What Mom

Saturday Star - - NEWS - WENDY IRVINE

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

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