Ten Things Moms Actually Want for Mother’s Day

May 10, 2019

If you’re reading this the Friday before Mother’s Day chances are you are just as much as a procrastinator as I can be. Life with kids is a lot to juggle and prepping for a special holiday for your spouse can be quite the weight of added pressure. Since this post is going to dive into general ideas without too much purchasing or clicking around the web I figured it was better to share it late than never to share it at all. And hey, maybe it will stick around and be something I can share with my audience year after year. The point here is that there’s still time to make Mother’s Day special for your partner, sister, mom, friend or anyone else who deserves it.

These ideas are purely from my own experience, the women around me and the lovely followers who shared their ideas. I am well aware that not one size fits all when it comes to this holiday, but I think if you scroll through there’s bound to be something that makes sense for the mom in your life. Zack and I have discussed Mother’s Day and Father’s Day many times and to be honest we both want most of the things listed below.

1. Let her sleep in. Let’s be clear here. We all know what sleeping in is like with a house full of kids (even one) and that’s not sleeping in. Have a clear plan in place to keep that house quiet or get everyone out so that she can rest without someone calling for her, knocking on her bedroom door or overhearing a meltdown. If you’re planning on staying at home – hand her some ear plugs and have her lock the bedroom door. If you plan on taking the kids out of the house, have her text or call when she wakes up and give her time to shower in peace before heading back. Depending on when your kids wake up, I think an hour or two later than usual is such a treat.

2. A hot, cup of coffee. Simple, but I promise it will be beyond appreciated. I cannot tell you how many times a day I reheat my coffee and how nice the perfect cup sounds while I’m writing this. If you let her sleep in (highly recommended), either come back with a coffee from her favorite place or wake her up with a freshly brewed cup at home. Most important note here: let her drink it. Keep the kids entertained so that she can actually do this!

3. Take care of all the plans. Seems simple, but I would say this is the number one suggestion I hear from other moms. It’s the one day a year they don’t want to be in charge of planning. You might think you want her input on this or that and sure, that’s sweet for some, but I can promise you she would so much rather not deal with the details and just enjoy whatever you’ve planned for her. Have confidence in your plans and stick to them!

4. Schedule alone time for her at a later date. You guys, this is a big one – at least in our house. We started doing this a couple years ago for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and it’s honestly one of the best, free gifts we give each other. If you’ve planned ahead you can get a gauge on maybe a special event she’d like to attend, a yoga class, a girls night, etc. but if there haven’t been any hints dropped pick a date on the calendar and simply tell her that that’s her night or day or whatever to do whatever she wants, solo. Some moms might really love for part of the day on Mother’s Day to be some alone time but for me, I like to soak up the family time the day of and cash in at a later date. You know the mom in your life better than I do so use your best judgement!

5. Send her out to buy her own Mother’s Day gift. You’re probably thinking I’m about to get you in trouble, but hear me out. I got so many responses from my followers about wanting some time to shop, kid free. This wouldn’t necessarily be my personal top choice for a gift, but I think it’s an excellent idea (especially if you’re still figuring it out two days before). Here’s the trick – you need to be very clear about this gift so that it doesn’t feel lazy. 1. Find a time that you can watch the kids and schedule it on your calendars. 2. If you’re financially conscious like we are – set a budget, maybe even pick up a Visa gift card or cash and make it clear that she is welcome to spend X amount on herself, guilt free. 3. Write this all down in a card and make it feel official!

6. Give her a true day off. Every family dynamic is different, but we all know what it feels like when we’re the parent on for the day or the hour or whatever. As much as possible on Mother’s Day take the weight off her shoulders and be the “on parent”. Depending on your kid’s ages this might mean going out to eat vs. cooking a meal at home or waking up before the rest of the house so you can get a shower in. The point here is to do as much as possible to lighten her load!

7. Give the gift of a clean house. Read carefully: this does not mean have mom hang with the kids while you clean. A few ways you can achieve a clean house without mom’s help: find, hire and schedule a house cleaner when you’re all out of the house (I’ve never had someone else clean my house but this sounds pretty dang nice), if you have family close by have them take the kids Mother’s Day morning while mom sleeps in and get the cleaning done yourself, or stay up late or wake up early before the holiday to make it happen.

8. Plan a future date night. And I mean plan it from top to bottom – find a day and time, schedule a babysitter, make a reservation, etc. You can even keep all the details a surprise and just tell her to be ready for a date at 7pm on Friday (for example). This is also a good move if you’re still working out the details, so long as you know you will get them sorted out in time. You can try to plan something you know she would love or just be assertive and make the choice – I promise it will be appreciated!

9. Help the kids do something sweet. Owen is officially at the age where he’s really understanding holidays and celebrating others. My move is to ask him what he thinks we should do for whoever we’re celebrating and honestly, his ideas are cuter than anything I could come up with for a gift from a three year old. For Zack’s birthday last year he wanted to make him a blue cake and draw him a picture so that’s exactly what we did. As long as you’ve thought through how you’re going to celebrate your spouse this Mother’s Day, I’m all for the kiddy, cutesy ideas from little ones and I think the mom in your life will be too!

10. Handle bedtime. Maybe this is already your task, but if not take over when the time comes. If the mom in your life enjoys a glass of wine hand her one, a book or the remote and take care of it! This means bath time, stories, and actually getting your little ones to bed. If your kids have a hard time going to bed without mom while she’s home then send her out! 

I would love to hear any other ideas you guys have in the comments below, and happy early Mother’s Day!

Photography by Amy Frances.

Leave a Comment

  • I LOVE all of these suggestions! You pretty much summed up my dreams right here haha.

    • Haha! So glad we’re on the same page. Happy (almost) Mother’s Day lady!!

  • Thanks for this. You nailed the gift ideas, but what I really appreciate is how you explained them with honestly but didn’t vear into a defeated “overloaded mother” tone. I also found this quote that I read elsewhere encouraging.
    “Do you want to have an incredible Mother’s Day? Stand in awe of the One who made you a mother. Let each sticky kiss and messy card remind you of a few things about God: Every good gift is from the Father of lights (James 1:17). God’s strength is perfected in weak moms (2 Corinthians 12:9). He gives us the wisdom we so desperately need (James 1:5).”


  • Kristin Hicks

    I know Mothers’ Day has passed, but I just want to say this is by far the best Mothers’ Day “gift” guide I’ve read. You nailed it, especially explaining the heart behind the more intangible gifts (hot coffee! A day without being the “on” parent!)

    • Oh my gosh, thank you Kristin! I’m always trying to think of more creative ways to approach holidays aside from a list of links to purchase. It’s so much more meaningful in my opinion when our gifts are intangible! Hope you had a great Mother’s Day!!

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