The Perfect Gift for Your Mother

Make your gift memorable using an idea from this nontraditional Mother's Day gift guide

A Mother’s Day Gift Guide with Meaning

Mothers are pretty awesome. At very least, they carried us for nine months enduring a spectrum of unpleasant symptoms and managed to make it to the finish line: our birth. Their labor didn’t end there though but lasted another 18 years of coaching us into the adults we are today.

If you’ve parented into toddlerhood, you probably have a new appreciation for your mother’s patience and persistent love. Really, how many times can someone sanely scrub toothpaste out of the carpet? And yet your mother did and probably snuggled you forgivingly only moments later.

This is why Mother’s day is such a big deal. It’s the opportunity to try as best as we can to repay our mothers for things we truly never can. They spent how many days trying to do right by us for how many years and in return, they get one day a year of appreciation – that’s a pretty uneven tradeoff. Thankfully, our mothers didn’t put in the work thinking it’d be well worth it every time mother’s day rolls around.

Still, we can make an effort to make this particular day special. This might take analyzing what special means. It certainly doesn’t have to mean expensive or popular.

I have a hard time browsing trendy gift guides without rolling my eyes a time or two. Does my mom really care for another kitchen towel or bedazzled wine cork or the ever-contemporary succulent? I actually find the whole idea that a complete stranger might suggest what would be perfect for MY mom to be rather odd. They don’t know her like I do.

So, I am sorry if I am disappointing you, but this blog wasn’t meant to be your traditional mother’s day gift guide. I’m not going to tell you to go buy a cashmere sweater. That’s a default gift. No, instead I wanted to make suggestions that might inspire the right fit for YOUR mother. You know her best and if you are looking to know her better, well that’s just your first insight into what you could give her this mother’s day.


What do mothers really want (that’s affordable)?

Something Exciting

A day in the life of a mother can be a blur of monotony- and it’s tiring. So, while I’m sure she often craves to try something new, she rarely bothers with following through. This mother’s day, create the opportunity and provide the motivation.

My mother still talks about the time my “crazy” aunt called her from the driveway and “kidnapped” her for a pre-cruise tanning session. She had never been to a tanning salon before. So while a tan seems so basic (and inexpensive with a Groupon), for my mother it was unexpected and different which equated to thrilling!
Start with something new, add some surprise, and go along for the adventure and you’ll have the makings for a memorable gift.

Something Inspiring

Seven years into motherhood myself, I’ve come to understand that who I am as a person exists somewhat separately from the part I play as “Mommy”. I’m sure every mother shares some truth in that realization as well as recognizes the very real need to nourish that person we once were.

If you want to inspire your mother, figure out where her passion lies. If nothing makes her happier than her family, maybe collecting photos for a gallery wall would be a meaningful gift for her. Perhaps she’s spiritual and would appreciate a book or piece of home décor that uplifts her. Maybe she admires art and wouldn’t mind visiting the newest exhibit at the museum.

Whatever the specifics may be, give an inspiring gift and the effects will last far beyond the small price ($30 or less) you pay for it.

Something Quality

Painting your mother's nails is one affordable gift idea for Mother's Day.When I say quality, I’m not talking about designer brands. I’m talking about time. As families grow, children tend to move away from the nest. Even when they remain in town, mothers see their children far less.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a good heart to heart with your mother, surprise her by scheduling a time to do so. Plan an activity such as a craft or prepare a meal for two.

There may be a particular service you use to provide to her as a child that helped the two of you bond such as painting her nails or doing her hair. It may seem strange to do these things now, but the little things are what mothers miss the most!

Something Relaxing

As a young mother in the midst of a hectic life, I often look forward to calmer days when my children are older (ha-ha). However, the teenage and adult years of children can be the most stressful of all. What your mother may need most is some time to de-stress. This can come in many forms, none of which need to carry a big price tag. Deals can often be found for manicures, massages, facials, and wine tasting.

My own mother is very caring and because of this has struggled with constant worry. Last mother’s day I realized the best gift I could give her was time to herself and the tools necessary to cope with what at times was overwhelming anxiety. The solution was an affordable package of yoga lessons. The techniques taught in yoga have helped her to calm her mind and fight back against anxiousness. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Something Familiar

Few mothers can balance their household responsibilities and maintain hobbies. There just aren’t enough minutes in the day! If you are still searching for the right gift perhaps it should entail reigniting your mother’s hobby. Ideas might include:

  • Building a blog she can use as a writing outlet
  • Setting up an art or culinary class
  • Buying some supplies and creating a space in her home for crafting
  • Getting a gardening starter kit
  • Creating an online selling or social media account to launch a business she’s been considering
  • Gifting an e-reader or gift card for purchasing e-books
  • Filling a basket with travel inspo – think books, magazines, maps, current deals, and exotic foods.

Something Thoughtful

As overdone as it sounds, a letter is a cherished gift. When was the last time you expressed appreciation to your mother? Your letter could detail the traits you admire about her or include a fond memory that illustrates you noticed even her smallest sacrifices.

To go along with or in place of a letter, you could add something small that reminds her of you. It could be a card that captures your spirit or a framed photo of a time you shared together. If you haven’t taken a picture together recently, this could be the perfect occasion to gift a mini portrait session. You can politely invite your father and local siblings. In the end, your mother will have something that fills her heart with joy each time she looks at it.

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