A goldfish cracker fell out of my bra this week. I bent over in the kitchen and plop! Out it tumbled onto the wooden floor. I stared at it intently. Had anyone even eaten goldfish that day? No. They hadn’t. I don’t think any other moment has made me feel more like a mother than that one.
All moms have had goldfish in their bra kinds of days. Motherhood is messy and filled with struggle. After all the boo boos are kissed and the stains pre-treated (who does this?) moms are left with one day a year when we rightly sing their praises. I’m talking of course about Mother’s Day, a greeting card industry scam perpetrated in cahoots with the brunch industry.
Moms are amazing the whole year through, and they deserve more than a fake holiday to honor them. They do it all and they ask nothing in return, except maybe for some love and respect, and also that you pick your damn clothes up off the floor. I say it’s high time we start appreciating moms the other 364 days a year. With that in mind, here are the top five gifts you can give the moms in your life to make everyday feel like Mother’s Day.
1. The Gift of Knowledge
What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and repeat college. All of those opportunities to learn and grow were placed right at my feet, and I spent most of my time partying. Not that I didn’t genuinely have a blast, because I did, but I didn’t take my academics seriously until I was older. I was too young and spoiled to appreciate the chance to be a scholar. Today, I relish any opportunity to learn.
I know a lot of women like me who crave information. So yes, by all means visit that local bookstore and get me a gift card. Or perhaps even get a library card in my name. How sweet! But to make it a little more fancy, you can take that extra step and get me that pottery class? I have always wanted to take one of those Master Classes they are constantly advertising to me on facebook. That would be an awesome gift. What’s happening at the local adult school? Maybe you as my partner offer to watch the kids for the next ten Wednesday nights while I study Mandarin in our high school Spanish classroom. That would be aces. Or maybe it’s just that you get the kids into PJ’s and I get to spend a half hour devouring that history book I have been reading. There are any number of ways to get mom to get her learn on. What’s important is the intention.
2. The Gift of Time
We all want it more than anything. The time to savor life’s sweetest moments. Or even just the simplest ones. This is when you hire the sitter and let mom have some “her time.” Or maybe you take the kids out on an outing yourself, or stay home with them and send mom off on her own adventure. In either case, this is alone time and it is essential for your well-being so says me and a bunch of other experts who I’m not going to list right now. Suffice it to say that I speak from experience. Give mom the gift of time for herself. She needs it. And if you’re wondering if this is the perfect gift, maybe check out 5 Signs You Need a Parenting Break and act accordingly. (Hint: She Probably Does)
3. The Gift of Self-Care
Sure, a lovely lotion or some sweet smelling soap are both pleasant enough gifts. But why not treat mom to the care that she deserves. You can bust out the big guns and the big bucks with a spa gift certificate or gift card for a mani/pedi at a local salon. Or even better why not allow mom the TIME to get to that yoga class? Or give her that hand sweet massage yourself. Is mom a gym nut? Maybe hiring a sitter so she can make that weekly pilates class is the way to go. Even a hike together at a local park or preserve is enough to show mom that you care about her and are willing to go the extra mile. Literally.
We all know parenting is hard and sometimes mom needs a little reminder (push?) that among a plethora of other things, Self Care is a great (and important) way to Cope with Parenting Stress and Anxiety
4. The Gift of Culture
This can be a hard one depending on where you live. If you are in a big city culture is easier to find, as there are museums and galleries galore to choose from. But thanks to COVID, culture is just a Zoom room away. Give mom tickets to that online reading by that actor she loves, and then allow her the TIME to watch it. Are you sensing a theme here? All of these gifts require the necessary time needed to savor the experiences. Time, the ultimate luxury.
Maybe live music is more mom’s jam. Or a public reading at a local book shop. As our artists begin to make their voices heard again, more and more opportunities will be opening up for public performances. Get those vaccinations and get mom out there! It’s important for her to remember her identity as a parent because guess what? She wasn’t born with the name mom (*gasp*).
5. The Gift of Cultivation
Not everyone enjoys gardening like I do. Putting my hands into fresh soil, even if it’s just repotting a plant feels like nothing else. But all moms can benefit from some time spent savoring the fruits of the earth. Does your mom love to cook? Maybe a subscription to one of those meal delivery services is the ticket to her heart. How about a local CSA membership? Or even just a stroll through a local orchard or farm during picking time. One year my husband built me gardening containers with his own two hands. All that it required was some lumber and some hard work, but it meant so much to me. The best gives are those that allow mom to explore the world that she loves. Or maybe just hire that sitter and give her the chance to take a nap!