Mother’s are a hard bunch either they say, “I’ll I want is to spend time with you” or they already have everything they ever wanted like my mom. And sure you can buy her another gift certificate for a mani pedi and I’m sure she’ll appreciate it. But just in case you really are looking for a better option this year I have some ideas for you. I also have some words for you if you and your mom are not in the best place at the moment, those mother-daughter relationships are hard and mother’s day can put a lot of pressure on them. I usually get the same thing for my mom every year, a shrub or a tree, and if you can find something like this I really recommend it. So here are some ideas that you might be able to build into a tradition that reoccurs year after year.
The gift of time
If your mom really does want you and your time for a present you should do your best to make it special for her. In the past, when it was more important to my mom I always went to church with her on mother’s day even though I am decidedly not a believer. During that time if often meant driving home from a neighbouring province where I was attending university. That’s something you could do with your mom if would mean a lot to her but it’s not your only option. What if you made her a picnic every year instead of taking her out to lunch. In years it rains there’s no reason you can’t picnic on the living room floor. If that’s not your thing what about a long walk, a trip to the beach or spending time with her learning family history (and maybe recording it) recipes or something she loves to do. If your going to give her the gift of time make it more special than brunch. This year I’m working on getting my mom (and stepdad) into running in their 60’s. Though it’s not strictly a Mother’s Day gift. Maybe there is a passion of yours you can ‘gift’ to your mom. PS babysitting the grandkids doesn’t count.
Buy her something she wouldn’t get herself
Some moms can’t help but sacrifice for others. Maybe your mom doesn’t have the means or maybe its just the motivation to treat themselves. Now this isn’t my mom but there are a lot of moms out there that just never ever do for themselves. If you have this kind of mom while congratulations this makes mother’s day a bit easier for you. Do you have a mom who loves to bake for others but is still using a hand mixer from the 80’s buy her a kitchen aid stand mixer. If she loves to garden and buys her tools at the dollar store get her a great set from Lee Valley. Is she still using an iPhone 4, get her an x (okay maybe an 8). If it’s a big enough present you might have to get your other siblings in on the action too or maybe you’ll have to make sacrifices, after all she always did it for you. Also you might have to tell her you can’t return it since you bought it online, lost the receipt or forgot where you bought it on final sale, you choose, when she says it’s too much.
Set up a tradition
This is what I do with my mom because I’ve found something she loves, that she uses and while she doesn’t really need it I think she appreciates it. My mom has this big, almost acer lot and ever square inch of it is perfectly manicured. I would say that it was like something out of a magazine but it’s way better than that. Magazines also focus on easy, affordable and manageable and her yard is just stunning no matter where you look. Every year I buy her a special, unique or new cultivar of shrub or tree and I’ve been doing that most years for about a decade. All year long I look and ask about customer’s plants and track down my favourite for my mom. Now when she walks me around the yard, which she does at least twice a year, she shows me how beautiful all of those plants have become as they matured. It’s also a bit of a metaphor for our relationship too but I’ll leave that one alone.
Of course it doesn’t have to be plants but if you can find something like this with your mom not only will your life be easier you’ll establish a tradition that she looks forward too. If you’re both readers what about a stack of books you’ve been keeping track of all year for her? Does your mom love heels, purses or statement necklaces, bring her a new one on mother’s day. You could also combine this idea of a reoccurring gift with the idea of the gift of time if you like. It’s nice to have a reoccurring theme for a couple of reasons and in a few situations. It’s nice because once you hit on the right thing you both look forward to it. It’s also good if you have a difficult mother or a difficult relationship with your mother it become a safe doable option during difficult times. It’s not pretty but every relationship is different and for some mother’s day can be tough if so a reoccurring safe option can take some steps out of the day.
Something that will genuinely make her (and maybe your) life easier
Is there something out there you are aware of that would genuinely make your mom’s like easier. For me one year it was an iPad. At work my mom used a PC but she also had an assistant, a tech team and she was their boss’ boss. She also had no interest in learning how to make computers work and was spoiled when she worked. I got my sister in on this one and it counted for Christmas too but we got her an iPad and a wireless printer. It was somewhat self serving as she would often call me frustrated with her computer and I’d try to walk her through it and often drive out to her house to fix it. But this could take on other iterations too. Is she having a hard time with the buttons on the security system, get the company to come out and set her up with a fob instead. Is you mom still working a lot and not backing up her data the way she should? Get her a time capsule that does it automatically every night. Not eating the way she should, could you set her up with a service like hello fresh? As younger, hipper, more in then know youngsters we might know of things that would make your mom’s life easier that she might not be aware of, so hook her up!
Have you figured out the key to success for mother’s day? What traditions have you fallen into that work for you and your mom? Or if you’re a mom what would the perfect gift be for you?