Dads: put away your checkbooks. Kids: keep the change. What mom really wants for Mother's Day is one of those things that money just can't buy: the gift of time.
Whether it's spent alone or with the family, moms across the country and around the world named time as their number one "must have," according to a recent SheKnows survey.
"All I want for Mother's Day is a little time off," says Karen in San Antonio, Texas*. "I am at everyone's beck and call. I want time for me." Adds Lisbeth from Raleigh, North Carolina, "I want to be able to take a bubble bath and get both legs shaved before my child needs something. I want to go shopping alone. I want to watch an entire sitcom episode without interruption."
But time alone isn't all mom wants. Many women crave some quality moments with the family. Says Colorado mom Dana, "This will be my first Mother's Day ever, so I want it to be special. I would just like to spend the day at the park with my husband and seven-month-old daughter and have a picnic." Gina in California echoes this popular sentiment. "What I really want for Mother's Day is just some quiet time with my husband and daughters. No work, no running to relatives or friends houses, no classes; just the four of us." Tee wants to "spend the day with my family, enjoying the three blessings I have been given."
What didn't rate highly on the list? Flowers, chocolates, jewelry and clothes -- all traditional gifts for mom. Terri, a mother from Chicago, says, "My husband tends to buy things, but I would like something that took a little more effort."
While a bouquet or a box of candy may be easier, today's busy mom needs love, peace and understanding -- and don't underestimate the value of understanding. Notes Gail from Newfoundland, Canada, "What I'd really like to get for Mother's Day is a little recognition for even some of the stuff I do." Tessy in Glenside, Pennsylvania, agrees that the perfect gift would be "just to be appreciated by my husband for being able to juggle a full-time job, and then go home to a full-time job of being a mother to a beautiful 11-month-old daughter and being a wife."
So what can the thoughtful family do for mom to show gratitude? The moms at SheKnows have these ideas to suggest: Say thanks. Give her a hug. Send her a card. Let her take a nap in peace. Make her dinner. Write her a love letter. And don't forget about some good old-fashioned tender loving care. Several moms mentioned their desire for bubble baths, massages, facials, manicures, makeovers and other spa treatments. "I would love to feel pampered," sighs New Yorker Tracy.
Whatever you give, if it's from the heart -- and coupled with a moment of peace and quiet -- she's sure to be delighted. "No matter what the day brings," says Barbara, a mom in Shreveport, Louisiana, "Kix in bed, complete with a weed bouquet, a tissue paper flower card, maybe even a picnic... recognizing and being thankful for the small things is the best way that I know to spend Mother's Day."
* Some names and identifying details have been changed
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