My husband is in charge of meal planning. He’s the cook in the family, and we have a wipe-off board near the kitchen so that we’re both on the same page about what to have for dinner.
Just today, he looked over the menu and stopped on May 10, which falls on a Sunday this year. It’s also Mother’s Day, and the fourth one I’d be celebrating. This is probably the first year that my daughter is fully aware of the concept.
“I don’t know what to do about Sunday,” he said. You could tell he wanted to make it special. But I’m aware of the situation we’re in. There’ll be no babysitter and dinner out this year. I won’t have an excuse to wear a dress.
Honestly, I don’t even know if I own a flattering dress at this point, based on the amount of stress eating I’ve been doing for the past month.
I told him that ordering some Chinese food from our favorite place will be good enough. It’s cheap, it’s convenient, and it’ll allow me more time to spend with my family. Turns out, my desires don’t differ from most other moms. LittleThings conducted a poll for moms this year that proves that time with family is one of the best gifts of all.
It may seem a little strange, especially if you’ve been stuck in the home with family members for weeks. But the truth of the matter is, we’re all experiencing this together. Having people around to celebrate with you is just crucial at this point. And for some of us, our bonds with our family have actually grown while trying to navigate through these hard times together.
And for family members you love who happen to be far away? Sending grandma some photos will always be an excellent gift.
What's the best Mother's Day gift of all?
Out of everyone polled, 33% of people said that the best Mother’s Day gift of all would be “time with family they’ve been separated from.” Since so many of us still need to stay indoors, that means that a great gift would be a scheduled video call. Make sure to give the mom in your life plenty of time with few distractions to catch up with the other people she loves.
Next up, unsurprisingly, was to go out and have a day off. Of the moms polled, 17% chose this answer. That often means a trip to the spa and salon. Unfortunately, these two services aren’t currently available. But what you can do is try to re-create the feeling at home for now. Buy some massage oil or some pretty nail colors and try to create a worry-free environment for her. Spa music helps, and you can cue some up on your smart speaker.
In third place? Brunch. Are you noticing a pattern here? All of this time inside is making us truly long for the things that aren’t all that possible right now. However, a brunch is one of the easiest gifts to create at home. Just make sure you’ve got all the materials you need to make a mean mimosa. If the mom in your life happens to have a favorite brunch spot, you can always try to create her favorite menu item. (Or if you’re not a good chef, you can focus on easier choices like eggs and pancakes.)
Of course, flowers are also a hit. Even though only 9% of moms chose flowers as the top gift this year, those results might have been a bit different if this poll had been taken last year. Plenty of places still have gorgeous bouquets. Try grabbing some at Trader Joe’s or other local market, or see if a reputable online company still has delivery options for Mother’s Day weekend.
What would mom appreciate most this year?
Funny enough, when the question was more tailored to Mother’s Day gifts that moms would appreciate the most this year, “nap time/alone time” came in first. Of the moms polled, 32% chose it, meaning that maybe it’s a good idea to give mom a break this year. And by break, I mean a break … from you. If you’re in a household with kids, offer to take them on a long hike outside while mom takes a nap.
Breakfast in bed and a delivered dinner came in second in the gift poll, with 14% of the vote. Let’s make one thing clear — mom shouldn’t be cooking today. With my Chinese food dreams, this is the category I’d probably fall into. I just want to eat something that’ll comfort me, and I don’t want to have to think about any sort of meal for the day for either me or my daughter.
Third place was actually a tie. With 13% of the vote for each, moms agreed that both quality family time and “someone to do the cooking and cleaning,” were very important requests. Again, mom shouldn’t have to bust her butt doing the dishes today. Let her take it easy.
What’s the best Mother’s Day gift mom has ever received?
The third and final question of the poll was, “What’s the best Mother’s Day gift you’ve ever received?” This can be a tough one to answer for some parents. But for the dads who still don’t know what to get their partners this year, it can be really informative —— except for the top answer, which is something she already has: “having my kid(s).”
How sweet is that? Of moms polled, 35% said that bringing children into the mix was the best gift they ever received. Without those kids, they probably would be celebrating Mother’s Day in a different way. However, it’s a refreshing response. Sure, they can drive us up a wall sometimes. But kids are a great gift for those who desire them.
Second place is also something that’s not a material gift. “Quality time with family/memories” came in second, with 14% of the vote. Just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean you can’t create plenty of memories. Maybe you can set up a craft station for mom and the kids. Or perhaps you can just look back at an old photo album together — or your cellphone, if you’re not in the habit of printing photos.
Speaking of crafts, a “homemade card or gift from the kids” came in third place, with 8% of the vote. These are gifts that can last a lifetime if they’re properly stored. So if crafts are her thing, think about buying an art portfolio book or just a nice-looking, sturdy box to keep all of these gifts and memories safe.
Nap time and alone time are also treasured. To be honest, it shouldn’t be your sole gift. Every person needs some time off every once in a while, and to gift a hardworking mother something that should be an inherent right just doesn’t seem fair. However, the amount of women who chose this answer are still onto something. Try to reconfigure your schedules, if you can, to give her a little more room to breathe on a daily basis.
While you should get something for your mom this year, it’s still reassuring to know that the best gifts aren’t necessarily things you need to lay out a lot of money for. And that’s especially nice to hear right now. So many people have lost their jobs and are trying to make ends meet. Feeling pressured to buy jewelry or something bigger isn’t what anyone needs right now.
But no matter what the situation is, moms should be celebrated. Becoming a parent is both a glorious and terrifying act. Mom has likely dedicated big parts of her life to her kids and her family, often trading fun nights out for exhausting nights in. This year, make sure to tell her how much you appreciate her. And do that more often in general. Because Mother’s Day is just one day to celebrate the countless amount of good that moms do all the time.