Mother's Day is almost upon us and it's time to think about what Mom really wants for her special day.
According to news reports, the #1 Mother's Day wish this year? An iPad.
Yeah, right. When my husband and I had two young children and I was a stay-at-home mom as well as a homeschool mom while we (sometimes barely) made ends meet on one income, we had absolutely no money for something as pricey as an iPad. Heck, I don't even have one now.
So let's get more realistic. This is not a pie-in-the-sky list of gifts for Mom ... these are do-able for families. With two grown children of my own, I've had lots of Mother's Days over the years so some are from my personal wish list.
Time: The thing I craved more than anything else when my children were young: time alone. I love my children and was grateful to be able to raise and educate them myself. I love my husband who worked hard, thus allowing me to stay home with the kids. But a 24/7 mom needs a little down time. A weekend taking the kids camping or to the grandparents' house would be great. However, most moms would settle for one day or even a few hours of "just her" time to do whatever she wanted ... read, Facebook, time alone in the bathroom. (Ever notice how little fingers fit under bathroom doors ... "Mommy?")
Someone-else-cooked-it meal: Any meal planned and cooked and dishes washed by someone other than Mom is a treat. I consider myself a pretty good cook and actually enjoy spending time in the kitchen, but the drudgery of planning and having meals ready every day of the week can wear on a person. To be able to just walk in, sit down, and enjoy a meal is an easy fix. Can't cook? Bring it in ... pizza, takeout, fast food. During those cash-strapped years when our kids were young, we couldn't afford restaurant takeout but hamburgers or pizza filled the bill.
Gift certificates to Mom's hair salon: Haircuts, coloring, and whatever else is pricey. With little ones, moms spend those precious dollars on family-necessary items and not herself. Pamper her by making it easier for her to pamper herself.
Gift certificate for spa day(s): Locally we have High Tech Salon in Verona with a luxurious spa in addition to the usual hair care. Something like that could give Mom several hours of relaxation.
Gift certificate to a garden center: If Mom likes to garden or even just have pots of colorful, summer flowers around, a gift certificate to a garden center like Milmont lets her pick out the plants she wants. And babysit the kids for her so she can enjoy looking and choose her plants without chasing kids or pulling little hands out of tender plants.
Plants: Already-planted hanging and potted flowers make it easy for Mom.
So as I look back on the days when my now-grown twenty-something children were little, I enjoyed the handmade, crayon-lettered cards they made as they poured their little hearts into the messaging. Breakfast from the hubby was nice, too.
The years roll forward, kids leave the nest, the stranglehold of tight finances lets up, and this year my grown kids who now live away from home are treating me to an extra-special day. To all those moms out there ... Happy Mother's Day!