There’s one Mother’s Day gift that pretty much all moms are guaranteed to love and desperately need, but chances are they’re not going to ask for it.
Sure, brunch is nice. So are jewelry and flowers. And no mom can resist an adorable hand-painted craft or card.
But what moms want, especially with kids living at home, is to rest. A proper time-out. A siesta, a break, a hiatus.
As a mom of two young kids, who spends a lot of time chatting with other moms, I know this to be true. It comes up year after year. Every time a mom friend talks about what they really want for Mother’s Day, some type of break sits at the top of the list.
The most overworked and tired moms might want a proper vacation from their entire family, a few days where they don’t have to take care of anyone.
Other moms just want a break from doing chores or feeding people for a few hours.
In fact, a recent survey of more than 1,000 mothers found that the majority of moms just want a few hours to take a nap.
According to time2play.com’s Mother’s Day survey, naps were the most sought-after gift. The second-most desirable gift, they found, was food that they don’t have to cook or clean up, and the third was help with chores.
“It turns out moms don’t want a vacuum, they want someone to vacuum,” time2play.com wrote.
They also asked moms that if there was the option to take a full day off from their families, would they?
Unsurprisingly, a majority said “yes” — 67 per cent, in fact.
However, that’s not to say all moms are the same. Not every mom may want or need a days-long break.
But, I can guarantee, all moms want some kind of respite, in some form.
To help you out, here’s a few last-minute, completely free Mother’s Day gifts that anyone with a mother (or who lives with a mother, or who knows a mother) can give to the special mom in their life. And the best part is, these ideas don’t cost a dime.
It bears repeating. Moms want to sleep.
Let mom sleep in, or take the kids out of the house for a few hours so she can catch a restorative nap.
Get up with the baby or toddler in the middle of the night and tell mom to keep snoozing. If you love her, let her sleep.
Maybe she’s not craving sleep, but chances are she would appreciate some alone time spent doing…whatever.
She might want to read a book, or watch a movie, or work on a hobby. Maybe she’ll meet up with a friend, or take a long walk, or climb a mountain.
It really doesn’t matter what she decides to do with her time, the luxury of having a few hours to herself with nothing to do and no one to attend to is gift enough.
Moms are usually the ones that keep the family’s home life in order, managing and shouldering the so-called “emotional labour” of the family.
Making lists, planning holidays, activities and parties, keeping up on who needs new clothes and what sizes they wear are a few examples of the unpaid tasks that most often fall to moms.
It’s no secret that there’s a housework gender gap, too, with women, on average, performing two more hours of daily chores than men.
This year, give her a break from all of the chores and lists and the mental load that sits firmly in the back of her brain.
Offer to do whatever it is that she usually takes care of, be it grocery shopping, laundry, or cleaning out the kids’ closets. Take her car to get detailed or get the kids to clean their rooms. Don’t let her lift a finger for the day.
A day free of decision-making
Another top-notch idea is clearing mom’s plate of any decisions for the day. Decision fatigue is something that plagues a lot of moms (heck, choosing what to make for dinner every single day can be overwhelming), so make it a day where she doesn’t have to decide anything.
Pick out the kids’ clothes, come up with the day’s meals, decided the brunch restaurant, etc. Don’t ask her to make any important decisions — take control of the day and let her enjoy the freedom of going with the flow.
Mother’s Day can be a bit of a juggling act for moms, who might also have their own moms to celebrate, or big family events they’re required to attend.
This is where an old fashioned IOU comes in handy. Promise her some alone time down the road, on a day and time of her choosing. The flexibility and something to look forward to will be appreciated.
Any of the above suggestions make a great gift, because what so many moms want for Mother’s Day is to be acknowledged for all they do.
Giving mom time to relax on her special day is such a loving way to show you notice and appreciate her hard work and all the caring details she manages on a daily basis.
And, a note to moms: sometimes the people we love and care for can be a bit — ahem — obtuse to our emotional needs. So don’t feel guilty or bad for asking for what you want.
It is completely acceptable to eat your breakfast in bed, accept your Mother’s Day gift, and then kick everyone out of the house for the day.