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What to Do When Mom Says She Doesn’t Need Anything for Mother’s Day
If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you love a Mom. And with Mother’s Day just around the corner, you want the Mom in your life to know how much you love her. But when you ask what she wants for Mother’s Day, she’s not giving up any specifics. Whether it’s “I don’t know,” “Whatever you want is fine,” or the dreaded “Don’t worry about me, I don’t need anything,” you’ve got a little voice in your head saying that it’s probably best not to take her at her word.
That voice is right.
Don’t skip the chance to honor Mom on Mother’s Day. This is your moment! Moms, especially new ones, often don’t have space on their task lists to add “think of the perfect gift for my spouse and kids to give me on Mother’s Day.” She might not want to feel like a burden, might not love being the center of attention, or might just be struggling to focus on her own wants and needs when her days are all about a new baby. So we’re going to do the work for her, together, and make sure this Mother’s Day is a memorable one.
Here are some foolproof ways to make sure the love you feel gets communicated on Mom’s big day:
Make sure you were really listening.
Did she really say she didn’t want anything at all? Or did she say something more like “Oh, I dunno, just some time with the family” or “A day off” or “A million-dollar lottery ticket.” Sure, she may have been joking about the lottery, but all of these comments are clues, and ways to show you were really listening - which is probably what she wants most of all. She wants time with the family? Plan a fun day together and make sure she doesn’t have to take care of any of the details - you plan the transportation, pack the diaper bag, pick the location, figure out what everyone is going to eat, ALL of it. Toss a few lottery tickets into a card, and you’re a Mother’s Day hero. And hey - maybe one of those scratchers will be a winner after all!
Start with a responsibility-free morning.
You’ve asked again, and you’re sure she wants nothing - so give her nothing to do! Moms are often the ones taking care of everyone in the morning, so on Mother’s Day, make sure everything is taken care of. Let her sleep in, and make sure bouncy kids and pesky pets are kept out of the bedroom. Get the kids clean and dressed, and the house looking nice, and make sure breakfast is ready when she wakes up! From there, let her choose how to use her free time. And whatever choice she makes, take on the role of problem-solver who makes it happen. She wants to read quietly? Make sure the kids have a distraction, and snacks, and be on call to answer any time anyone yells “Moooooom!”
Take photos (with her consent)
Statistically, moms are often the ones behind the camera. Once she’s feeling photo ready, make it a point to snap a few photos of her interacting with the kids. Take this idea a step beyond by scheduling a mini Mom-focused professional photo shoot. If things feel a little stiff, try taking photos while she and the kids play, dance, laugh, or go on a walk together - sometimes, the moments that aren’t posed are the most beautiful (and flattering!).
Do that lingering to-do list item.
Almost every family has a task that’s been hanging around on the to-do list for ages because no one wants to handle it. Whether it’s finally cleaning out that space between the fridge and the wall or hiring the neighbor kid to pull all the weeds in the yard, don’t underestimate the Mother’s Day power of the gift of knowing that annoying unwanted task is DONE.
Tell her what you love about her.
We all have things we appreciate about the moms in our lives, but we don’t always remember to say them out loud. Make a point to tell her throughout the day what you love, appreciate, and cherish about her. Be careful to stay out of the trap of task-related, home-management praise: “I love the way you keep the kitchen clean” might not feel as appreciative as “You have the best laugh.” “I love that our kids get to learn from you - the way you see the world is so beautiful,” is much better than “I love that you always know when the kids need snacks.” Make sure she’s the star of every compliment, and make sure she feels celebrated all day long.
Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be a big production with expensive gifts and elaborate plans. Sometimes, the simplest things are the best way to say I love you - especially to a Mom who swears she needs nothing at all.
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!