With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, you might be scrambling for a gift idea: And we all know the usuals. Flowers, gift cards, maybe a cute purse or a trip to her local nail salon.
All of those are great presents, by the way, and we have no doubt that many moms would be delighted to receive any or all of the above.
But ... what do mothers REALLY want?
We asked that very question, and we received more than 300 responses.
Some common themes were:
Moms want ...
- A clean house (or a day off from cleaning/parenting responsibilities!)
- Alone time
- OR on the flip side, time with loved ones
- Something thoughtful or homemade from the kids
- Some spending cash, or even “a break from bills”
- A little weekend trip or a bigger, family vacation (answers varied, but many of you mentioned trips!)
- A meal, often shared with loved ones
- Overwhelmingly, a big answer was “SLEEP!” 🙂
People had the chance to leave as many, or as few, identifying details as they’d like, hence why you’ll see some full names below, some first names only, some locations, and other moms who didn’t wish to share their geographical region. Responses were edited for length, clarity and grammar.
What do you really want?
“A beautiful day spent with my entire family, where the adult children prepare and cook the meal. That could be grilling or whatever. I come from a large family, and it would be awesome to have everyone around to celebrate all the mothers and grandmothers.” -- Nina Bobo, from Southfield, Michigan
“I want to sleep in, have a nice breakfast with my family, then I want them to peace out, so I can have some quiet time. (The family) can come back for dinner and we can do takeout and drinks. I want to get a professional deep cleaning of the house and a massage, too.” -- A parent in Overland Park, Kansas
“I want to go back in time and correct the mistakes of early motherhood, be more present and patient, not sweat the small things -- as I now see that much of it was small things. Now that my sons are young adults and doing seemingly OK, I want more than anything for them to know I did my best.” -- Patricia McCann, from Livonia, Michigan
“A nice breakfast with my family, you know, the kind I don’t have to cook and then eat cold because I’m busy making everyone’s plates and I end up eating last. That would be followed by them leaving me alone in the house for the day, after they cleaned it, of course, where I can shower in peace. Then a nice nap. When I wake, I open a nice bottle of wine and watch anything I want. Then maybe another nap.” -- Kristina O., from Monroe, Michigan
“I want to sleep in as late as I want, while daddy cares for the kids, and then I want to order some tasty wings from somewhere and have them delivered to the house. I want the kids to go to bed early, and to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie while snacking. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive, just a nice relaxing day in which I have minimal responsibilities.” -- Savannah Mallinson, from Middleburg, Florida
“I have two adult kids who live in two different states. I have three grandkids who live in a different state, and one granddaughter who lives in a different city. I have four kids and six grandkids and I just would LOVE for all of us to get together for breakfast, lunch or dinner -- all at the same time. My two daughters both met their husbands in college and never returned back to Miami. But this would truly make my heart smile.” -- Shawntria Sasser, from Miami, Florida
“A nice dinner out with our kids, a movie as a family, as well as a little shopping trip as a family. I love spending time with my kids. They’re the reason I’m a mom, and they’re still young, so I want to spend as much time with them as possible, because I know what it’s like when you get older and have a family of your own ... stuff gets hectic, and it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day.” -- A woman in Roanoke, Virginia
“A day off, not away from my kids, but I’d love to be able to sleep in (and) be able to take an uninterrupted shower, not have to worry about others’ needs, filling up juices, cleaning the house, doing laundry or breaking up fights. I would love to sit down and watch a movie with my husband and kids or cuddle in bed and be a kid with them. Being the primary caretaker is exhausting sometimes. You can’t always be the cool mom -- a lot of my time is spent teaching them conflict resolution and how to be good people. I have to play mediator a lot, and so I don’t often really get to enjoy my kids. Flowers would be nice, or just to hear that I’m appreciated; that what I do matters. I know I signed up for this job, but so often, I don’t feel appreciated by those who I’m doing all of this for. It’s just expected.” -- Ciara
“A deep clean of my house, and a soft blanket with family pics on it!” -- Andrea Lorfel-Jakubus, from New Haven, Michigan
“My children who passed away. I know, unrealistic. But you asked what I wanted. Or my mom. I lost her last year during the height of COVID. But I understand that isn’t possible. In the realm of reality, I would love to actually have a family vacation. My youngest child is 16. My oldest is 22. I’ve never been able to have a family vacation at all. There was always so much tragedy or loss going on that it seemed to be not that important. However now, as they grow up and leave home, I realize that I would give anything for some good old fashioned memories and a photo album to look back on when I’m old and gray.” -- A mom in Florida
“Honestly, it’s a gift no money could buy. I would LOVE to hear my 10-year-daughter speak for the first time or walk for the first time. She has cerebral palsy/autism/epilepsy. But I won’t give up. I’ll keep on loving her and praying for everyone.❤️🙏” -- Mandi from Kyle, Texas
“Just one day with my mother. Even (with her) being gone 21 years, I would give any chance to see her and see she is just fine. My mother is right where God wants her, but every child can be selfish for one moment.” -- Juanita Gongora, from Live Oak, Texas
“I would love for my husband to sit down with the kids and have them make me a craft! Something to save forever, and make me feel loved. Flowers die, but photos, crafts and memories last a lifetime!” -- Sarah, from North Miami Beach, Florida
“I would love a nice dinner -- New York strip, medium rare, with asparagus and a loaded baked potato or smashed, with a tall glass of wine!” -- Mary Ortiz, from San Antonio, Texas
“I want three things: My husband home from deployment, a spa weekend ALONE and seafood.” -- Tina Fite, from Norfolk, Virginia
This story was initially published in 2022. It has since been updated.