what to do for mother's day

What Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day

I always have a difficult time thinking of what to do for Mother’s Day. Several years ago, I failed miserably. I did some little things, had the kids make cards (at the last minute) and let her sleep in. However, I did not have anything else planned. I asked her where she wanted to go to lunch. She thought for a while and finally picked a place. It happened to be the same place we went the year before, and not one of our normal restaurant choices. After we finished lunch, as we were in the parking lot, she started crying. When I asked her what was wrong she told me, “Last year they made a big deal out of Mother’s Day. They gave me a rose and made me feel loved. This year they didn’t do anything. All I wanted was to feel special.”

Clearly, I failed. It wasn’t the restaurant’s fault (although it would have been nice for them to repeat what they had done). I needed to make my wife feel special as the mother of my children. For that matter, I needed to make my mom feel special also. Every year I get nervous as Mother’s Day approaches because I don’t want to repeat the same failure. So this year I polled a bunch of moms and asked them what they really want on their special day. There were tons of similar answers. Here is what moms really want for Mother’s Day.


They want a day of freedom. Some said they wanted to be able to be spontaneous. The chance to do whatever they wanted. Others wanted some alone time. Now, this is where there were differences among the women and you’ll have to get a feel for yours. Some wanted that alone time at home where they could enjoy their home without being tugged at by the needs of kids (or husbands). Others wanted alone time away from the house because the house is a constant reminder of all of the things they have to do.

Time With Family

This one is big for my wife. It seems weird to spend Mother’s or Father’s Day without our kids since they are the reason we are parents. So many moms want to have a fun day with their kids, but they don’t want to have to plan it or execute it. They just want to come along for the ride. It will take some thought and maybe some probing to figure out the types of activities your wife would like to do. Some might include going out to lunch, playing games, miniature golf, the beach, the movies (or a drive-in) or a picnic at a park. Whatever you do, make sure you take care of it all and talk to your kids beforehand about their attitudes. This is a no fighting day. It’s a fun day for mom.

A Day Free Of Duty

Our wives and moms handle a million details every day. It’s much easier for us to compartmentalize everything so we can deal with one thing at a time. They have everything rush to their brains at once, including all the things they feel responsible for having to do with the kids, the house, and perhaps their job. It’s probably going be to impossible for them to unplug mentally from those duties, but take on whatever you can whenever you can that day. Try to think about the top 5 things that give her stress and just do them. Listen to her the week before Mother’s Day. Take notes about the things she complains about or makes her upset.

To Be Pampered

Make an appointment for her to get a massage, have a spa day or have her nails done. If money is an issue then do it yourself. Clean and prepare the bedroom. Make it beautiful and burn scented candles. Set out her favorite magazines and her favorite music. Then give her a full body massage or foot massage. Leave her in the room for as long as she wants. Perhaps bring her a mimosa, tea or her favorite drink as she relaxes afterward. Just make her feel pampered.

To Do Something New

Some moms said they wanted to do something fun in their city or town they had never done before. You may have to do some research, but every place has hidden gems. If you can’t find anything then search for something within a reasonable distance. Ask others, especially other women what fun new things they have done in your town recently. Then surprise her. She’ll love it, especially if she likes adventures.


All moms simply want this: To be acknowledged for all they do.All moms simply want this: To be acknowledged for all they do. Moms work hard and love their families, managing a million caring details. Most of those details go unnoticed. The thing they want is for all of their love and hard work to be noticed and appreciated. This is something that should be done every day, but especially on Mother’s Day. Many moms shared that they would love homemade cards or a cute card with a sweet handwritten note. However, here are several other creative ways to express your appreciation.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite thing about your mom?”