Mother's day is just a couple of weeks away, are you ready?? Joe says that it sneaks up on him every year so I've been finding ways to subtly remind him that he's got limited time left to find a way to celebrate me, the mother of his two children. That sounds a little selfish I know, but don't worry, I plan on spoiling him rotten in a month when Father's Day rolls around. To any of you women and mother's out there who feel like you don't want this holiday to be a big deal, stop!! Let your motherhood be celebrated by your husband and your children.
Confession: We also celebrated Mother's and Father's Day before we had kids, because we were each other's future parenting partners, and appreciated that about each other. The year of my miscarriage, celebrating was harder. I couldn't bring myself to go to church that day and sing songs about mom with the primary kids that we were teaching. Joe didn't make a huge deal of the holiday, but he still found little ways to let me know he cared and loved me.
This year, to take a little bit of the pressure off, I decided to put together a list of things that I would enjoy being given for Mother's Day. Husbands, if you're struggling with ideas for what to give your wife, show her this post and ask what her thoughts are. Wives, if your husband is like mine and thinks too big, stressing himself out, share this list with him and maybe even give him an order of preference. The items below are in no particular order for myself, but I'd enjoy receiving any of them, so my husband should be safe!
Thoughtful Mother's Day Gift Ideas
Note of Appreciation
Whether your wife's love language is words of affirmation or not, I guarantee she'd love a note from you and/or the kids, letting her know just how much she means to you and how appreciative you are of the amazing mother that she is.
Finding a card that says the things that you don't know how to put into words is always a good option. I was browsing cards at the store the other day and had to resist buying a million of them, just because they were so cute. My favorite was that there were quite a few that were sweet and sentimental, geared toward the relationship that husbands have with their wives and ending in "Happy Mother's Day". It almost felt like an anniversary card, but better!
Kid Free Date Night with You
I know I said that I had no order of preference, but I have to admit that this one is at the top of my list every year now. The year we had Bensen, he was less than a month old on Mother's Day. My mother-in-law called that Saturday and told us that we should let her tend the baby while Joe took me out on a date. It was our first time leaving him, we went to one of our favorite pasta restaurants, and it was the greatest! I'll always remember that date, and I'll always be grateful to my MIL for suggesting it, even if her real motive was to get some quality time with her new grand baby. ;)
Once you have kids, date nights with just the two of you can be scarce. Invest in your marriage and the mother of your children and plan a date that you know she'll enjoy. Check out my Prioritizing Date Night e-book for suggestions on how to solve the babysitter dilemma and over 200 ideas of things that you can do together for your date.
Even better than breakfast, your wife would love a breakfast that she didn't have to make and that she can eat warm without having to share bites with her little ones. This is the biggest thing that I think every mom should get for Mother's Day, after she has slept in and before or after she gets a long, uninterrupted shower of course! Even something a simple as a big muffin with some fruit and a cup of milk or a mug of hot chocolate would be much appreciated by the mother of your children.
So many restaurants have Mother's Day deals. One of my favorite breakfast locations gives free French Toast to mom the day before. The only problem with these sorts of deals is the wait and how packed the restaurant will be. As much as I love free breakfast food, I prefer to avoid the chaos. If I'm going to enjoy a breakfast out, I would love to go somewhere not quite as busy or get a cinnamon roll from the drive-thru of one of my favorite restaurants and then take it to a park and enjoy a breakfast picnic.
My love language is acts of service and that might not be your wife's top love language, but man oh man, nothing is better than a clean house. Some wives might not like this, but I would LOVE to have a cleaning service come in and deep clean the areas that I neglect (baseboards, behind furniture, etc.) as well as the general weekly cleaning before Mother's Day. Hiring someone to clean for you might not always be in the budget. Send your wife away for the day (ideas for that below) and let the kids help you clean the entire house from top to bottom. Your wife will love coming home to find that there is nothing that needs to be cleaned so she can spend quality time with her family and wake up in the morning to that same clean house.
With kids, mom's car is always filled with random toys, empty cups, garbage from eating on the go, and remnants of snacks (goldfish crackers, cheerios, fruit snacks, etc.) When I get my oil changed, they clean my windows and vacuum out the car, but it's not the same as a good, deep cleaning. If you have the budget for it, consider hiring a car detailing service to come out and clean your wife's car. Having my seats shampooed, everything vacuumed and those hard to reach crevices clean would make me swoon.
