Let’s Talk About Mother’s Day Gifts

Give mom what she wants or needs. Mother’s Day is about mom and no one else. This essay is about social-awareness and teaching young people how to observe (and cherish) the people they love and care for.

Let’s Talk About Mother’s Day Gifts
Photo by Giftpundits.com from Pexels

If You Love and Value Your Mother — Give Her Good Gifts

My friends teenagers were talking about Mother’s Day and I wanted to know what they were doing for her. The conversation was pretty much dead before it started. The kids were talking about giving their mom some home-made crafts, the same crap they give her every birthday, Mother’s Day, and Christmas.

I sighed with sadness.

I sighed because these kids do not understand what their mother likes. They do not understand what she’d enjoy as a gift. It says as much about parents of the kids as it does the kids, in particular the mother. That mom hasn’t taught her children how to appreciate her, how important it is to know her, or how to give people gifts that matter, so they’ll give her anything. That’s trash!

Nobody wants a shitty gift, especially not your mama if she was a good one!

If you had a good mother that took care of all of your needs and some of your wants, the least you could do is give her a gift reflecting such. But it is the mother’s (and father’s) job to ensure their children have the social awareness and emotional intelligence to understand this.

Having a book smart kid but a kid with zero emotional intelligence is not such a smart kid. If you’re not teaching kids how to interact with others in their youth, they won’t know how to interact with others later in life leading to miserable relationships.

Everyone sane wants to be told and shown they are appreciated.

If we’re not teaching social awareness to our children and those we love, we’re setting ourselves up for futures that include lots of junk gifts and hurt feelings. Moms must be honest with their kids and loved ones if you’re the type who likes and expect gifts, even if hurts.

Nobody Wants Shitty Gifts — Especially Your Mother

Gift giving is not about the giver, it’s always the receiver. It’s about selflessness. It’s about showing love to the one you love. And let’s talk about feelings for a moment. We as mothers are always considering everybody’s feelings before our own. Sparing feelings and accepting shitty gifts is yet another kick in the gut for overworked and under-appreciated moms.

Tell the truth, and let’s shame the bad gifts nobody’s mother wants.

Not wanting to hurt the feelings of your children, spouse, friends, etc., are the main reasons many of us moms get suck-egg gifts. While some folks don’t understand the concept of gift giving because they lack social awareness, there are many others who are too lazy or too selfish to care about moms’ needs or wants. Bad Mother’s Day gifts says volumes without ever speaking a word.

Most mothers would take a trash gift as a gesture from their kids instead of telling them what they really the desire as tokens of appreciation they’ll value. There is nothing wrong with being specific. Being too general or casual (especially when you don’t really mean it) is asking to get a shitty gift. Teaching your kids to be socially and emotionally aware nips all of this in the bud.

Socially unaware kids grow up to become socially unaware husbands, wives, best friends, partners, mothers, fathers, grandparents, colleagues, bosses, and so forth.

You want to know why father’s get such crappy Father’s Day gifts? It’s because mothers and children lack social awareness and/or emotional intelligence (or perhaps they don’t give a crap about dad).

Dad gets ties, but doesn’t own a suit. And even if he owns a suit, he never wears it. How do you think that tie will be perceived by dad? The same applies to giving power tools because a commercial suggests it’s a wonderful idea. What dad wants a power tool, representative of more work to him? Not a one (lol). A dad working in construction or a builder may appreciate it, but is that really what your dad or father-in-law wants? And for goodness sake, why would anyone buy a man a power tool who doesn’t work manually with his hands at all?

Dad can’t fix a toilet, and he can’t make a chair. He can’t do anything with his hands around a house, perhaps he’s a provider. He was never taught how to use power tools or maybe he just doesn’t like to use them. A power tool gift is a slap in the face for many men. Why waste your time going to Home Depot buying a power tool, he will not use.

Children, spouses, and significant others buy crappy gifts because they are too lazy to think about what their loved one would like. These people lack social-awareness and emotional intelligence. They don’t recognize their gift may be an insult. It shows they don’t really know they people around them.

My dad loves barbecuing, so one year before I swore off all corporate gift giving holidays I got him this fancy, long-handled, stainless-steel grilling set in a nice hard case. Twenty-years later, he still has it. He likes loves leisure travel, so on birthdays and Father’s Day would get him nice polo shirts and shorts so my stepmom wouldn’t have to. He appreciated those things. I never got my dad a tool, ever. I didn’t because my dad was a mechanic most of his life and there wasn’t a tool I could he didn’t already possess. My tool gift would sit unused likely. Plus, he worked with his hands all the time. And oh yeah, he has lots of tools. I knew better than to get him a gift he wouldn’t use. That would make my gift useless. If my gift will be rendered useless on arrival, then why bother.

The same applies to gifts for moms, especially the good moms.

Lacking Social Awareness Is Not A Good Look

Not knowing what people like are near you shows you don’t care about them. It says you care more about receiving than giving. You don’t have the awareness/capacity to observe. You lack listening skills. You’re self-absorbed, only concerned about your needs. And the gifts you give, they highlight your inability to understand and respond to the needs (and wants) of others.

