What Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day: 11 Genius Ideas

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Ever wonder, what do moms really want for mother’s day? We’re sharing 11 ideas that will make all moms smile and feel appreciated

So right there is your first clue! What moms really want for Mother’s Day is to feel appreciated. To be seen. To get a break, a chance to fill her cup so she can continue filling everyone else’s.

As the mom of two energetic, wild boys, I can confidently say one thing: Mother’s Day is well deserved. And I don’t care if your wife/significant other told you she doesn’t want anything, get her something.

Not to sound preach-y, but moms work hard. There’s no weekends in kid-ville. No hot cups of coffee, sleeping in, or time alone. I love every second of it, but gosh, it’s exhausting!

As a mom, I exist on my children’s schedule. There’s rarely any balance in my favor, and a lot of self sacrifice. Having other people (read: husbands/dads) recognize that is what moms really want for Mother’s Day.

But, contrary to what you might believe, I don’t want a day away from my kids. I don’t need you to take them out so I can have a fancy spa day. I could care less about jewelry, brunch, expensive dinners, or a new bag.

I’ll let you in on a little secret…

Moms simply want to feel appreciated. And, sometimes, we want to be the fun parent, not the to-do list parent. Even if it’s just for one day.

What moms really want for mother's day

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What Do Moms Really Want For Mother’s Day??

I’ll let you in on another little secret…

The best Mother’s Day gifts won’t actually cost you a lot. In fact, many of them are free. You literally don’t need to leave your house to create an ideal Mother’s Day.

Simply come from a place of recognition and appreciation.


If there is something you want more as a mom of little kids for Mother’s Day, I tip my hat to you. Uninterrupted, as long as you need it sleep is all I want and need out of life.

From the up all night newborn phase, to the why is my child actually sleeping phase, the one thing you can count on as a mom is less than 6 hours a night. Once a year, I’d like at least 8.

Hey dads, if you do nothing else, let your wife sleep in on Mother’s Day. And please, PLEASE, don’t let her wake up to a mess.


Moms are pretty much used to reheating the same cup of coffee sixteen times until they resign themselves to drinking this not exactly warm but not iced-coffee cup daily.

What to moms really want for Mother’s Day? A piping hot cup of coffee in bed is a great place to start.

For Someone Else to Say I’ll Do it

It doesn’t matter if your kids are 2 or 22, moms are tired of cleaning up after you. We gush over those coupon books with an IOU for one free load of laundry. Someone else to do something that I typically do instead of relax is literally a gift sent from heaven. Save your money and sign me up for a day of no diapers.

Something Handmade

I may not save every stupid construction paper craft my kids ever brought home from daycare, but those I love you cards with a scribbled signature get me. I want a card from the toddlers who made me a mom.

Dads, dig out your wife’s stash of craft supplies – you know she has one. What moms really want for Mother’s Day is for her kid to make her something silly for Mother’s Day!

A Relaxing Day as a Family

what moms really want for mother's day is a break!
What do moms really want for Mother’s Day? A family outing that mom can actually enjoy!

Again, I don’t subscribe to the notion of spending Mother’s Day alone, away from my family. If that’s your thing, you do you and enjoy the heck out of your day.

But I personally want to spend the day with the little ones that made me a mama. I just want to actually enjoy the day though, rather than manage it, you know?

I love spending Mother’s Day at the arboretum, going for a family walk, watching family movies, or simply playing with my kids. Ideally, someone else can change all the diapers and prep all the snacks so I can sit on the floor and get trampled by dinosaurs while my toddler belly laughs so hard it hurts. Basically, I want to be dad for a day.

Take Out

Move over crowded, overpriced Sunday brunch and bring me a pizza. If you want to really go all out, make sure you get paper plates and plasticware so mama doesn’t have to do a sink full of dishes.

Under no circumstances should anyone ask mom what’s for dinner.


Because, you know, kids. Putting my feet up with a glass of white Bordeaux while someone else puts the kids to bed literally sounds like heaven in a glass. Pour me a second one while you’re up checking on them, too.

Snag the mom in your life a new cute wine tumbler, too! I’m a sucker for themed wine glasses, despite having an entire server full of wine glasses and gadgets. Can someone please buy me a #boymom one!?!?

A Plant

what moms really want for mother's day is to spent time with their kids, without the work!
Plants are a great Mother’s Day gift, especially if the kids help care for them.

