yelling children and too long waits for mediocre food.
  • Random gifts. We don’t want random gifts. We don’t want you spending your money just to prove you love us. If you know there is something we have really been jonesing for, then go ahead and buy it, otherwise save your money.
    I was trying to do some research for this post and took a look at some of the things others said were ‘perfect Mother’s Day gifts’ and all I could think was that marketers out there have no idea what your moms want. Business Insider seems to think I would like some bed linens, or cast iron cookware. Seventeen is convincing teenagers to buy me a passport cover, a nightie or jewelry. Good Housekeeping thinks that giving me a floral apron, sunglasses or chocolate bark will effectively communicate your appreciation. None of those say “I love you and I appreciate you.”

A Mother’s Dream Come True:

What most mothers – and I am sure fathers – want is to know that you truly get that being a parent can suck, but that you (the kid) are one of the highlights of our lives, and therefore you make it all worthwhile. So what can you do for us on Mother’s Day:

  1. A sincere love letter. A true profession of love, gratitude and understanding is probably the best gift. It can be written, acted out, filmed, or sang. It doesn’t really matter how the information is presented if it is honest and authentic. Random store bought cards with generic messages won’t do.
  2. Mother's dayPeace and quiet. We love you. We love you so much, but for Mother’s Day we’d appreciate if you disappeared for at least two and a half hours (or more) and leave us in a quiet, calm, preferably clean house with no responsibilities and no chores to do.
  3. All meals ordered in and nothing to prep or clean that day – including Monday morning’s lunch boxes. For most parents, planning three daily meals is tedious at best and painful at worst. This is especially true if you don’t rely on processed foods to feed your family. Having every meal ready, and being able to guarantee a clean kitchen post meal would be WONDERFUL!
  4. Do the laundry. All six loads of it, washed, folded and put away in the appropriate drawers, closets and shelves. Doing the laundry and not putting it away is like buying mom a cake when she’s on a diet; nice thought, but a huge letdown.
  5. Hire someone to come and do a deep cleaning of the house promptly that Monday. Even better , have them come on Saturday (early gift) so that when you leave mom home alone for those two and a half hours she doesn’t feel compelled to clean the place.
  6. 24-48 hours of doing all the little things she begs you to do on an average day. This would include putting the toilet seat down, wiping the rim of urine, squeezing the toothpaste tube properly, putting your clothes directly in the hamper, picking-up your toys (partners this goes for you too), putting your plates away, undoing the dishwasher, doing what you are told the first time she asks, taking the trash out, giving her five minutes of peace and quiet, or keeping your outside voice outside….
  7. Flowers, yes many of us really do love flowers, but please not the generic (often overpriced on Mother’s Day) bouquet. Think of your mom’s favorite flowers and work with those. If your budget is tight, don’t underestimate the pleasure of a single beautiful flower or a home picked bouquet (I would recommend pairing the flowers with the love letter. On their own they might seem a bit lazy).
  8. Hugs and kisses. I don’t mean to be cheesy here, but physical contact and a real cuddle is pretty amazing. This goes for the smaller kids if they can sit still, and is especially appreciated from the older teens who tend to treat physical contact with their makers on par with making-out with a leper.
  9.  A night out with their best friend. Touch base with one or more of mom’s really good friends and get them to organize a night out together. This is a winner kids/partners! The friend is really doing all the work, while you reap the benefits of being the thoughtful one who found a way to grant mom the special treat of undisturbed adult time with a favorite person.
  10. The chance to get back in touch with who they are outside of being mom. I would be remiss if I didn’t add this here. The Thriving Parent Package (TPP) is an AWESOME gift for Mother’s Day, as are the LīF Kits. Both are designed to help busy, driven and deserving individuals (that would be mom) rediscover who they are, create priorities and goals that are right for them and thrive. And for a short time (midnight on Sunday May 8th) I’m taking $10 off of the TPP and $25 off the LīF Kits. No need for a coupon or a special code, just click this link (or the image below) to get the discount.

mother's day

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Hi! I'm Dr. Alessandra Wall

I help smart driven women and forward-thinking companies bridge the gap & build real conversations.

Here on the ‘Dr. Wall Says’, I share tools, tips, and insights about speaking up, getting heard and how women can take up space and thrive in the 21st century.



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