Mom's Day

What Moms Actually Want This Mother's Day

Time to herself, acts of service and naps top out the most wanted items moms crave for Mother's Day—not essential oils or herbal tea.

By Kim Doleatto May 10, 2023

"I'd rather be able to go to the bathroom alone, kid."

"I'd rather be able to go to the bathroom alone, kid."

For moms with kids still living at home, their role often encompasses everything from chauffeur to nurse and tutor to chef. And for Mother's Day, it turns out the gift she really wants isn't a scented candle, herbal tea that she’ll probably have to prepare herself, essential oil or fresh flowers marching toward their inevitable death. It's much simpler. ​​A recent survey of 2,000 moms found that the thing they want the most is priceless: time.

Specifically, it found that 42 percent of moms crave free time to read a book or watch TV. On top of that, 10 percent of moms said they’d just like to use the bathroom in peace.

Another 2022 survey of 1,024 moms revealed top wish list items for Mother's Day were naps, help with household chores and a meal they take no part in preparing or planning.

I did my own deep-dive investigation, posting the question, "What would you like most on Mother's Day?" in mom-centric Facebook groups. Results seemed to confirm the studies' results, with answers like:

 "I am tired of receiving bath and body care stuff."

"No more candles!"

"No jewelry unless you're upgrading my ring, lol."

"I’m not worried about gifts but would love a break from having to cook and a day to relax!"

And the one that perhaps sums it up best: 

"I’d rather have nothing and just no responsibilities for the day."

It's clear. There are endless acts of service moms don't need to be asked to deliver, so return the favor with these ideas.

Take her out for dinner, cook for her or order out. Picnics at a park or the beach work, too; just make sure she doesn't have to be involved in any aspect of preparation or planning. And it goes without saying, she shouldn't do the dishes.

Get her car detailed.

Have the house professionally cleaned

Get her a massage or spa treatment.

Fix something she’s long wanted to be fixed.

Organize the dreaded garage. Click here for pro-level help.

Get a landscaper to make the yard look gorgeous.

Don't live nearby? Among moms with an empty nest, polls revealed that time spent together, a phone call or homemade gifts like a card or keepsake topped her wish list.

And if you want to win really big, don't ask her for guidance on any of it. As the unwitting and unpaid household manager, taking a break from the everyday minutiae of domestic decision-making is a major bonus she'll notice and appreciate.

The other thing about moms? They'll probably value the thought behind any gift more than the gift itself.  If the effort is there, you'll be OK because she loves you unconditionally.

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