Mother’s Day literally marks the beginning of creating new life. In addition to the scars and stretch marks on your body, low-maintenance plants are a great reminder of that. Plus they’re nice to look at.

My son’s school sent him home with a tomato plant one year and we literally harvested tomatoes all year! I loved sharing the experience of planting, watering, and picking tomatoes with him.


Did you think this former librarian wouldn’t recommend books?

There are a lot of crap parenting books on the market, and a few gems that are actually relatable and hilarious. Despite having zero time to read, I always appreciate the gift of something designed to help me feel like me.

Grab your mom or wife a copy of Confessions of a Domestic Failureir?t=torileigh 20&l=am2&o=1&a=0778330680 and she’ll think, for once, that you actually appreciate how hard she works despite being a hot mess.

Related: You can find a full mini review of Confessions of a Domestic Failure here, featured in our most popular book list!

Want to hit it out of the park? Snag a copy of My Mom Is Magical!ir?t=torileigh 20&l=am2&o=1&a=1419729624 or anything by Nancy Tillmanir?t=torileigh 20&l=am2&o=1&a=1250011353. These board books make perfects gifts for mom from toddler.

Breakfast in Bed

One of the best Mother’s Day gifts you can give an overworked, exhausted mom is breakfast in bed! On a normal day, moms finish about four hours of work before they get a chance to maybe eat themselves. Breakfast in bed is a great way to show appreciation for that!

Every year, my husband makes a batch of mimosas and throws an omelette together. Starting my day feeling relaxed, appreciated, and taken care of is the best feeling. That’s feeling is what moms really want for Mother’s Day!

A Car Wash

No matter how many times you swear up and down that your kids won’t eat in your car, they will. And you’ll never have time to clean it. Get me the ritz level car wash and I swear, you’ll see me light up! Clean the carseats while you’re at it.

A Bath

Assuming your home is like mine (read: crazy), mama probably needs more than a six second shower.

Having an hour to relax, read a book in the bathtub, and enjoy a glass of wine sounds like an idea way to end my Mother’s Day. I love teak bath caddies that hold your wine and books, too!

Toddler moms don’t need to be waited on hand and foot. They don’t need expensive or fancy gifts or an entire day to play Real Housewife.

What moms – especially toddler moms – really want for Mother’s Day is a simple thank you. A day to feel appreciated enough to not do all of the work.

If you can make that happen for the mom in your life, you’ll earn your gold star! And you won’t have to hear anyone bitch about a sink full of dishes for a day. Win win if you ask me.

Now that you know what moms really want for Mother’s Day, what will you get her?

Get More Ideas in our Other Gift Guides:

Even More Ideas Here:

what do toddler moms really want for mother's day

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  1. May 11, 2019 / 11:33 am

    I had to come peek at this post after you wrote about it on IG. WINE!!!

    Of course, I am only a cat mom, but I think wine and books are great choices.

    I’m cracking up at the car wash suggestion. Ever since we moved to FL, we take our cars down the street. $3 is well worth my dollars to not go old school with the sponge.

    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

    • admin
      May 22, 2019 / 10:24 am

      Thank you! Wine and books are always on the top of every gift guide…plus I’d really like a car wash. I’m embarrassed to admit what my car looks like with kids! Terrible.

  2. May 14, 2019 / 7:31 am

    Great post. A spa day treat would be great! Thanks for sharing ♥️ ♥️ By any chance, are you interested in doing collabs? xx

    • admin
      May 22, 2019 / 10:25 am

      Thank you. Yes, a spa day is always a great idea, too! Shoot me an email at contact.torileigh.com with what you have in mind!

  3. May 1, 2020 / 2:28 pm

    Great ideas! Love the unique ones like the car wash. Something many people won’t think of but many moms will enjoy!

    • Tori
      May 13, 2020 / 9:06 am

      Thank you so much!

  4. May 4, 2020 / 8:50 pm

    This is so freakin accurate!!! I couldn’t care less about all those typical Mother’s Day gifts. I’d take a 20 min shower over a diamond any day. Honestly it really is just about having a chance to enjoy the entire day with the kiddo rather than constantly worrying about picking up, prepping for the next meal, or making sure a sippy cup is nearby.

    • Tori
      May 13, 2020 / 9:05 am

      I’m laughing at the sippy cups because it’s SO TRUE! A 20 minute shower would literally feel life changing!

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