Mother’s Day Gifts: What Does Mom Really Want?

Spring is here. Easter is over, and now that means Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. While Moms everywhere are looking forward to their special day, Dads all around are starting to feel the burden of finding those perfect Mother’s Day Gifts.

Perhaps, burden isn’t the best word to describe it. It’s not a burden to give Mom the day off. I certainly would not describe the awesome women in our lives as burdensome either. However, finding great Mother’s day gifts to show Mom just how special and very much appreciated she is can be a challenge.


Mother's Day Gifts: What Does Mom Really Want


What Makes the Best Mother’s Day Gifts

There’s a lot of pressure being a Dad. Yes, that’s right pressure. You see, we only get one chance to make this day special for Mom, so what do we do for her. What would make your gift the best of all the Mother’s Day Gifts. Perhaps, Mom doesn’t want a gift at all. Does she want the whole day off? Does she want me to plan a fun outing with the whole family, or would she like to spend the day out with friends. Of course, Mom will just tell you she wants to sleep in, not have to do any laundry, or cook dinner. But, we Dads know that is not going to show you just how much we appreciate you.

Don’t Ask Mom What She Wants

I’m pretty sure it’s one of the unwritten rules of Mom’s day is to NOT ask Mom wants she wants to do. Dads should just intuitively know. I know my wife pretty well, but even I can’t predict what will show her just how special she is to me.

For example, let’s take this past Easter. I surprised my wife with her very own Easter basket. Now, this is something that we have never done since we’ve had kids 11 years ago. I was very excited to break out her Easter basket certain that she was going to be super happy and surprised. The basket was simple. It had just a bottle of wine, and a new book that I picked out for her (which she is now loving..thank you very much). It also had a $50 Disney gift card, so we can start saving to take our little girl to Disney World.

Unfortunately, I got very little reaction when I broke out the basket. She looked and said, “ooh what did I get”. No big smile, no awe you’re the sweetest. However, when she pulled out this silly, child-like picture I drew for her, that was when I got the, “AWE-that’s so cute” reaction I was looking for.

Sometimes We Just Need a Little Help

My point of this story is that despite our best efforts we can come up short. Mother’s day is not a day we want to come up short. Therefore, I broke that unwritten rule to help Dads everywhere make sure they make Mother’s Day is as special as it deserves to be.

Survey Design

I created a short 10-question survey and asked Moms what they really want. Would they rather something homemade, sentimental, or maybe a new iPad or some other super cool gift? Do they want to spend the day out doing something or spend it in their jammies all day watching Netflix?

I want to thank the 100 Moms that that completed this survey. I learned so much from reading the results and hopefully my fellow Dads can too. Prepare to feel awesome on Mother’s Day.

Here are some of the questions I asked the Moms to answer. I analyzed these results to discover commonalities and identify what Moms are looking for. I was able to separate Moms into different classes or categories. The things Moms wanted to do for Mother’s day varies somewhat depending on which class they identified with.

Survey Questions:

1- What do you NOT Want for Mother’s Day.

  • Traditional gifts (flowers, chocolates, blender…)
  • Spa Day
  • Coupons for “grown up time” (wink wink…ya know in the bedroom)
  • To be asked what I want to do for Mother’s Day
  • To be asked what I want for Mother’s Day

2- What do you want to do for Mother’s Day.

  • Spend day out with the family
  • Spend the day out with friends
  • Wake up at your own discrection
  • Take a Nap
  • Have the entire day off
  • Spend the day in PJs in Bed
  • A little of everything above

3- Please rank the type of gift you want from your husbands/ baby Daddy?

  • Sentimental Handmade/DIY Gift
  • Sentimental Purchased gift (Engraved jewelry, photo book…)
  • Something nice (jewelry, massage…)
  • Something I’ve been wanting to buy for myself but haven’t
  • Just buy me something I would really like

4- What are the top 3 Physical Gifts You Want?

5- What are the top 3 Sentimental Gifts You Want?

6- What would be the top 3 things you want from Your Kids on Mother’s Day?

7- What is the best Mother’s Day gift you have ever received?

Ultimate Guide to a Happy Mother’s Day


Mother’s Day Gifts: What Does Mom Really Want -I surveyed 100 Moms to find out What Would Make Mother's Day Great.

What All Moms Want:

By in large, Moms want you to take the lead on Mother’s Day. The majority reported that they did not want to be asked what they want to do nor what kind of gift they wanted. A large majority said they do not want Coupons for Special Grown Up time, so whatever you do steer clear of that route.