Morning to Sleep In
Is there anything else that I really need to say on this one? Sleep with the kids' monitors on your nightstand, turned down so that they don't bother your wife, but so that you can still hear them. As soon as you start to hear noise and talking, sneak out of bed, closing the door behind you, and take care of the kids for the morning. I have a hard time sleeping past 7 or 8 most mornings, my body just automatically wakes me up, but getting to lie there and browse social media, watch my current Netflix binge or just relax and be cozy sounds divine!
For my first "official" Mother's Day, my mom bought a bunch of flowers for me to plant in our front flower bed. Unfortunately, gardening doesn't bring me near as much joy as it does her. I did however love sitting on the porch, snuggling my baby, while I watched Joe plant the flowers for me. The next year, Joe took me to pick out flowers for that same flower bed and then he brought them home and planted them for my Mother's Day gift. He also went out every night to water them and pull out any weeds. The best part about those flowers were that they lasted for six months and were always there for me to enjoy.
A vase of beautiful flowers would be appreciated by your wife as well! A fun idea might be to gift her with a weekly or monthly "flower subscription" that consists of you bringing home a new bouquet of flowers to brighten up a space in the home. I've seen some beautiful flowers at a good price at the local grocery stores and even at Costco.
One of my friends did a mini photo shoot for moms and their littles one Mother's Day and those images are some of my favorite. Hire a friend or local photographer to spend 10, 20 or 30 minutes with your wife and your kids and capture the sweet relationship that she has with each of them. Then have a few of your favorites printed and framed or hang them on the fridge. They will be some of her most treasured pictures!
Send your wife out for the day and tell her to treat herself! Find a local spa that offers a variety of services and book her for a pedicure, manicure, massage, and any other treatments you think she'd enjoy. If you're looking for a more budget friendly option, make an appointment at the local massage school and find a nail salon that is offering a deal on pedicures. If you plan on taking your wife out on a date later that evening, you might consider sending her to the salon to get her hair washed, blown out and styled. Let her feel pampered and glamorous.
After the kids have gone to bed, fill the tub with warm water and add a bath bomb. Put a glass of your wife's favorite drink, a bar of chocolate and the book that she's been reading (or trying to read. Dim the lights and tell your wife to relax in the tub for as long as she'd like. You might consider buying a new fluffy, soft robe for her to slip into when she's done.
Bensen was always the best baby and would either nap or play on his own during dinner, so I didn't understand what parents meant when they said that they would like to eat their dinner while it was still hot. Now that we have two toddlers who eat with us, I understand. I'll often sit down at the table with my family, but save my meal for after the kids have gone down for their naps or are in bed for the night, just so that I can enjoy it in peace and eat it while it's still warm.
Take care of your kids' needs for a meal. Tell your wife to sit down, dish her food up first, and ignore the kids' needs. Let her enjoy conversation with you and the kids while you get up to tend to their requests. Or, send her out for dinner on her own, to her favorite restaurant. Some days, eating by myself in a booth at a restaurant sounds kind of nice, although I really love to sit around the kitchen table and eat with my family.
A Wishlist Item
I have an Amazon wishlist and a Pinterest wishlist board. Both of them are filled with things that I want to buy for myself, but won't until I have some fun money to spend. Find your wife's wishlists and purchase one or two things from them. If you were to look at my lists, you might think some of the items are lame, like a wifi crockpot, but I promise, every single thing your wife has on her wishlist is something that she'd enjoy receiving.
*There is the fact that some women do not like to be gifted kitchen or household appliances, especially on Mother's Day. Make sure you know what your wife's preference is before making a purchase. She may have some more practical things on her list that she might not necessarily want someone else to buy for her.
Something from the Kids
Any project with hand prints or toddler scribbles is always a hit. Interview your children and ask them questions about their mom every year and present her with a little book of their responses. Let your kids pick out a small bouquet of flowers for their mom and get a card to go with it. Let them pick the card, any random one, although you could nudge them in the direction of the Mother's Day cards. It doesn't matter what the card says, it will be special and loved because it is coming from them. One year, my sister was so excited to give my mom her gift, a box of band aids that she'd picked out herself. It wasn't glamorous, but it was perfect because it was from her and she was kind of the queen of using up all of the band aids.
Mothers are superheros who wear aprons, cleaning gloves, and whatever their kids request they wear, in place of their cape. You should take the time to make all of the mothers in your life feel special on Mother's Day. Your mom, your mother-in-law, any sisters you have who are mothers, they all deserve your love and recognition. But the mother of your children (future or present), she deserves a little bit extra from you. Recognize her in a special way this year and for every year to come.
Wives, what would you add to this list, is there anything else you'd love to receive? Husbands, what do you have planned for your wife this year?