This is a public service announcement.
Mother’s Day is coming up. It’s less than two weeks away, and you should really start thinking about it now. Don’t panic, you still have plenty of time to create a nice day for your wife and/or Mom.
If you have young children at home, the first thing I want you to do is think about your wife. What does she like to do in her free time? Does she garden? Scrapbook? Read? Run? Go out to eat with her friends? These things will give you important clues that will help you select a nice gift.
Do not buy her a new vacuum or cleaning items of any kind unless she asks you specifically for them. Seriously. If she hasn’t asked for it, don’t buy her a new dustbuster to keep the minivan clean.
Does your wife like to read? How about a $5 Starbucks gift card, a new book, and a coupon for an evening off? On that evening, take care of dinner clean-up and send your wife off to Starbucks to read for as long as she’d like. Put the kids to bed and do any of the usual nighttime chores she does.
Does your wife enjoy dinner out with friends? Give her a gift card to her favorite restaurant and an evening off. Again, follow the clean-up instructions in the paragraph above. This is important. If she comes home to a messy house and frozen pizza crusts in the sink, it won’t feel like a night off.
Does she enjoy shopping? Give her a gift card to her favorite store and a Saturday off to shop and meet friends for lunch. (Some malls and shopping centers even have gift cards that are good at any store or restaurant in the whole shopping center!)
Buy her favorite flowers. If you don’t know what her favorites are, ask. It’s probably not roses. (The same rule applies to your Mom.)
Help the children cook her favorite breakfast and clean the kitchen afterwards.
Last year, my husband gave me a beautiful portrait of himself with our three boys. Somehow, he managed to get them all dressed nicely and off to get their picture done without me noticing. I love this picture of all my "boys."
Help the children make her a gift. Family Fun has some fantastic Mother’s Day craft ideas for all ages. One year for Father’s Day, I helped the noisy boys make personalized note pads. They drew their own pictures and we took them to Kinkos and had them made into notepads. It was simple and inexpensive for two four-year olds to make, and my husband loved them. Have the kids shop for a special pen for Mom, and you’ve got a fun, thoughtful gift. (You could make extras of these and give them to your own Mom if you need gift ideas for her too!)
Of course, jewelry is always nice. You know your budget constraints. If you can’t afford nice jewelry, pick something else. Just my opinion.
Whatever gift you decide on, write your wife a nice card and tell her how much you appreciate all she does as a Mom. Help your children do the same. (One of my favorite Mother’s Day cards is from Twin B. His preschool teacher promted him with “I appreciate my Mommy because she…” and he said, “helps me wipe my bottom.” I will keep this card forever.)
Now let me talk to you, Moms. Give your husband a break and tell him exactly what you want for Mother’s Day. If you’re hoping he’ll guess, let me tell you if you haven’t figured this out yet: he won’t. I don’t know your husband, but he probably wants to please you. Explicitly tell him how to do this. You’ll both be happier in the long run!
Oh, and in case I don’t say it later, Happy Mother’s Day!