You Can’t Go Wrong with The Classics

Turns out, the stereotypical Mother’s Day gifts exists for a reason. Dads you are safe giving flowers, breakfast in bed, photos, and jewelry. However, there needs to be thought behind those traditional gifts. For example, if you get her flowers make sure you get her favorite. Don’t just get a dozen roses if Spring Lilies are her favorite.


All Moms classes said they would like pictures. Whether in the form of photo books, colleges, framed family portraits, or video slideshows, any Mom would welcome this simple gift. Just make sure you put some heart behind it. Find the perfect frame for the perfect picture or put their favorite song behind that video slideshow.


Moms also want jewelry. While many simply said any jewelry would be welcome, an even bigger portion described a more heartfelt piece of jewelry would be preferred. Perhaps a special locket, a birthstone ring, or an engraved necklace would show Mom how important you think she is.

Gifts from The Kids

Almost all Moms said they simply want something homemade from their kids. Any drawings, paintings, homemade cards would be welcomed by Mom. Handprint crafts would be absolutely loved though. If your kids are younger, Mom wants you to help them make something for her and take the time to teach them about Mother’s Day in the process.

If your kids are older, tell them Mom would love for them to write a poem, a handmade card, or just a letter saying how much they love them. Moms would appreciate anything their older kids take the time to pick out themselves too. To make Mother’s Day super special, Moms just want their kids to help Dad cook or clean the house, maybe clean your room, but just be nice to your siblings. No fighting or arguing on Mother’s Day is the biggest request from Moms with older kids. Simply be kind and tell Mom you love her many times throughout the day and she will be happy.

A Different Class of Moms

For this survey, I asked the ladies to identify themselves according to 7 different categories of Moms. I realize that some women will identify themselves as fitting in more than one of these types. That was a flaw in the design of the survey for sure. Nevertheless, we’ll work with what we have.

Here is the breakdown of how the Moms classified themselves. Following the breakdown will be a brief summary of what each type of Mom wants for Mother’s Day. Find the group you think your wife/Mom identified with and then plan Mother’s Day accordingly.


Mother’s Day Gifts: What Does Mom Really Want -I surveyed 100 Moms to find out What Would Make Mother's Day Great.


Mother’s Day Gifts for Young Moms:

The young Mom wants to be surprised on Mother’s Day. 100% of Young Moms said they did not want to be asked what they wanted to do nor what kind of gift they wanted. No worries guys, they gave me some ideas on what to get them. But, do NOT get them custom made coupons for “special quality time” if you know what I mean (wink wink). The highest response for not wanting these coupons came from this subset.

The young Mom would like to sleep in, but it’s also important that they do something on their special day. Nearly half of the Young Moms in my survey reported that they would enjoy a day out with their family. Time off doesn’t seem to be AS important to the young Mom. However, taking over diaper duty for the day and putting down your little one for nap will be very much appreciated.

Honeymoon Phase

Young mamas appear to still be in the “honeymoon” phase of parenthood. They want pictures, video slideshows put to a special song, memory books, and other nostalgia. A decent portion of the young Mom group mentioned wanting framed pictures of the family or jewelry. Not just any jewelry, they want more personalized jewelry such as an engraved locket or something with their kid’s birthstones. The young Mom seems quite easy to please. She just needs to know you love her and show her you think your young family is just as precious as she does.

Ideas for Mother’s Day Gifts

Other ideas from Our Young Moms Club:

  • Books on Motherhood
  • Complete a Project on the Honey Do List
  • Make Up
  • Gift Card for Mani/Pedi

Mother's Day Gifts: What Does Mom Really Want

Mother’s Day Gifts for The Mom who is Over 30 with 1 Child

Like most Moms surveyed, this group of Moms do not want to be asked what they want to do. However, they don’t mind as much if you ask them what they want for their Mother’s Day gifts. Perhaps, they don’t mind if you ask because they actually want you to get them something good. Of all the groups, this one ranked that they wanted something good for a gift the highest. This group appears to want nice things. They still want the sentimental stuff too, but they also want cool stuff like new shoes, lotions, essential oils, or a diamond necklace.

Time off is still not a big deal to these Moms. Sure they want to sleep in, but they don’t need a nap or the entire day off. They’d rather just spend the day with their family maybe go out for a nice dinner.

Additionally, this group wants to spend more quality time with you (the father). Many responders mentioned dinner out with you or a special date night would be a great gift.

Ideas for Mother’s Day Gifts

Other ideas from Our Over 30 with 1 Child Club:

Mother’s Day Gifts for The Mom who is Over 30 with more than 1 Child

This group of Moms want it all. They want you to do all the cooking, cleaning, and parenting for the day. Essentially, they want you to understand how hard they work by doing everything they do every single day.

