A Rebuttal to The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Guide (from a Mom)

mother's day

Help kids with an easy activity for Mother’s Day to allow them to express love in their own words.

I have to give credit to the men who make efforts at gift giving. But I have to shake my head a bit at why they make it so hard on themselves to channel their loving thoughts into a gift for their significant other on Mother’s Day, birthday, Christmas, etc.

Dads Round Table contributor Brandon P. Duncan put out a post about what to gift the lady in your life this Mother’s Day. While it’s not horribly compiled, I suggest men stick with offering ideas of what they’d want for Father’s Day and let the women speak for themselves. To his post, I offer this rebuttal.

1) Domestic tools ARE acceptable.

Sure, this isn’t 1956 and no woman wants a random vacuum picked out of the store at the 11th hour. This has to be done with thought and care. What women want is something that speaks to our expressed wants and needs. Have a lady who loves coffee and looking to scale back her Starbucks habit? An espresso maker or Keurig is a great kitchen gadget. How about a woman who spends more hours on Pinterest and wants to expand her craft? Kitchen-Aid mixers and Dremel tools can be incredibly thoughtful gifts for the right woman. The key here is focus. And splurging on something she hasn’t felt comfortable in buying for herself is bound to be appreciated.

2) Flowers are not a gift.

Flowers are an easy out, aren’t they fellas? You can grab a handful of roses and carnations at nearly any corner store, and you pat yourself on the back for it. I challenge you to go beyond the safety net that is over-played flowers. Save these for that late night errand to the grocery store when you’re grabbing milk and diapers. That will be the impact you are searching for.

IF you insist on the traditional floral gift, please, please, PLEASE use the utmost thought and care at your selection. I guarantee you that something other than roses will be much more welcomed. Consider stopping by a farmer’s market and buying a seasonal bouquet, or purchasing a potted floral option… perhaps a lilac in bloom that she can plant in the garden and enjoy for years to come?

3) Women love hand-made things… from children.

Let’s face it; the kids are better at the handmade thing. And unless you are a woodworker who is building her a piece of furniture, let the kids shine in this arena. They’re all making projects in school to surprise mom.

The exception here, and this is for the most perceptive gift givers, is a fancy little morsel found at a local artisan, favorite Etsy shop, or street fair. Proceed with caution as these items can rarely be returned or exchanged and will not please all.

4) Reading material is a win if she has time to read it.

I love reading. Many women do. What we love even more than reading is a time and a place to do it. Don’t stop short at getting a great book or bookstore gift card. Clean the tub, set up some candles, warm towels and take the time to set aside a (large) block of time where mom can be uninterrupted with said book. Reading material can be a backhanded gift if the book you gave serves as a reminder that mom is too busy to read as she longingly glances at it sitting on a shelf.

5) Pampering can almost never fail.

Don’t be cautious here.  Most spas and salons offer a large menu of services and mom will likely appreciate the time away to indulge. The biggest thing about spa services is that they are not cheap. This is not a gift to be frugal with. Pad the gift card with an extra 20% more than you planned so that mom can buy the accompanying massage oil, hair product or fancy extra that most spas and salons offer.

6) Breakfast in bed, alone. And late.

Coffee, food and bed sheets can be a horribly bad mix if there are kids climbing everywhere and a lack of respect for space. The best breakfasts in bed are a quiet and discreet drop-off. Do not, I repeat DO NOT wake your lady to present her with breakfast. No mom wants to be woken prematurely for her gift. Leave coffee and pastries and fruit next to the bed, accompanied with cards and let her bask in the slow leisurely start to the day.

7) Night clothes are not good choices.

I have seen many a man ponder the sleepwear aisle searching for a woman’s gift and it has taken all my effort not to interrupt them and send them away. Sleepwear is personal and you can quickly and easily send the wrong message. Footy pajamas are the least sexy thing you can adorn your wife with. Lingerie sends a message that’s more about you than her and is way too tricky to size correctly anyway.

If she likes to be cozy, get her a great pair of sheepskin slippers, a cashmere robe or something equally lux and unexpected. This is not the place to be saving money. Target will not have the right thing. Move on.

My best advice for Mother’s Day gifting is to get something she isn’t going to get herself. She will buy pajamas if she needs them. She will buy the book she has wanted to read. What she won’t buy is the larger ticket items that she can’t justify spending money on. What she doesn’t give herself is the time to be extravagantly lazy. Give her what she wants most: the message that you care and that you truly do appreciate her.

If you want something to wrap in fancy paper and tie with a bow, spend a few minutes brainstorming her inner most passions. Budding photographer? Tech-savvy? Avid gardener? These things are the answers to the questions about finding the perfect gift. Buy her something that will encourage and advance her interests. Armed with this direction, I don’t see how you can fail.



The Beginning
About Brienna McWade

Brienna lives in the great Pacific Northwest where she writes and grows a family. She travels, watches baseball and loves live music. She has previously written parenting articles for Patch.com and music reviews for Seattle Wave Radio.

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  1. Excellent list! 🙂 Thanks for the tips.

  2. I just emailed hubby a list of links for craft ideas he can do with our son. Otherwise I would get flowers I don’t want or a silly coffee mug that is really for him.

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