Historically, when our spouses have asked us what we want for Mother’s Day, we’ve answered something along the lines of, “Oh, sweetie, just a card,” or “I don’t need anything but my wonderful family.” What we wanted to say was, “Are you kidding? A day off! To pee in peace! Some freaking sleep!” But we don’t want to frighten them, and the fact is, most loved ones do better with a tangible request. So, depending on your cross to bear, we’ve come up with some concrete answers to the annual question.
Ask for this for Mother’s Day if you…
…carry absolutely everything in your purse.
Binkies and baby wipes, Pokémon cards and Purell, action figures and EpiPens. Boy Scouts don’t have anything on you in terms of preparedness, but all that stuff can weigh you down.
Ask for a handbag that weighs nearly nothing and has tons of secret stash spots, like the Oliver Thomas Large Wingwoman Tote ($99, theoliverthomas.com). It’s made of lightweight nylon, has an interior and exterior zip pocket, two slip pockets, a pouch, and—shhh—a zip pocket at the bottom of the bag where you can keep mommy’s important things away from sticky little fingers. Plus, these bags can be decorated with blow-dry-on badges that express your mommiest emotions, like, "In my defense, I was left unsupervised!" and "Teachable moment."
…have watched more cartoons than your brain can handle.
We are forever grateful for the 22-minute blocks of chore time that cartoons allow. But if you have to hear that insipid Caillou song one more time, you’ll grind your teeth to the gums. For you, there’s nothing like the sound of silence. Preferably, a loud silence that covers up the shrieks coming from the rest of your house.
Ask for the LectroFan ($50, soundofsleep.com), a white-noise machine that cranks up to 10 times louder than a fan machine, and has 10 fan sounds and 10 white noise sounds to choose from. So you can get some peace and (loud) quiet.
…work 9 to 5. And then 5 to midnight.
Moms who work outside the home enjoy the special double whammy of having the demands of the office immediately followed by the demands of kids, depleting their energy reserves until they’re begging (silently, of course) for bed. Alas, when you get there, you stare at the ceiling, thinking of the long list of tasks you need to do the next day.
And while you can’t ask your spouse to call you in a script for Ambien, you can ask for the Jonathan Adler Brass Ambien Pill Box ($98, jonathanadler.com), a chic and cheeky little nod to the working mom’s sleep woes. It’s the perfect place to stash your rings, or maybe some melatonin, and will give you a giggle as you climb into the sheets.
Speaking of, you need your bed linens to be so yummy that you can’t resist the sandman. Ask for the luxurious, 300-thread count Boll & Branch Hemmed Sheets (starting at $240 for a queen set, bollandbranch.com). And you’ll sleep better at night knowing that they’re organic, chemical-free, and fair-trade certified.
… struggle to brush your kid’s hair.
You never thought of hair-brushing as something that came with trials and tribulations. But even when you finally catch the slippery child, getting a brush through the knots is as torturous for you as it is for him or her.
Ask for the Mother’s Day Gift Set from Number 4 Hair Care ($25, number4hair.com). It features a knot-unraveling leave-in conditioner, plus the best detangling brush we’ve ever tried—in both mama and mini sizes.
…have, on numerous occasions, unsuccessfully navigated a floor strewn with Legos.
Of course, Legos are an important tool in the development of your child’s fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and creative thinking. But dear lord, those sadistic pieces of plastic hurt like a beast when you step on them!
Ask for an extra-cushy pair of slippers that will shield you from the pain, like the Fuzzy Babba Women’s Koala’s Babba Booties ($16, fuzzybabba.com). They’re freakishly cute and have a nonslip base so you won’t go flying across the hardwood, either.
…have spent your last three vacations in places with life-size character breakfasts.
Sometimes we have to explain to our child-free friends the difference between a family trip and a vacation. Because they are not the same thing. A family trip is all about the kids, often in or near a theme park, and the whole family is sharing one room (so the parents can’t even sneak in a quickie). A vacation, on the other hand, is all about the pleasure of the grown-ups; the kids are usually not even in the same state, and sexy time is whenever you damn well please.
Let your spouse know that you need a v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n and ask for a copy of National Geographic’s The World’s Most Romantic Destinations by Abbie Kozolchyk ($25, amazon.com) for inspiration. The evocative guide highlights 50 spots around the globe where you can celebrate your liberation from the little ones.
…would like to see your family photos on something other than your phone.
If you can remember the last time you actually had your photos printed, you’ve got one up on us. But there’s something special about printed photos that you just don’t get on a screen. Ask for the Myphoto Atrium Acrylic Tray ($89, myphoto.com), and you’ll get to see your cuties’ faces on an elegant serving tray—way cooler than a brag book that you pull out at parties. Bonus: On Mother’s Day, your kids can serve you breakfast in bed on it!
…have been—accidentally of course—poked, prodded, kicked, spilled on, and spit up on…all in the past 24 hours.
We need to make something clear: When moms say that we’re tired of being touched, we mean that we don’t want to have sex with you, not that we don’t want a massage. We always want a massage. Unfortunately, most spouses don’t have the attention span nor the acupressure skills we’re looking for. So ask for a gift certificate to Massage Envy–$125 spent on gift cards by Mother’s Day will get you a free 60-minute facial, too ($125, massageenvy.com).
…have chaperoned one too many field trips.
Listen, there’s nothing wrong with a pair of TOMS slip-on flats when you’re trekking around the zoo, exhibit-hopping at the museum, or moving to the rhythms of a fill-in-the-culture performance. But there are times when you need a pair of shoes that aren’t made for walking. And there’s no place better for fantasy footwear than Jimmy Choo.
Ask for the deeply impractical (and inspirational) Romy 85 ($675, jimmychoo.com), a modern-day Cinderella slipper with 100 percent sparkle coverage and a 3.3-inch stiletto heel. Wait till the clock strikes 12 to wear these beauties.
…have teen or tween boys living in your house.
We’re just going to come out and say it: Boys stink. The first sign of adolescence in boys is smelly armpits. By the time they hit high school, your entire home reeks like an NHL locker room. You need something powerfully fresh to overcome that odor.
Ask for the Nest Fragrances Spring Petite Candle Trio Set ($64, nestfragrances.com), with scents of grapefruit, cedar leaf, lavender, and linen. Maybe ask for two.
…have a spouse who you know will wake up on Mother’s Day wearing a panicked expression.
If your last few Mother’s Day gifts have come from the gas station mini-mart, this year, don’t ask—just tell your spouse to call 1-800-FLOWERS. Orders placed by 12 noon on Mother’s Day can be delivered before the day is through. Because even last-minute flowers still say, “I love you, and we’re in this absurd parenting adventure together!”
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