Worrying about what to buy Mom? Maybe it’s about the things you do and the time you give. Here are inexpensive, yet valuable, gift ideas that will make mom feel celebrated this Mother’s Day!
I’m going to be honest; I don’t cook. I’ve never been someone who felt comfortable in a kitchen unless I’m doing the dishes. I’m a writer. I joke that if I fail as a writer, I’ll have to go into housekeeping because I really am good at doing the dishes. Thirty years ago, when my husband professed a love for cooking, I decided it was time for me to profess a love for him. I said, “You cook? I think we should get married.”
The problem with me not cooking reared its ugly head when I became MOM. Sometimes my husband’s schedule didn’t allow him to be the hero of the day where beautiful, perfect, healthy meals were the centerpiece of our dinner table. Sometimes, the little people my husband and I had created expected me to do something crazy like feed them. There was nothing worse than when meal creation responsibility fell on (gulp) me.
It’s safe to say that buying me a new blender or a set of sauté pans for Mother’s Day would maybe not be the best thing (unless you want to make me feel like I failed at something). I know some moms would love that. And that’s okay. This isn’t an article about how any mom should be or shouldn’t be. I hope we’re celebrating Moms doing their best at whatever capability level they have. But if you are trying to think outside the box for Mother’s Day gifting, here are some inexpensive, yet valuable, ideas for that quirky, lovable mom in your life!
The Things You Do
No, I do not mean the kind you buy in a floral shop. I’m talking about the kind you plant in that spot in her yard where she hasn’t had time to cultivate but has always wanted to see flowing with flowers.
It always baffles me when I hear of moms who make the Mother’s Day dinner for their whole family and extended family (of course it baffles me, I already said that I do not love cooking). Why is she working so hard on a day that’s supposed to be special? Unless your mom is one of those people who finds nothing but joy in cooking, you should be taking part in meal creation. (I’m also baffled about why dads should be doing the grilling on Father’s Day, but that’s another article).
Organize Her Memories
We all have those boxes of photos or file folders of photos not lucky enough to make it to the box stage. Organize your mom’s photos (this is not permission to delete stuff without asking her or to de-junk her photo box in a way that will make her cry and get you banished from Christmas dinner). This is just a fun way to get her photos out in the open where they can be enjoyed. Finish that scrapbook for her or if you’re like me and time is a tough commodity, stick all the pictures on a huge SD card and get her one of those digital photo frames (make sure to not include the embarrassing pics on the SD card in the name of relationship preservation).
Give Her Health
The Time You Give
Do the Dishes
And I know I’ve already said I rock the dishes chore, but just because I can doesn’t mean I want to. Find those little chores where you know Mom needs help and get them done for her.
Seriously. Errands. Mom is always running around getting stuff done and sometimes she just wants to stay home and NOT get stuff done (I mean, she still wants it done; she just doesn’t want to be the one doing it). If you live far away and can’t do this, sign her up for a prepaid grocery delivery service or something similar that means she doesn’t have to go out for that gallon of milk when she would rather go to yoga class.
Clear Her Schedule
And yes, dishes and errands fit into this, but find out what she really wants to be doing and what it is that she HAS to be doing. Then do her has-to list so she can do her want-to list. I’m a writer. If someone clears my has-to schedule to free me up to be my best creative self by taking care of all my chores and making sure I stay fed while I’m in the throes of creation, that is the someone who will inherit everything when I die.
Spend Time with Her
Sign up for a yoga class or photography class or whatever it is you might enjoy doing with her and go do it together. Or take her hiking, to the park, to the beach, to her favorite movie, or to her favorite restaurant. Whatever you do, make it something you’re doing together.
And if you really want to buy your non-cooking mom a blender, it better come with a note promising to blend for her at least once a week for the next year.