Things We Do Not Want for Mother’s Day


The annual celebration of Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. Don’t waste time or effort with hinting around or just hoping this year will be better than previous years.

Moms – send the link to this article to your spouse/partner immediately!

*Listen up people who think they know what a mom wants for Mother’s Day – I’m spilling the tea right here, so you don’t have to. This is a quick and easy-to-remember list of things moms do NOT want:

  1. Breakfast in bed

It’s a sweet gesture, it really is. And it can be a fun” Daddy and kids” activity for another day. But on Mother’s Day, we really don’t want any burnt toast, rubbery eggs, raw-centered waffles, or a big, soggy bowl of cereal. And we REALLY don’t want to walk into our kitchen later and be faced with a scene from a horror movie, complete with smoothie drips on the floors and cabinet and crusted batter all over our waffle maker or griddle. We do not want to clean a darn thing between sun-up and bedtime.

Dad, take the kids out to breakfast and let Mom sleep in or go for a walk with a friend. Bring her back her favorite coffee order, some delicious pastry or an acai bowl, and let her enjoy that – along with a sparkly, clean kitchen.

  1. To host a brunch or dinner for grandparents

We don’t want to be cleaning up our house that morning, cooking food for a crowd, or worrying about matching plates and napkins or extended family members’ food intolerances. We do that stuff all the time and would love a little break.

Dads and partners – take Mom out somewhere or arrange a potluck meal with other non-Moms in the family. Don’t ask her to make reservations or bake some muffins to share. Anyone who has given birth to your child should not be cooking, decorating, or cleaning up. Escort them into a restaurant or someone else’s house and let them sit and relax and just enjoy themselves.

  1. Any gift that is boringly functional or smells of “I have no idea what you like but I am desperate.”

We don’t a new electric can opener, a new vacuum cleaner, a cheap candle that smells like cherry cough syrup, or neon-pink powdered bubble bath from the dollar store. If the kids have made a pasta noodle necklace or a pinch pot with a sprouting flower in it, please add something we’d really enjoy as well. Suggestions: jewelry, a super-soft robe or PJs for summer, a gift card to a spa or movie theater or favorite store for shoes and accessories.

If you aren’t sure if she’ll love it, ask her best friend and/or sister. Stay away from CVS in your hour of desperation.

  1. A trip to the park, a bouncy house, a pool, or some other outing with small kids.

Arranging a family-friendly activity might seem like a fun idea for Mother’s Day, but like breakfast in bed, save it for another time when Mom is properly prepared, fortified, and ready to do all the things.

What we don’t want to do on Mother’s Day is listen to “Mom! Watch this!” a hundred times as we try to relax by the pool or sit in a shaded chair under a tree. We don’t want to referee sibling fights over who gets to go on the swing first. We don’t want to empty out cups of sand from shoes or beach bags. We don’t want to have to remember everyone’s water bottle and sunscreen. We don’t want to sit in a hot car for an hour with whining children and requests to pull over at every fast-food place for a drink or a bathroom pit stop. By all means, take those kids yourself, Dad, and just send Mom a lovely picture of smiling kids having fun and let her do whatever the heck she wants to do with several hours of peace and quiet. Bathe those kids when you get home and do the laundry!

  1. A store bought card that costs $7

Yes, there are all kinds of beautiful cards out there. Some with intricately laser-cut flowers on the front, or sequined hearts, or gorgeous ribbons and beads. Don’t waste the money. Grab some printer paper and markers or crayons and have kids draw pictures and write out what they want to tell Mom. Ask them what they love and appreciate about her. These handwritten messages are things she will keep forever and will bring smiles and tears for years to come. Trust me. I have 20-year-old homemade cards stashed away that are some of my most prized possessions.

Spoil your spouse, treat your spouse, surprise your spouse, just don’t make her cook, clean, or entertain a group. Let her relax and have some alone time just for this special day.