In most households, the lady of the house is in charge of remembering birthdays, holidays and other events that require planning and gift giving. On holidays where she is to be on the receiving end of the gifting, she may get an “I owe you” or be victim to a hasty last-minute purchase or decision.
I polled mothers of various ages on what they would like to receive this Mother’s Day, and their responses included a stylish diaper bag, a single-serve coffee maker, a day without laundry or cooking, and simply time – time for themselves, time to do something fun, time to rest. Here were the prevalent themes:
The No. 1 response had to do with catching up on some sleep. Moms want time to take a nap, sleep in or simply get six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. There is a catch though: in order for mom to be willing to take a much-needed siesta, you have to take some tasks off of her never-ending to-do list so that she doesn’t feel guilty for taking that overdue snooze.
Moms LOVE cute, professional pictures of their children and family. Sadly, husbands and children do not always cooperate on this initiative and/or they only comply after a significant amount of grumbling, making the overall experience less enjoyable. Suck it up, wear the matching oxfords and smile like you mean it! Maybe surprise her with a backyard photo session on the date of her choosing.
Who doesn’t love brunch, especially when you can dine outside? Give Mom a break from the kitchen and take her to a fun brunch spot. Be mindful of the timing, as these places fill up fast on the weekends. To be safe, you should make a reservation at least a week ahead of time.
Even if she doesn’t leave the house, having a couple of hours to do whatever she wants is great for her sanity. Coordinate a babysitter or get the kids out of her hair so that she can run errands, shop, organize, meditate, workout, meet up with the girls, go on a date, or do whatever she wants to do.
A clean house
It is difficult (and by difficult, I mean impossible) to keep a house clean, especially when children, dogs, and cats reside in said house. Engage the other household members in a cleaning day while Mom is out enjoying one of the fun activities listed in this article. Do a serious deep clean – I’m talking windows, toilets, baseboards, the works -- or engage a cleaning service that will do this for you. Maybe purchase a monthly “subscription” to a cleaning service for a few months or once a quarter to help keep the house in order.
Many moms said that they would like a simple, classic piece of jewelry with their children’s initials on it. Check websites like Pinterest or Etsy to get ideas. Trick of the trade – a good way to collect valuable information on the Mom in your life is to “follow” her on Pinterest. This way, you will see everything on Pinterest that has caught her eye and really choose a gift that suits her.
Peace and primping
Moms tend to be busy people who put their needs and wants after everyone else’s. Treat her to a trip to the nail salon, a massage or a facial. She will have some time to relax and will come out feeling like a new woman! If she is a social lady, book the appointment with one or two of her gal pals so she can enjoy the primping and much-needed friend time. Don’t just make the appointment, pull out all the stops! Have a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries brought in, pre-pay and tip well. Side note – whatever you do, never complain about how expensive these experiences are in her presence.
If you are not familiar with this term, it basically means that you go to a salon and have someone wash and style your hair for you. Have you ever noticed that the mom in your life is much happier after getting her hair freshly styled? This is because it always looks better when she leaves the salon and she can never get it to look that way on her own. Plus, it is super relaxing to have someone wash your hair while you read gossip magazines and sip white wine. This is also a thoughtful bonus on the day of the photo session listed above.
Recognition and quality time
By this I simply mean recognition of all that she does for the family. Being a mom can be a thankless job at times, so let her know that you appreciate all that she does and make her feel special! Gather the gang and treat her to a family outing that you are all excited to participate in and that she did not have to plan.
To all of the husbands, partners and kids out there, this is all you need to wow the mom in your life.
Jamie Bosse, CFP, RFC is a financial planner at KHC Wealth Management. She is an active member of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City.