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What Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day

Author and blogger Meredith Ethington shares some ideas for gifting the special moms in your life


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As someone who has been in the parenting game for 17 years and seen a lot of Mother’s Day celebrations come and go, I know firsthand that Mother’s Day can sometimes feel like just another day, especially if your kids are young. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It really doesn’t take much to make that special mom in your life feel special. So, what do most moms want for Mother’s Day? Well, I’ve got a few ideas to share with you.

First and foremost, we want a break. Yes, that’s right, a BREAK. A day where we don’t have to think about schedules, meal planning, or cleaning up after our little angels. We want to be able to sit down, relax, and take a breath. And you know what? We shouldn’t feel guilty about it. As moms, we tend to put everyone else’s needs before our own, but on Mother’s Day, it’s time to put ourselves first. A break from our kids may seem like a weird ask for a day that’s specifically about celebrating our motherhood, but the mental load for moms is real, and if you want to give her a true break, take over everything for the day: The meals, the laundry, the potty training, the to-do list. all of it.

Second, we want to feel appreciated and seen. Being a mom is hard work, and we don’t always get the recognition we deserve. When our kids are little, we often feel drained because they aren’t always capable of expressing gratitude. But a simple “thank you” or “I appreciate you” can go a long way. If the little ones can’t do it, the partner totally should. Most moms don’t really care as much about gifts. Chocolate, wine, and flowers (and I’d add cheese to the list) are always nice, but a handwritten card that tells us how loved and appreciated and seen we are is even better.

Third, we want to feel supported. Motherhood can be lonely, and it’s important to have a support system we can turn to when we’re feeling overwhelmed. How can you gift someone a support system? Here are some ideas:

Set up a lunch date for us with our friends, or if you can afford it—a girls’ trip.

Encourage us to embrace self-care—better yet, make the appointment for us to have a nice day out getting a pedicure, or doing some kid-free shopping. Give us a chance to relax and recharge.

Help the mom in your life focus on her mental health. Being a mom is stressful, and it’s important that we take care of our mental health. This could mean scheduling a therapy session, taking a class that is something we enjoy, or simply finding some quiet time to ourselves where we feel like we did before having kids. A mom’s mental health is always important to talk about. Chances are, the mom in your life is feeling overwhelmed by something right now that you maybe know nothing about.

In my new book, The Mother Load: Surviving the Daily Grind Without Losing Your Ever-Loving Mind, we talk about those feelings, and how to give ourselves a break and why taking care of our own mental health is crucial to our survival as moms. But it’s so much better if the people that love us can help us care for our mental health. What moms want for Mother’s Day is really, really simple: a break, appreciation, support, and time to focus on our mental health. And to all the moms out there, take a deep breath, give yourself a pat on the back, and remember, you’re doing a great job. Happy Mother’s Day!

About The Author
Meredith Ethington

Meredith Ethington is an award-winning writer and author of The Mother Load: Surviving the Daily Grind Without Losing Your Ever-Loving Mind, a book about the journey through motherhood and mental health. She started writing on her popular blog, Perfection Pending, and her viral essays have reached millions of struggling parents. She lives in Salt Lake City, UT, with her husband, three kids, and muppety dog, Millie. In her loads of spare time, she is studying to become a licensed mental health counselor.