Kids are selfish by nature (unless you’re lucky to have birthed empathetic little humans), so they need to be taught how to be selfless and socially aware in various settings to become good citizens. Not teaching them to be cognizant of the needs and wants of others teaches them it’s okay not to give a crap about others and that it’s okay to give offer meaningless gestures as a token of appreciation.

That’s not cool.

Moms and dads, your child’s lack of social awareness and emotional intelligence will impact your child’s future in-laws, dates, partners, spouses, and children in not just areas of gift giving/show appreciation, but also in other areas. Parents cannot afford to cut corners in the social and emotional intelligence areas, especially children of privilege. If you do, it will show. Being inconsiderate should not be allowed to be an option, especially if you’re raising a child to expect a partner or spouse to share their lives with. What kind of little person are you grooming? Selfish or selfless?

Good Mom’s Work Hard

Good mom’s work hard to make their children’s world’s go around (for those who had that kind of mom). Good moms feed and clothe us and taught us valuable life lessons. They were our taxi cabs, nurses, doctors, landscaper, barbers, personal seamstress, maid/housekeeper, storytellers, babysitter, counselor, personal chef, personal shopper, mechanic, timekeeper, personal counselor, educator, personal planner, minister/pastor, tutor — and well, you get the picture.

Even as adults, many children still call their mom’s venting about their life experiences, or to have her aid in making important life decisions (i.e. getting married, having kids, career moves, babysit grand kids). A mother’s job is never done, and because of this, we need to make certain she’s held in high regard. She deserves to know you took the time to get to know her intimately. Good mom’s deserve the best because they give us their best.

Good mom’s deserve good gifts, because the have given great gifts. Having a good mother is a gift. so don’t take her for granted. Get to know her a little better to make sure she understands you believe she’s a family treasure.

How To Get To Know Your Mom and Mom-in-Laws

I write this part from my personal experiences and perspectives as a mother, a giver, and a receiver of gifts. As a socially aware person, I spend a great deal of time watching and listening to people which aids in making me spot on in the gift giving area.

There are several easy yet practical things you can do to make sure your Mother’s Day gifts are on point.

#1. Ask Mom

Asking is the easiest, most forward way to learn what a mom likes and dislikes. You don’t have to inquire for just the sake of gift giving purposes either. Finding out what a mom likes to do in their leisure time, what types of clothes and shoes she likes, or what kinds of foods she enjoys are good ways to find about things she may want or need. If you don’t like to assume, make certain you ask. You can never go wrong asking a mom what matters to her. In fact, she’ll probably love you a little more.

#2. Browse Old Photos

Studying old photos for details about things a mom may like is a wonderful way to secretly learn about what she likes. If a mom has lots of pictures in lots of different places far away from her hometown, it may mean mom likes to travel. Gifts that can make travel happen may be a perfect gift idea. If photos show gatherings are always held at mom’s home, perhaps she enjoys family time. Plan a family potluck at mom’s place where she doesn’t have to cook, or maybe have something catered she likes to eat. Check out mom’s clothing preferences. Clothing means a lot to many women. Paying attention to mom’s fashion sense can lead to the selection of clothing items a mom may love. Don’t discount browsing old photos.

#3. Check Out Her Closet (If Possible)

Scouring a dresser top or closet (but please make certain you’re not invading her privacy) can give you some clues on what kinds of clothes, shoes or other items mom/mom-in-law enjoys. Be respectful because women don’t like you going through their stuff. Let someone know what you’re doing so you won’t be accused of snooping or worse. Respect mom’s personal spaces without spilling the beans. Check out her coats, shoes, and other preferences in photos. A quick peak into a mom’s closet could give invaluable insights into her style while providing her gift giving nuggets for children and loved ones.

#4. Check Out Her Friends

A mom’s close friends or relatives can give her children lots of hints about what she likes. Does she have a church group, reading group, or girlfriends she hangs with to gather information about mom’s likes and dislikes? We women often chat a lot about those topics to our close friends. Mom’s friends could give wonderful hints and ideas about gifts a mom would appreciate/adore.

#5. Ask Mom’s Mom (If possible)

Nobody knows your mom like her mom. If possible, asking grandparents about what their children like and dislike is awesome. Nobody knows you like your mother and father. The same applies for your mom. If a mom’s mom is not an option, try asking her sisters or other relatives who may act as sisters.

The Gift Matters

The gift really matters, no matter what mom says. No gift says something to a mom (it says you don’t give a crap), just like a shitty gift does. A shitty gift says you don’t give a crap too.

A gift that embodies the mind, soul, and spirit of a mom is the gift most mom’s desire. For some mom’s, it may be a book. For other mom’s it may be a meal she didn’t have to prepare with her own hands. Many mom’s may want flowers and cards delivered to her at home or in person by her kids. Some moms prefer trips, gift cards, massages, or maybe even something hand crafted. Some children can buy their moms big-ticket items, like a new home. That’s awesome!

The point is, it doesn’t matter what mom’s gift is, how much it cost (or didn’t cost), or how it gets to her. What matter’s most is she loves and appreciates the gift from her children/loved ones. The gesture not only shows how much she’s loved but also how socially aware and emotionally intelligent her family members are. It’s enough to make a mom cry.

Make your mom proud. Show her you care. Give a mom the gift she wants, not the one you want. Remember, Mother’s Day isn’t about the children, it’s about mom.

©2019 Marley K. All rights reserved.