Moms work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, never taking a vacation or a sick day, for at least 18 years. When you look at their job that way, honoring their contributions only one day a year seems like highway robbery.
How can you show your mother that you care, other than showering her with flowers and chocolates the second Sunday of every May? Here are seven things moms want on more than just Mother’s Day that you can surprise her with to show your love and appreciation.
1. Little Signs of Affection
Chances are, when you asked your mom what she wanted this past year, she didn’t add a six-figure watch to her wishlist. She probably pooh-poohed the idea of getting her anything before coming back with something prosaic like “a clean toilet.”
The good news is, you don’t have to spend a dime to show your mother that you care. Why not delight her with breakfast in bed, including tackling clean-up duty, on a random Saturday or after she pulls a double shift? Even something as thoughtful as offering to grab her favorite socks after she collapses on the couch shows you understand her exhaustion.
If you’re under 18, you probably appreciate it when your mom sticks an encouraging note in your lunchbox, even if you pretend that you don’t. Why not return the favor? Nearly every mother would adore opening her briefcase when she arrives at the office to a “have a great day” note from her children.
2. Help Around the House
Females have made significant strides in workplace equality, but when it comes to household labor, they still tackle the lioness’s share. Even women who work 35 or more hours a week do 22% more housework than their male counterparts. No wonder mom always seems so tired.
Why not do your fair share? This tip applies regardless of whether you are her child or domestic partner. Pro-tip: It isn’t enough to say, “I want to help out more around here.”
Put your money, or, rather, your free time, where your mouth is by making a chore chart that assigns various duties to each family member. Hang this on your fridge, taking care to check off your tasks when completed so that mom knows she doesn’t have to worry about them. Please divide things up fairly, taking into account children’s ages.
3. The Remote Control
If mom stays at home all day, you might think she has plenty of time to watch TV. However, telecommuting mothers may never get to look at the set, and those raising young children may see nothing but Barney the purple dinosaur for years.
When the weekend rolls around, share the remote control. Before you automatically flip to your favorite show, ask mom what she’d like to watch.
4. Guiltless Self-Care
Everyone deserves the occasional self-care. However, busy moms often feel guilty when they do indulge, preventing them from fully enjoying that bubble bath.
Let mom know that you want her to kick back and put up her feet with a small gift. You can find cruelty-free self-care gifts from ethical companies that don’t drain your pocketbook. Pick up a bath bomb for less than $10 at many department and drug stores — it’s the perfect way to say, “Go relax with some wine and a good book.”
5. A Hearty Meal
That whole division of household labor equation often involves the kitchen. You have two ideas for getting to mom’s heart through her stomach. You can take over dinner duty one or more nights a week or help with her weekly meal prep.
Why not delight mom some Saturday by hitting the farmers market, stocking up on fresh produce and chopping it into individual serving containers, so it’s ready for the wok during the workweek? If your partner texts you that she’s having a terrible day, try to beat her home and have a hot meal waiting for her to arrive.
6. A Sound Sleep
Many Americans are sleep-deprived, moms perhaps most of all. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of three American adults doesn’t get enough shut-eye. The results can devastate their overall health, influencing everything from poor decision-making to weight gain to heart disease risk.
Help mom to get her much-needed Zzz’s. If she normally takes work to bed, encourage her to break this habit by establishing a charging station for electronic devices somewhere outside of the bedroom. Create a nightly ritual where all family members unplug at least 30 minutes before turning in for the night.
If you want to get her a gift, a sunrise alarm clock makes waking up easier if she must arise when it is still dark outside. Blackout curtains and white-noise machines can make getting her Zzz’s less problematic if she works the second or third shift and must sleep during the day.
7. Hearing “I Love You”
Perhaps the best thing you can get mom on Mother’s Day and any time of year is the gift of those three little words she longs to hear. Have you told your mother that you love her yet today?
Life is full of unknowns. Get in the habit of never leaving the house without telling your mom that you love her. If you are an adult child who has long moved out on their own, maintain a weekly call to let her know how much you care.
Delight Your Mom With These 7 Things on Mother’s Day or Anytime
Being a mom is the toughest job in the world — it deserves more than one day of recognition. Delight your mother with these seven things on the second Sunday in May or any time of year.