EVERY 12 months our inboxes groan with lists of “unique” gifts “mom would love for Mother’s Day”. Maybe it’s just me, but you know what moms don’t love? Lists that urge our kids to spend money they don’t have for stuff that has little to do with the bond between mom and child.
I can’t remember, for example, ever pining for a temperature-controlled ceramic mug, a cashmere wrap or wine glasses that say “Keep Calm & Drink Wine”.
The best gifts, of course, aren’t things. And the perfect gift for a mom depends on which stage of parenthood she currently inhabits. Here’s a guide to help you get started.
Stage 1: Sleep-deprived and overwhelmed
The Stage I Mom is so exhausted that inpatient surgery sounds like a tempting vacation. Her offspring rarely sleep, and her rare “breaks” – when a partner, relative or friend takes the kids to the park – are euphemisms for more housework.
If the kids are too little to create “Mother’s Day,” the bearer-of-breaks should step in. Because here’s what a Stage I mom really wants: a day to herself (meaning nobody home).
Stash delicious food in the fridge for her. Suggest she watch favourite shows or read a good book or take a bath. (Clean the tub and set out gorgeous lotion next to clean towels you washed and dried.) Suggest she take a nap on sheets you also cleaned.
Then don’t come back. For, like, the entire day.
Stage 2: Under-appreciated, and still sleep-deprived
The Stage II Mom doesn’t see her tweens or teens enough; at least, she doesn’t see them when they’re being nice to her. She’s at the office or asleep (because sleep deprivation is part of her now). The kids are usually in school, on the soccer field or holed up in their bedrooms.
Stage II moms know the kids still live at home because they emerge to