Hold the embroidered sweaters and birth-stone jewelry this Mother’s Day. Everywhere you look, you’ll see a gift guide promising to offer things mom “can’t live without”, from a $30 Twinkie maker to an $11,000 Chanel branded surfboard (thank you Kim K.). The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all guide. We all have different budgets, different hobbies, different tastes… so you have to be creative when deciding to show (or tell) mom just how much you appreciate her. Or if you are mom, treat yo’self accordingly.
Over the years, I’ve found myself continually saying “…that would be so nice if I just had (fill in the blank).” Thus, in the spirit of sharing-is-caring, I’ve compiled more of a personal wish-list, than say, a gift-guide, but perhaps it will get your creative juices flowing, nonetheless.
Initially, I wanted to include everything from minimum height requirements for tree branches (to make it impossible for my child to climb everything he sees) to shock collars for those who don’t return their carts to the cart corrals at Target… but then I got serious. This gift guide includes only those things that are actually existing or feasible (well…all except the last one anyways). And if you find yourself accidentally buying champagne this upcoming Sunday holiday instead of milk, cheers to you. Happy Mother’s Day.
My Wish Guide
Environmentally Friendly Band-Aids
I’ve come to the conclusion over the past few years that bandages don’t actually like to be used. By the time you get them open, if you get them open, there are like 85 wrappers lying around your house (or worse, your car), in a shredded heap. My son likes to cover four particular toes before his football games (one for each big toe and one for each pinky toe)… I have since bought him bigger cleats to eliminate this problem, but old habits die hard. Similar to DVDs, CDs, and Starburst, all the extra packaging just seems unnecessary and drives Type A mommies nuts. Can we not do better? Let’s reform how we care for boo-boos, and stop driving mom crazy, one ouchie at a time.
How often do you find yourself donning your fav pair of white distressed skinny jeans, when your child sticks both hands in the air and whines to be held?
“Baby I’d love to pick you up but mommy can’t get her pants dirty.”
Rather than have a crying child toddle behind you while fellow pedestrians shoot you menacing looks, (or do what I did, and have my son stick his legs out in an awkward V-shape behind us when I carried him), slip some mud guards on your kiddos shoes to solve the problem. A nifty little pair of felt/suede/leather (pick your fabric) booties that can easily be slipped over your child’s dirty sneakers would solve this problem in a snap. And I’m talking about something more fashionable than those cheap, blue shoe covers that doctors wear in the hospital. Mud guards that are kid-sized, cute, convenient, and white-denim approved. Enjoy keeping your clean clothes clean… well, at least until lunchtime. Get out the scissors and hot glue gun and start crafting. Shark Tank anyone?
Moms do not travel lightly… ever; a purse, diaper bag, child (or two), and hands full of various, unnecessary items. So why, why, why are public bathroom stalls so tiny? If I cannot shut the door without straddling the toilet, or hang my bag(s) on the door without hitting myself in the face while I squat, how in the heck am I supposed to fit myself AND a child in one stall? Apparently bathroom makers either A) want young children to go into stalls solo and pee all over, or B) men designed them and took none of this into account. Make.The.Stalls.Bigger. Find or start a petition in your mother’s honor.
A Night Off (Followed by a Morning Off)
Every mom needs a break, a day off, a girl’s night out. But what good is it when you have to wake up at the crack of dawn to tend to a wide-awake, bright-eyed child who wants to play trucks and watch cartoons? Do you know what’s worse than never getting a night off? Being hung-over and having to get up at 6AM. That is way worse. If you really want to put the ‘happy’ in Happy Hour, don’t just half-ass it for the mom in your life, go the entire mile; give her a full 24-hour break. Moms everywhere sigh in relief. Mimosa anyone?
Sticky Knee Patches
All kids’ clothing makers should double, triple, quadruple the fabric on the knees in children’s pants. But they don’t. And inevitably, your little one will rub holes through even the toughest of harem pants (fashion style courtesy of the Biebs). You will literally buy more pairs of size 5T pants than you ever thought possible. We don’t live in the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder, so sewing patches on pants is not the go-to answer anymore. How many millennials even own a sewing machine, let alone, know how to use one? The answer to this holey knee woe: disposable knee patches (think: big Band-Aids for your pants). It’s genius, actually. Stick them on for playtime, toss when done. Knees saved. Happy mommy. (Ghetto fix: Leftover nursing pads + Crayola markers + masking tape. You're welcome.)
Ergonomic Infant Seats
Is the current infant car seat design really the best we can do? Unless you cradle them above your hip with your arm looped through the handle, these back-breakers force your body into unnatural positions to stand and walk. Couldn’t they be shaped more like a lima bean, leaving a little notch for your legs? Make me something I can hold against my side! Make me something I don’t have to stand like a little teapot to hold! My body has already been through enough… please don’t make me awkwardly carry around an uncomfortable car seat for the next 12 months. My back thanks you in advance.
Remember the glory day before crying babies and real jobs? Teenagers around the world spend a lot of time sleeping. A lot. And many are looking for cool side gigs that allow them to work from the comfort of their… bedroom. Why not allow them to bottle their extra zzz’s and sell this to insanely sleep-deprived mothers? Freakin’ genius, right? How much would you pay for an eight-hour bottle of sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and like you just woke up from vacation? Think about it… people used to say that bottled water would never take off either. Until this is a reality, buy that special mommy in your life a ridiculously good pillow and some melatonin. Happy napping.
Now, I know some of these are nothing more than far fetched dreams. And maybe some of these actually already exist. But the point is, if you want to become a pro gift giver, this is how you should approach the process of gift giving. Think of annoyances and pain points in your mom’s life and figure out how to solve them. Voila. You, my friend, are her new favorite person. (And mine too… if you figure out how to bottle sleep).