Eleven years ago, I celebrated my first Mother’s Day—a little prematurely, as I was only expecting my first child, but a milestone worth enjoying nonetheless. On that day, I happened to see a Page Six photo of a certain celebrity mom marking the occasion with a romantic couples’ getaway. Ewww!” thought my judgmental, well-rested self. “What kind of mother doesn’t spend this day with her children?”
The next year—and pretty much every year after that—I consider that moment and have a good laugh at myself. Early on, the laughing was mixed with guilt (“Shouldn’t I want to spend the day with my kids?”), but now that I have a tribe of three, I can say without shame that if I choose to hunker down under the covers in my pjs and binge-watch Fargo for the entire day, I deserve it, and it’s exactly what I’m going to do.
My point is this: even though Mother’s Day is (duh) all about being a mom, I bet that if you polled 100 of them, the majority would admit that they’d rather spend the day feeling like their best pre-mom selves. Which isn’t to say they don’t love being a mom, or cherish spending time with their precious babies. It just means that the finest way to honor mom on that day is to offer her the means and opportunity to indulge the woman inside who on every other day, gets ignored.
So for all the dads, partners, teens, and anyone else reading this who are old enough to buy the moms in their life something special, consider these suggestions a starting point to really make her day.
If she’s a pop cultured mom…
Full disclosure: this mom is me (hence, my ideal Mother’s Day would probably be a combination Netflix-and-chill/read-a-thon, with some message-board skulking thrown in). To be a pop culture lover means there is no end to your appreciation of what some (my husband) might call “useless crap”—Arrested Development Funko POP figures, completely gorgeous (and informative) Wes Anderson coffee table books, Breaking Bad-style “Los Pollos Hermanos” t-shirts, and the Eat Like a Gilmore cookbook. I would be thrilled to receive any one of these.
If she’s a stylish mom
I’m of the opinion that you can never go wrong with a handbag—the bigger, the better since hey, moms have a lot of stuff. With summer just around the corner, a cute canvas option is always welcome for the beach or farmer’s market—try the selection from Lantern Press Artwork featuring kitschy-postcard images from different beaches across the US. I also admit to being obsessed with weekender/travel bags, like this functional unisex duffle from Fjallraven. I like to pretend I’m jet-setting off for a glamorous weekend abroad even though I secretly love all the room it leaves for disposable Dora the Explorer toilet seat covers, a first aid kit, and a compact umbrella.
If she’s a cozy mom
“I hate the spa!” said no mom ever, so by all means, hook her up with a facial, massage, mani-pedi, or all of the above. While you’re at it, give her something she can use right now, no appointment necessary. I was recently introduced to the oh-so-wonderful world of foot masks, which are essentially these plastic booties filled with all sorts of vitamin goodness. You slip them on for about an hour, put your feet up and watch This Is Us (or your choice of entertainment), and prepare to be amazed.
If she’s a techy mom
You don’t want to know the amount of time my husband and I have spent fighting over earbuds. (“You took yours to work!” “No, I put them on the counter—and why are you always moving my stuff?”). And I’m not really sure why, since I’ve discovered that when you have three kids under the age of 10, and a neighborhood full of vagabond children who always seem to be in your house, huge, over-the-ear, noise-cancelling wireless headphones are the way to go.
If she’s a Pinterest mom
I’m decidedly not an arts and craftsy mom, but I admire the passion of those who are, and chances are, they’ll be the ones sending your children home from school with something involving a handprint or pun. (See: My mom is “tea-riffic!” cup). Even if you, the giver, aren’t as creative as she, show her you’ve been paying attention by using that Pinterest all-star, the Mason Jar, as the centerpiece of your gift idea. Simply take one—or three—half-gallon Mason Jars and fill with DIY experiences she’ll love: her favorite candy, lip glosses, coffee supplies. Just follow her bliss and make a jar to match.