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Mother’s Day is almost here, and as a mom of three teens, I’m going to let you in on a secret: This holiday is often a bust.
As moms, we celebrate the day by doing precisely what we do every other day of the year — cook, clean and yell as we’re ignored when we ask, “Who left this half-eaten banana on the counter?!”
The truth is, Mother’s Day as a “holiday” lacks something. What is it? Oh right, the “holiday” for moms themselves. Let me tell you what would really make my Mom’s Day special.
Sure, there are the standard go-to gifts like scented candles, Nutribullet blenders and massages (some lucky moms even escape to a spa for an entire day!), but what moms really want boils down to the same thing: recognition, love and maybe a little break.
If you want to make a good impression this Mother’s Day, show that you appreciate all that we do as moms. Skip the socks and the kitchen appliances and give me something that makes me laugh, smile or feel a bit pampered.
Need a little direction? Here are some ideas for gifts that I’d actually love (and use!).
A little support
YogaDirect Supportive Rectangular Cotton Yoga Bolster, $50, Amazon
Mom doesn’t need to love yoga, or even know how to do it very well (I sure don't), to enjoy good yoga props. Bolsters, straps, blankets and blocks are great for stretching, relaxing and helping make the most of whatever “me” time she can grab. Sitting on a yoga bolster on the floor — even while doing laundry — helps fight fatigue and improve posture. The truth is, having great equipment to stretch, work out with or even just meditate on for five minutes feels great and doesn’t cost a fortune.
Throw in an online subscription to virtual yoga classes for extra brownie points!
The return of happy hour
The Mother Pucker, $93, Mouth
Mother’s Day doesn’t feel particularly special when you’re cleaning all day then making dinner for everyone. You know what I’d like? A cocktail. Well, guess what, Mouth makes a special Mother Pucker DIY Margarita bag and it’s better than any bar in town. Just don't be surprised when I pour myself a second round.
And, I know I said this list would be things I want besides wine ... so, in that case, I'd like a nice wine glass.
Mom Juice Wine Glass, $18, Amazon
A moment of peace
Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Bath Polish, $36, Nordstrom
No time or money for a fancy spa? Turn your home tub into a sweet retreat for mom with a soothing body polish from Herbivore Botanicals. An essential oil expert once told me that the smell of rose actually helps clear stress from your aura. If you look it up, you’ll see that rose essential oils are said to help balance hormones, relieve anxiety, improve decision-making and naturally increase libido (a little something for the hubby, too!). Put all that anxiety-fighting, aura-cleansing power into a lovely bath scrub and voila — an instant spa treatment.
Since bath bombs are still trending, why not throw a rose bath bomb in there too?
Homemade Rose Garden Bath Bomb, $7, Amazon
A support system
Personalized family member signpost, $125, Uncommon Goods
Want something unusual, unique and wholly unnecessary? I think this Personalized Family Member Sign Post is an awesome gift. Why? Because it’s a reminder that no mom is an island. This customized post reminds us that we’re surrounded by loved ones year-round, even if they’re far away. It helps to know that there’s always someone to call in the case of a mental breakdown because your teen just yelled “I hate you!” and slammed the door. It also shows that the gift giver put a little thought, energy and planning into their Mother’s Day gift.
An imaginary retreat
Lumen Oil Candle Shadow Projector, $48, Uncommon Goods
Another gift I’d love as a mom? This tree shadow candle. Yeah, yeah, I said I hate scented candles. But that’s because they usually show no thought. This is a unique twist on the rote gift that feels like a special treat. This cool candle brings the great outdoors inside and helps create a unique and relaxing escape. She can pretend she’s in a gorgeous copper bath deep in some magical forest, surrounded by woodland creatures who know how to carry towels and wield back scrubbers. Mom can turn the lights off, and let her mind wander ... maybe for 10 whole minutes if she’s lucky.
An impractical handbag
Nannacay Top Handle Bag, $207, Bloomingdales
Every mom has a handbag that can sustain spills, absorb crushed snacks and fit a child-sized port-o-potty. Once your kids get older, you’re ready to burn that thing.
It’s such a treat to have something stylish, lightweight and just for you. There is absolutely nothing utilitarian about Nannacay's mini bag, and that’s why I love it. It’s expensive, it's small and it has pompoms. So, no, I'm sorry, I can't hold your sunglasses/socks/phone/gum. It won't fit in my bag.
If your budget is a little tighter, also make sure to check out a cheaper, but equally impractical bag from Sakroots.
Sakroots Roma Mini Crossbody Bag, $48, Amazon
To feel like a princess
Steve Madden Softy Slides, $20 (usually $40), Nordstrom
Do you know what a real princess needs? Slippers. Not glass slippers, but great slippers. The kind of slippers that feel like heaven, but don’t make you look like you’re looking for the bingo room in the retirement home. Luckily, according to my daughter, fuzzy shoes are really cool right now. So if you're looking to make mom feel like a pampered princess, this the way to do it. And the fact that I can leave the house in these without embarrassing my family? Bonus.
At the end of the day, what moms really want for Mother’s Day is just a little break, a little treat and maybe a nice big hug.
Now, please go clean up that banana on the counter …
This article was originally published on May 4, 2016 on TODAY.com.