I think when the kids were young and I stayed home with them, I worked so much harder than I do now. But now that they’re older and I work outside the home, I think I’m working so much harder now than I did when they were little. The type of work changes over the years from more physically to mentally challenging. But it’s still just as tough. It was tough when I was married, and it’s tough now that I’m single. It’s the most rewarding, demanding, fun and exhausting job ever! I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but sometimes it is tough and you just need a break!
So this Mother’s Day, I’m helping you out by letting you know the gift that Mom’s REALLY want this Mother’s Day:
To Get My Car Detailed!
We mom’s LIVE in our cars. I can remember whole soccer seasons where we ate dinner in the car on the way to a game at least twice a week. And when we finally would get out on a date night, we just wanted to enjoy our night. But there were fingerprints on the windows, chocolate stuck to the seat and it becomes really embarrassing for us when the only clean area of the entire car is the drivers seat. A nice car detail would be the perfect gift for Mom!
Budget Friendlier Option: A car wash! Send Mom to the car wash or wash it at home for her!
To Have My House Cleaned!!
Okay, this goes without saying. Prior to my ex passing away I was starting to get these AMAZING glimpses of what my house would look like clean again. (I’m now back to the stage where the house is always messy all the time). But back then I would spend all day Saturday cleaning while the kids were at their Dad’s just so I could spend all day Sunday admiring my house before the kids got home Sunday night. And then, like a tornado they would come through and dump their laundry from the weekend, sit down and eat snacks and chat with me. And then they would ask why my face looked so fallen. All that work…gone. In less than five minutes. The look of shock was kind of inevitable. To help Mom this Mother’s Day, give her the gift of a clean house. Call around and find some professional house cleaning places offering specials so she can spend less time cleaning and more time spending time with you or the kids!
Budget Friendlier Option: Clean the house while Mom is out! Surprise her when she gets home!
The day I became pregnant, so many Mom’s gave me some great advice that was completely untrue. “The first few months are the hardest!” they would say. I ended up having three premature babies that NEVER slept the first year. It wasn’t months, it was YEARS without sleep. I still don’t sleep that great. One child is up early or in bed late for a school project. They should’ve warned me it was 18 years of sleep deprivation, not a few months. I’m always up for a nap if I could get one.
Give Mom the gift of sleep this Mother’s Day. Book a massage or facial so she can relax, or schedule some uninterrupted nap time for her. If it’s a single mom, volunteer a couple dates that you can help with the kids and then have her sleep or go out while you watch the kids.
Macaroni and cheese AGAIN? Even now as teenagers my kids ask for the same meals over and over again. I like variety, and the same meals can be tough. Give some gift cards to restaurants. One thing I love and appreciate is a Doordash gift certificate. This is so nice for those nights I can’t leave the kids but just can’t stand the thought of eating spaghetti again! I also use it to order some food to my work, sans the kids looking at what I’m eating. As a single Mom, it’s a little nice to enjoy I don’t have to share.
I also love trying to take the kids out sometimes too. “Eating out” for our family is often fast food in the drive thru. Being able to sit down and eat a meal somewhere is a treat for us. We love being able to talk and no one has the distraction of being able to run out of the room. Some of our best conversations and family time have been while eating out somewhere together.
Budget Friendlier Option: Offer to host the family for dinner and make it a fun family night. Break out the games!
When the kids were little you were constantly told to go out, enjoy a date night and get away from the kids. But sometimes money gets tight and the first thing to go is often those nights out. They get expensive! When you are paying $40+ for a babysitter plus a movie, plus dinner, it’s over $100 for a night out! That’s not always doable. I also see how my own sister with a special needs child struggles to get out. She often has difficulty finding a suitable sitter for her son with autism.
Consider getting a gift card to Care.com where sitters are screened and the Mom in your life can find a special needs sitter if needed. This is a great gift to allow a mom in your life a night out.
Budget Friendlier Option: Consider volunteering for a mom for a night, or offering a sitter swap.
Give her Groceries!
Yeah, that might not sound like the most glamourous Mother’s Day gift, but grocery delivery services like Instacart can be lifesavers for me. As a Mom, there are so many times I get a phone call and the kids put another wrench into the day needing me to take them to work early or pick up something they need for an activity. I now take 10 minutes and use sites like Instacart to have it delivered to them in under one hour. Then I can finish up work, head home and by the time I get there it’s being delivered and I don’t have to make an extra stop on the way. I also recently read where one Mom schedules an order to be delivered the morning after she gets home from vacation so she doesn’t have to worry about leaving the house for groceries!
It also saved me from sending my teenager to the store to get some gluten free stuff for me when I got sick awhile ago. It’s hard to send someone who isn’t familiar with gluten free brands and shopping to go to the store and get what you need. So I just Instacarted it from Sprouts and I had crackers, soup and rice delivered to help my stomach.
Budget Friendlier Option: Head to the store for a sick friend or deliver some groceries to them.
I Don’t Want to Make Dinner!
Tonight the kids kept asking when dinner would be. Over and over and over. I plopped their dinner down on the table and they ate about three bites and then said that they weren’t that hungry. Making dinner can be so incredibly upsetting some nights.
To help Mom out, send her to a place like Dream Dinners or Let’s Dish! to prep some freezer meals ahead of time to the kids liking, or offer her a subscription to companies like Green Chef or Blue Apron.
Budget Friendlier Option: Make some freezer meals for Mom that she can store away. Try some of these great slow cooker meals you can freeze.
Get That Job Done!
How many of you are STILL waiting for your spouse to finish fixing the faucet? How many of you are single and need some help mounting your new TV? Sites like TaskRabbit and Air Tasker are great sites to help you get someone to help fix what you need. You can find someone to help with yard and lawn work, putting together furniture, simple home repairs and more.
Budget Friendlier Option: Volunteer to help a Mom around the house. Or break out that Honey Do List and get to work!
Yeah, this one wouldn’t be something you normally would think about, but Mom’s love this kind of gift. My mom got me our family’s DNA kit and we’ve loved finding out where we are from. You can now even get Dog and Cat DNA kits for the animal loving Mom.
Budget Friendlier Option: Volunteer to help do some research on a family member.
Got a Mom that doesn’t get enough screen time? Giving her the gift of a subscription service is a fantastic idea. Hulu, Netflix or RedBox are all great ideas for helping Mom to relax and allow some time to unwind. Of course, NONE of these seem to work for me. I’m always trying to get through a freaking 30 minute episode without falling asleep! I’ve watched the same episode of TV for a week!
Budget Friendlier Option: Invite Mom over for a Netflix and chill night.