Monday, May 4, 2009

Mother's Day gifts

Okay ladies, this post is for the guys. So feel free to leave your browser open for your husband (or sons) to read.

Last year, I posted about mother’s day gifts and got such a great response, I thought I’d do it again. (You can read last year’s ideas here.

So if you’re anything like my husband, the Llama Papa, you really want to do something special for your wife for mother’s day to show her how much you appreciate her. You want to make her happy…you’re just not sure how. Maybe money is tight. Maybe you have no time between now and Sunday. Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to juggle honoring your wife and honoring your mom, and you’re not sure how you’ll fit it all in.

My first suggestion? Ask her. Tell her you want to celebrate her as a mom and ask what would be meaningful to her. And ladies? Tell him. The truth. (If it helps, I told Llama Papa I wanted to be completely alone for two days to celebrate mother’s day. So I’m heading to a local hotel on Friday…home in time for a large family celebration on Sunday.)

Now, I want you to think about your wife (or mom). What does she love to do? Shop? Talk with her girlfriends? Read? Garden? Now, given your particular circumstances of time and money, how can you make that happen for her?

With so many families on tight budgets this year, let me suggest a few low-cost ways to celebrate the moms in your life. (Because, let’s face it, if you can afford nice jewelry and days at the spa, you don’t really need to read this. Go. Now. Book the spa! Buy the jewelry!)

Maybe this is the first year you can’t afford to buy your wife a fancy gift and you feel crummy about it. Trust me. The fancy is optional. Do something thoughtful just for her and she will be thrilled.

For book lovers, give her a book she’s been wanting and a gift card to a coffee shop…plus a day “off.” Maybe Saturday can be her afternoon, if you have family obligations on Sunday.

If she’s nursing and can’t leave the baby, or doesn’t want to, spend some time tidying up the bedroom and tell her you’ll take care of everything for an entire day. Manage the children and household and let her just lounge around her bedroom (with the door closed) and read magazines or nap. Bring the baby to her when it’s time to nurse. Tell her how much she means to you. Bring her meals on fancy dishes with a flower from the garden. Let your children see you honoring their mother for her hard work.

If she likes to shop at garage sales, give her a card with $20 in small bills, the newspaper ads (or if you want to be fancy, a google map of garage sales you know she’d enjoy), and an entire Saturday morning to shop. (By herself or with a friend.)

Does she love to hang out with girlfriends? Give her a gift card to a restaurant you know she likes and send her out for lunch with a friend. Or coffee. Or a movie. Really, just give her time and your blessing to hang out with the girls. (This can work out as a "double" gift if you contact her friend's husband and organize it together.)

Weather permitting, skip the restaurants on Sunday and pack a picnic. This is great with little kids. Find a fun park, eat lunch and let the kids play. It’s way less stressful than eating out on a busy day, and you might actually fit in some adult conversation.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you tell her what you appreciate about her. A mother’s work really is never done, and a kind word can go a long way in encouraging her.

Now, women, one more reminder: don’t make him guess. Tell him exactly what you’d like to do for mother’s day—maybe you want breakfast in bed, or flowers—tell him that. Would I have liked my husband to surprise me next weekend with a “weekend away” to write at a local hotel? Sure. Would it ever have happened if I didn’t actually TELL him this is what I wanted? Probably not. Not because he isn’t fantastic, but because he isn’t a mind reader.

I’d love to hear more suggestions in the comments…what is YOUR ideal mother’s day celebration?


Kimberly Zook said...

Great post! When my hubby asked me a week ago what I would like I told him "spend the day with you and our daughter at a museum in D.C." But in the past two days I have changed my mind; I want to spend a few hours alone on that day. Your post encourages me to tell him, tonight! I think I really need alone time most of all this mother's day even though I love being a mother and a wife. Thanks for your well thought out post!!

turnitupmom said...

I love this post, because too many women want their husbands to come up with something terrific, but many men don't know what we really want. I love the point you make about clarity and honesty- not just for Mother's Day but every day :) This year I want some flowers for my window boxes and time to plant them. You've posted some excellent ideas! Thanks!

PattyK said...

This year, a blog entry. Next year, a magazine article. This post rocks and could find a wider audience. You combine creativity with practicality. And I agree with turnitupmom--there is much you say here that applies to everyday. I've taken to reminding my husband when my birthday is coming up. Why pout because he forgot--when I can prevent that whole scenario?

elizabeth embracing life said...

Great ideas. I just left a catalog open with something I wanted. Harry and Davids have this stacking box tower of treats. It's about five beautiful boxes that match my home office. SO with a large family I know the treats will hardly last a day, but I get the lovely boxes to tie in the color. My note in the catalog simply read.."buy this for the MOTHER of your children"