Time off is very important to this group of Moms. They work hard everyday, and they could use a break. 40% of these Moms responded that they would like the entire day off. This group wants to feel appreciated. They want many words of gratitude for all their love and hard work. These Moms are very touched by the sentimental gifts. Many responders indicated they would like thoughtful homemade cards or handwritten letters from their husbands.

Day Off and a Day Out at the Same Time

50% of Moms in this group indicated they’d like to spend the day out with their family. Nothing can show a Mom how much she is loved more than spending quality time with them. Dads, I know what you’re thinking.    **“Wait a minute? You just said they wanted the entire day off. How can I give them the day off and spend the day out with the family?!?!”**   I must confess. That was my first thought as I was analyzing the survey results. Then, it dawned on me. You can still give them the day off of Mom duties while spending some time out together as a family.

How do you give them the day off whilst giving them a fun day out: Simple, take care of everything. These Moms don’t mind giving you some input for the day’s activities, but ultimately they want you to plan it. Not only do they want you to plan it, but make sure you get everything ready as well: pack any bags, buy any tickets, make any reservations.

Take Care of Everything

It doesn’t stop with the preparations though. No matter what the day brings, you take care of it. If the baby bursts through his diaper, you rush him to the bathroom to change him. If the siblings are arguing, you jump in and deal with it before she can. Whatever you have planned for them, be certain you take care of ALL the details. Otherwise, you’re not giving them the entire day off. Make sure to leave some wiggle room in the schedule though. A few moms said they did NOT want the entire day planned for them. Bonus points will go to the Dad that can do all that and at the same time shower their partners with love, affection, & gratitude.

This group of Moms really wants you to put thought and heart behind their Mother’s Day Gifts. Many responders saying they would love jewelry with birthstones or engravings. They want photo books and frames, but they’d love to get new family photos taken. Although, this would be tricky to do whilst giving them the day off.

While they love the sentimental stuff they wouldn’t mind a nice gift too. Flowers, stuff for the garden, clothes, and new books were common items these Mamas want. Here are some other ideas: 

Ideas for Mother’s Day Gifts

Other ideas from Our Over 30 with Multiple Children Club:


Mother's Day Gifts: What Mom Really Wants for Mother's Day

Mother’s Day Gifts for The Working Mom

To me, a working Mom is someone that works a full 40 hours or more every week, and loves her job. Perhaps, she is a teacher or therapist. Maybe, she is in the corporate game as a buyer at JCPenney. Either way, she doesn’t mind getting up each morning and heading off to work. She would rather be with her kids of course, but she is happy to have somewhere to go everyday where she can make an impact in the world outside of her Mama duties.

The working Mom is used to waking up early everyday and heading off to work. I guess that’s why only 14% of these ladies said they want to sleep in. This group is not as concerned with resting on Mother’s Day. When asked if they wanted to sleep in or be able to take a nap, most of these Moms said it was not important. Only 8% said they’d like a nap. Now, that’s not to say they won’t change their minds after whatever family excursion you plan, so be prepared for that Dads.

Plan a Fun Day

Why do I bring up a family excursion? Well, 82% of this group said they wanted a fun day out with their family. The working Mom misses her family. She works all week and on her special day she wants to spend quality time with them. At the same time, 27% of working Moms want the entire day off. As with the “over 30 multiple kids Moms”, make sure you plan the day and take care of all the details. She doesn’t mind giving you input if you need help figuring out what to do.

Keep in mind, over half of these Moms want to do a little bit of everything for Mother’s Day. They’d like time out with their family, but they also want to spend time out with their friends or perhaps their own Moms. This also means that they are going to want some time to themselves as well. If the family outing doesn’t make them want a nap, then give them some time take a nice bath, read their favorite book in peace, surf Facebook, or however they choose to spend their “me time”. Just make sure you give them the opportunity. If they decide they don’t want “me time”, they will still appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Mommy Wants a New Pair of Shoes

Like all Moms, the working Mom would love framed pictures and/or engraved jewelry. They also would very much enjoy some spa time for a massage or mani/pedi. What this group really wants for Mother’s Day is something that they have wanted to buy for themselves but probably won’t. New shoes & a new purse came up repeatedly with this group. Here are a few other ideas.

Ideas for Mother’s Day Gifts

Other ideas from Our Working Mom Club:

Mother’s Day Gifts for The Stay at Home Mom

The stay at home Mom may surprise you. One might think these women want the day off. After all, they are at home with their kids everyday, right? However, 60% of Stay at Home Moms said they wanted to spend the day out with their family. As a stay at home parent myself, I can identify with these Moms. They spend so much time taking care of their kids, running errands, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of everything that needs to be taken care of, they don’t get to spend that much time having fun with their family. That’s what these Mamas want, quality time. Some did say they wanted to spend time with their friends. 30% wanted both rest and fun, so keep that in mind as you plan the day.

