Mother’s Day is upon us. The one time of the year (other than Christmas and our birthday) where dads’/significant others’ have to put on their thinking caps and present us (the mom) with a loving gift that represents how much we mean to them, and give thanks for how hard we work. There will likely be breakfasts’ in bed, lovely brunches or dinners made, a visit to a chic restaurant, handmade cards, flowers, and maybe a candle or two. Sweet, right?
But I find that once the day is over I’m left with yet another mug to cram into my overflowing cabinet of mismatched tableware, art made by my kids, which let’s be honest, might get thrown in the trash after a few weeks (because seriously, how many of these are we supposed to keep?), or a swishy candle meant to enjoy whenever I’m in the tub, which is never (10-minute showers are a luxury).
Now don’t get me wrong. I like Mother’s Day. I get to sleep in and receive rounds of hugs and kisses from the mini me’s. I just don’t think significant others’ (mine in particular) have nailed it (for me, anyway) on the gift-giving front.
So I decided to create my own list. I’m not saying that these gift ideas are right for every mom, but they are different. Plus, they won’t eat into the daycare budget.
1. FLOWERS DELIVERED EVERY MONTH
Now hear me out: why are we only eligible to get flowers this one day of the year? I love fresh flowers—they brighten up a room and generally, put me in a good mood. They’re also something I wouldn’t normally buy for myself. And, while you may think that this type of gift is costly, just remember that it doesn’t have to be a fancy, expensive bouquet. One month could be a batch of tulips, another a seasonal plant. While there are online sites that require you to become a member and sign up, my reco is to have the hubby and kids (they’ll ramp up the cute factor) visit your local florist and strike a deal. This way you support your local community, and delivery won’t be too pricey.
2. DONATION IN YOUR NAME
This gift won’t clutter up your house, and it’s a great way to teach your kids about charity. A few of my favourites that honour and help children are Angel Hair for Kids, Operation Smile and Plan International (I especially like their Because I Am A Girl program since I have two girls myself). Both Operation Smile and Plan International are worldwide, but what I really like about Angel Hair for Kids is that it’s a Canadian-based charity where Canadians can donate their hair locally. This also means that the wigs are made in Canada and donated to a Canadian child who has lost their hair due to a medical condition or treatment.
3. A BAG OF REALLY, REALLY NICE, COFFEE BEANS
Ok, maybe I relying too much on my morning cup of joe, but I’m totally down with my family fueling my addiction (in other words, allowing me to function on a daily basis) for my favourite brew. A few that are on my rotation right now are La Merceria Coffee Beans (these are from southern Columbia and smooth finish), De Mello Palheta (they have a wide range of pretty awesome beans depending on the season) and my supermarket go-to, Kicking Horse (454 Horse Power, Kick Ass and Three Sisters). For tea lovers, artisanal tea leaves from Canadian-born company Sloane Tea Fine Merchants come in the prettiest tins that when they’re empty, you can reuse for your excess change, or that growing collection of elastic bands….
4. AN AWESOME PODCAST
When we’re with our kids it’s sometimes hard to flip the switch and be interesting to other adults (there aren’t many people who want to hear about your two-year old’s bowel movements). So, in order to keep up with what’s going on in the world, or hear interesting things from interesting people, podcasts are the ideal way to keep informed during kid-free moments. Although my favourite podcasts are with celebs, and on pop culture (don’t judge), I feel like I’m in training to be a better, and more informed adult. They’re even better if your significant other loads up your phone so you can listen without the hassle and time of downloading them yourself.
A few podcasts you should bend an ear to:
Here’s The Thing… Hosted by Alec Baldwin. He speaks with actresses such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Amy Shumer, plus his gravely voice is kind of hypnotising.
Myths and Legends. Hosted by Jason Weiser. I’m a closet fan of all things mythological. I even have a 400-page book (with pictures and a family tree) of the encyclopaedia dissecting Roman, Greek and Norse mythology.
The Splendid Table. Hosted by Lynne Ressetto Kasper. It’s no secret that I love watching and reading all about food (The Chef’s Table on Netflix is a must-watch). Now, I can also listen to Kasper’s soothing voice as I drift off to sleep, dreaming about my next meal.
5. KID-CREATED, AND KID-APPROVED MENUS
Moms know the turmoil we face when it comes to getting our kids to eat. There have been many times where the meal I’ve lovingly prepared gets tossed about the plate and/or sneered at by both of my girls. So I make this request to my husband: Please, instead of a random homemade art project, take the girls and go through our cookbooks or cruise online and find recipes of meals that they will eat (or at least promise to try). And I’m not talking about recipes for chicken wings or hot dogs. I want ‘adult’ food. But at least this way, they’ll have had some part in choosing their meal and may be more receptive to trying something new. Print or photocopy these recipes into a booklet, and present it with a flourish on Mother’s Day. This to me, will be a true, grand gesture of love.