My brood. I’m the mom in the middle hidden by yet another kid.
This is a completely self serving post, but hey, Mothers Day only comes once a year, and, umm, anyway, I’m actually writing this on behalf of all the great moms out there. (Yeah, that’s it! I’m writing selflessly on behalf of all moms. That’s it! Whew.)
So what does mom really want?? Allow me to make a few suggestions…
First a word of advice if you’re a guy:
IF YOU’RE A GUY… DON’T — DO NOT — POSITIVELY DO NOT GIVE WHAT YOU WANT TO GET. That mantra is for women as it relates to things like hostess gifts, etc. It’s a female to female thing (or a male to male thing) — and when a man gives to a lady something he’d like to receive, most often it’s not going to be a hit. She generally doesn’t want a garden hose…or a skill saw….or a tire iron…or even a gift certificate to a hardware store. The key is to ASK her! Ask her to make 3 or 4 suggestions for different things that might be nice for her to receive. She may say, “oh, darling, nothing”. Take it from me, she doesn’t mean it. If you gave her nothing as she says, you’re guaranteed to hurt her feelings. You don’t have to do much, but DO LET HER KNOW YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT HER.
Okay, now, that’s behind us.
As you know, there are innumerable ways to go on Mother’s Day — so we’ll break them into two categories. The “things you can DO” category, and the “things you can GIVE” category. I’ll give you three suggestions for each.
Three things you might DO for her on Mother’s Day:
1. Take Initiative: Wash her car or pull some weeds. There’s got to be some obvious thing that you know she’d appreciate your doing — without having to ask you to do it. Taking that little bit of initiative goes a long way. Once she sees what you’ve done, you’re a rock star and model husband/child/sweetheart.
2. Put on the chef apron and grill/cook away! AND THEN CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF. Plenty of moms loves the idea of taking a break from the kitchen — especially the clean up part afterward. If you’re a griller, the go to it! Be sure to be thoughtful about what she likes…remember, this is to let her know you’re thinking about HER. So don’t make your favorite steak tartar if she doesn’t love it!
3. Surprise her! Take her to a park, or on a hike, or biking, or paddling, or anything outside where you and she can breathe! And talk! And enjoy each other! Rather than a movie or something indoors, get outside and be active with a picnic basket or just a little snack in a pack and take the time to enjoy each other. Time outdoors doesn’t cost a penny, and the rewards are over the top.
OK, now, three things you might GIVE her on Mother’s Day. Obviously, this can be small with a small price tag, or crazy expensive, it’s up to you. The key, however is what I’ve said all along, whatever you do, really think about her and what she might like. It’s about letting her know you’ve thought about HER.
1. Give her something that the two of you can enjoy together. For example, if she has expressed an interest in going fishing, or hunting with you, then get her a rod, reel, or maybe something like a camo jacket (it’s off season for hunting, so you might even get a good deal). Then write her a card that shows you want her to join you on your next trip out. Use words like, “for our fishing trip”…or “looking forward to fishing/hunting with you”. The key is that she knows you’re in this with her.
2. Give her an “adventure” trip. Huh? This doesn’t have to mean a trip to the wilds of Alaska, it might just mean an overnight trip to the mountains nearby, or to the ocean that’s a days drive away. And it doesn’t have to be a long trip — it might just be for a day, or overnight, or sure, longer! Getting out of the familiar world to head into the outdoors is so darned healthy that I can’t even write about it well. Sunlight, open air, and a little exertion makes a person feel great — so sure, you can spend some on a massage for her, but why not just join her on a big walk on the beach, or a little hike in the hills. Once again, you’re showing you’re thinking about her and what’s going to make her feel good.
3. Of course, there’s always the fallback: jewelry. Click here to read Listen Guys! Women Love Baubles — the post I wrote about jewelry for women. It could cost between $5 and well….a lot. They key here is to make sure you’re — once again — really thinking about her and what she likes and might actually enjoy.
No matter what, just make sure you do one thing on Mother’s Day: take her aside and tell her how much you appreciate her. That’s what she want’s most of all.