Plan the Day:

Stay at Home Moms typically take care of all the details each and everyday, so on Mother’s Day, they want you to take care of everything. These ladies don’t really want you to ask them what they want or what they want to do. (which is why I asked for you…I got your back Dads) They want you to show them you appreciate them by taking over their duties for the day, so make all the plans and take care of all the standard “stay at home mom duties” ie cooking, cleaning, parenting…

Stay at Home Moms want services for their Mother’s Day gifts instead of products. Sure, they would appreciate something small like flowers or chocolates. If you want your Stay at Home Mom to feel special, then give her a back rub, schedule a massage, plan a special date night, and make sure nothing is asked of her on her special day. This Mom wants to be shown you love, respect, and appreciate her. She doesn’t really want gifts; she wants affection. If you want to buy her something she’d like, get her something she needs but will never buy herself. Really though Dads, the best thing you can do for this Mom is treat her like a princess for the day.

Ideas for Mother’s Day Gifts

Other ideas from Our Stay at Home Mom Club:

Mother’s Day Gifts for The Special Needs Mom

The special needs Mom is tired. She could really use some time to recharge her batteries. 71% of these Moms indicated that sleeping in was their biggest request for Mother’s Day, and 50% also said they would love a nap. Furthermore, 43% said they want the whole day off and many of them want to stay in their PJs all day long.

Only 1 responder in this group said they would like to spend the day out with friends or family. I don’t think they would mind a short excursion like a nice meal out perhaps. More than anything else, they simply want to NOT be needed for one day. They would absolutely love it if you could take care of the kids all day long. The special needs Mom doesn’t necessarily need you to clean the house for them. Of course who would say no to a clean house, but they would rather see you spending quality time with your kids.

They Want to See You Happy

Incredibly, many of these Moms said all they wanted was to see your smile. Seeing you happy at home with the kids would really warm their heart. Additionally, several special needs Moms said they would love to get out with you. They miss you, so find a babysitter and plan a nice date night with your lady. Again, make sure you take care of the details otherwise it’s not really a gift to them. After you put the kids to bed, have a nice bottle of wine and a special dessert ready for them too.

The special needs Moms don’t need big gifts, but flowers, jewelry, or breakfast in bed would be quite welcomed. All moms love pictures and meaningful gifts, but mostly, these Moms simply want time to themselves. A good Mother’s day for this Mom would be going to a local coffee shop where she can spend an hour or so enjoying a fancy coffee and reading a good book in peace.

Ideas for Mother’s Day Gifts

Other ideas from Our Special Needs Mom Club:

  • Spa Day/Massage
  • Night at a Hotel-ALONE
  • Fancy Coffee
  • Time to Herself Not on Mother’s Day


Mother’s Day Gifts: What Does Mom Really Want -I surveyed 100 Moms to find out What Would Make Mother's Day Great.


Mother’s Day Gifts for Grandma

Grandmas are Moms too, so let’s not forget them. They don’t want the day off and don’t really care about napping or spending the day in their PJs. Although, they would like to sleep in. What Grandmas really want is simply to be with their family. If you can’t spend time with them on Mother’s Day, they would love for the grandkids to give them a call. Better yet, they would love to see them, so give them a video call via FaceTime or Skype.

If you want to get a gift for Grandma, they’d prefer something homemade from the grandkids, but flowers, engraved jewelry, jewelry with names or birthstones, or framed family photos would be well received too. Grandmas want the same thing all Moms want. They want to see their family together and feel loved and appreciated on Mother’s Day. 

Ideas for Mother’s Day Gifts

Other ideas from Our Grandmas Club

  • Surprise Time Together
  • Photo Books
  • Fancy Coffee
  • Time, Attention, Lots of Love

Just Do Your Best & Put Your Heart Into It

After reading through over 100 responses from Moms, I’ve determined it’s not really all that hard to make them happy. If you take the time to genuinely think about it and put your heart behind any Mother’s Day efforts, that will really be enough for Mom. All they truly want is to be loved and appreciated. If you don’t have the day planned, make a mess of the house, or burn dinner, it won’t matter as much to her as long as you tried and showered her with love and affection. Ultimately, the ideal Mother’s Day is one that is filled with peace, love, & happiness.


Moms. Do You Feel Like I Represented You Well with This Post?  Do you have anything Else to Add?

Leave a comment below. 



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One comment

  • Gavin

    I bet some people might think what you got for them is bad but as long the moms know there awesome it’s fine

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