If you waited to get Mom a gift.. this one still works.

Candles are lovely. Flowers, thank you. But, if this Mom is honest, the gifts that mean the most are the experiential ones. And, if I’m really honest, it isn’t always with my kids (or the biggest kid of all, my hubby). Any child with a trigger-happy “Mom” finger and a “Mom, Mom, Mom” soundtrack is on the no-fly list for my Mom’s Day. I love family brunch and an organized family outing, but what I crave most: unstructured Mom time at a spa, maybe with girlfriends, no demands and a clean house to come home to.  Props to the guy that can take care of the field trip slips and make sure the kids get to where they need to be.

These are 4 gifts Mom will be grateful to get:

1. PAY IT FORWARD AND BACK:

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Whatever your relationship with your Mom or Mother-in-law may be, the Mom journey is one that sheds a lot of light on what our Moms must’ve gone through. You may not always agree with the way she handled it, but maybe you can appreciate how hard some moments must’ve been. Send her a note that says “Mom I finally get it…”. If you have a Mom friend who’s going it alone, balancing parenting and work, send her a note, too, that says “You’re not alone. I see you and all you do.” We all need the reminder. Single parents perhaps more than most.

2. MOM OFF DUTY TIME

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Silence and alone time are the best gifts. There are always going to be moving parts, but a little hiatus from the madhouse can do any mom some good. If I ever go missing, though, please follow my kids, somehow they always find me no matter where I try to hide.

3. TIME AWAY FROM THE HOUSE

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There are too many to-dos at home. Your time to yourself will not be relaxing at home if you’re thinking of the laundry list of items you could be doing. Get out of the house…for the night.

4. SOMEONE COVERING HOME BASE

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Nothing is worse than coming home to chaos after taking time to yourself. Tell your kids and husband that you want someone at home keeping the house in one piece to keep you from losing it when you get back.

I never understood how anyone could ask a Mom “to put our oxygen masks on first”. It goes against our protective, nurturing instincts. I get it now. If you don’t start by taking care of you, there will be no one to calmly work the fire extinguisher when the kids light the drapes on fire. Keep your sanity = Keeping the peace. Happy Mother’s Day. I hope it finds you pampered at a spa or with friends.