The mess, the memories and what makes a mom like me feel appreciated
You may be at a loss when it comes to finding the perfect gift for Mom this Mother’s Day, but no worries. There’s some reassuring science behind gift giving that confirms that “experiences are better than material items.” They can nurture a stronger and more meaningful relationship in the long term. Here is our unfiltered, unapologetic gifting guide for all moms- from new moms, to working moms, to pet moms, expecting moms, and of course the beloved grandmas that we may also affectionately crown as Nonna, Abeula or Gigi.
Maybe more than anyone , moms deserve meaningful gifts—and probably just a little more appreciation every day. It’s the least we can do in return for them giving us life and unconditional love.
Know her: Pets are legitimately “fur babies” that rely on human moms for food, shelter, affection and sometimes a late-night restroom walk around the neighborhood. And when pets get sick or injured, mom jumps to their aid and worries about them all while trying to lovingly disguise their antibiotics in chewable treats. She feeds the stray she swore would be “your responsibility”, she adapts to meticulously lint rolling her outfits before heading out of the house and she offers boundless love despite the hair balls, chew marks and house accidents. This is what makes her a bona fide pet mom. Caring for her pet is an extension of her own humanity.
Give her: Play time. The demand of daily life may distract her from dog walks, couch cuddles or some outside playtime. An intentional dog park visit with a thoughtfully packed picnic will be a great opportunity for a Dog Mom looking for some fun. Brew her favorite beverage and offer a cozy blanket for that Cat Mom that secretly needs her lap kitty time.
Know her: Whether it’s her first or her third, she is going through some major life changes. Her body is expanding, including her dainty size-7 feet that swell to about 9-1/2. And even before her feet hit the ground in the morning she feels nauseous. Her love for her favorite foods may run deep but so does the heartburn that follows. As her belly grows, strangers seem compelled to reach for her or ask about her due date. She grunts, waddles and pants from the parking lot to the building but she also knows that she is capable and strong like the mothers before her. The nesting kicks in just as strong and that spare bedroom transforms into a haven for stuffed animals, diapers and onesies. Her baby registry is full of everything she thinks she needs to be the best Mom, but a burger and a hug might just hit the spot right now.
Give her: Encouragement. Whether she admits it or not, she could use a little tenderness. Pregnancy is hard on the body and can be overwhelming for first-time Moms. Text her or pen a sweet note, take her favorite food order, or have her sit down for a soothing foot massage. A happy mama makes a happy baby.
Know her: New parenthood is a true test of character. Mom learns so much about herself, her partner and the meaning of life, and that’s just accounting for the first week. Mother-in-laws harp on the fact that “they don’t come with manuals do they?” So referencing the catalogue of advice (unsolicited of course) from relatives and trying to fuse them with her own maternal instincts is a daily challenge. Also, basic things like sleep and showers seem like indulgence when in charge of keeping a little human alive. When caffeine no longer replaces sleep, she’d trade the pick-me-up for a good old fashioned lay down.
Give her: Alone time. Let her run on errand solo, get her nails done or find some peace and quiet in uninterrupted bath time. One-on-one time with herself will reset her mind and body so she can be the best version of herself when she gets back to the daily grind.
Know her: Back to work. “Working Mom” seems a little misleading and outdated. Honestly, if you’re home or in an office, working is definitely on the agenda and motherhood doesn’t let you clock out. Super Mom seems a little more accurate, because she literally does it all, all the time, for everyone. The calendar is ready to ping her with an upcoming doctor’s appointment or a bill that is due. Her day starts a little earlier than everyone else, so she can have a few minutes showering, prepping lunches and warming up the car for the morning dash out the door. She has several bosses. One emails her about deadlines the others leave her crayon drawings on the wall. Her catch phrases include “what’s in your mouth?”, “we’re gonna be late”, and “mommy needs a minute”. She takes pride in her accomplishments, her career and her family but sometimes even superheroes need sidekick support.
Give her: Support. Delete those candles and fluffy robes from your online cart and simply lend her a hand. Offer to babysit, conquer the carpool a couple mornings a week, or make dinner for the family. Taking items off her plate will be an act of self-care that will score some major points.
Know her: She’s royalty in your eyes. She has a lifetime of experience but seeing her grandkids grow up still surprises her. Raising her own kids gives her the unspoken right to spoil the grandkids with homemade sweets and trips to the zoo. She has an insatiable craving for silly videos. And overdosing on cuteness is never a possibility with her. A hug from Grandma has the power to heal the world or a skinned knee.
Giver her: Memories. Making memories together is the best currency for Grandmas who have spent a lifetime waiting for their grandchildren to become their built-in buddies. Bake with them, make art, or simply spend quality time with them. Memories are priceless gifts that never go out of style. Your presence is the present they were expecting.
Have some memorable Mom moments you want to share with the Hoover family? Post those priceless nuggets on our Facebook or Instagram with the perfect hashtag #motherhoodunfiltered, we would love to see how meaningful you made your Mother’s Day.