17 Good Karma Mother's Day Gifts

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“No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you – life.” ~Anonymous

Once you become a parent, you view Mother’s Day a bit differently than you did when you were just the giver of the gifts. As a parent, you consider all of the gifts you gave your own mom and wonder if they really reflected the way you felt about her.

When you become a parent, your view about real gifts, gifts from the heart, suddenly changes. You know what’s truly important and meaningful — what creates good karma for the giver and the receiver.

Flowers, candy, jewelry, perfume, clothes — they are all nice to receive. But what a mother really wants to know and feel are these things:

  • Did I do a good job at raising you?
  • Do you still enjoy my company?
  • Do you respect and like me for the person I am, not just a mom?
  • Do you notice and appreciate the things I’ve done and still do for you?
  • Am I a good role model for you as a person and a parent?

We don’t necessarily expect our children to respond to these questions, but when they do, it is a gift that touches us more deeply than words can describe. When a child comes to accept and appreciate mom for who she really is and for how much she loves her children, then her job is complete. Having that validation is worth all of the flowers and perfume in the world.

Your mom would love having that validation any time of year, but Mother’s Day is a particularly fine occasion for offering gifts that speak to your fondest and most loving feelings about your mom. For the day, forget the times she embarrassed you, misunderstood you, or annoyed you. Today, create some good karma by focusing on how much you treasure and love her.

Since I’m a mom of three teenagers, I will share 17 gift ideas that would make me wild with joy and happiness for Mother’s Day. Maybe you can offer one of these to your own mom.

1. A love letter

Write a letter by hand expressing how important your mother is to you and why you appreciate her so  much. Mention some of your happiest memories or funny childhood events. Put some time and thought into it. Write it as though it was the last thing your mom might hear from you. (But don’t let it be!)

2. Quality time

Ask your mom out to lunch or for a walk. Invite her to do something with you so that you can just talk — not about your particular problems or needs. Talk with her about her life, who she is, what she wants from life, what her hopes and dreams are. Your mother is a person, a woman who has a life apart from you. Show interest in that.

3. Unsolicited help

Look around your mom’s house. Take a peek in her car. Look at the yard. Is there something that needs doing, cleaning, organizing? Offer your time and assistance, or better yet, just do it for her. Do something that will make her life unexpectedly easier.

4. A trip

Invite your mom on a trip with you. Plan something special for the two of your or with your spouses or siblings. Choose a destination that you know appeals to your mom. It could just be a weekend getaway to the mountains or the beach. Or it could be something really elaborate. But whatever you do, don’t invite her as the babysitter or bank account.

5. A home-cooked meal

She prepared a million meals for you. Prepare something really special for her and make an occasion out of it. Light candles, use the best china, raise a toast with champagne. Make her feel loved and appreciated.

6. Cooking together

Prepare a meal with her. Work side by side in the kitchen with her to prepare dinner for the family. Turn on some great music. Laugh and have fun. Just enjoy this time together.

7. Plan an adventure

Instead of the typical Mother’s Day brunch, plan something different. Take her on a bike ride, a rafting trip,  a picnic , an amusement park, a day at the lake, or to the theater. Do something fun and out of the ordinary. Shake up mom’s routine.

8. A scrapbook or video

Gather photos or video from your childhood and adult years, and create a keepsake that captures some of your best memories with your mom. Prepare a script that goes with the video or write funny captions for the photos. Remind her in images what a great mom she is.

9. A hobby or interest

Pay attention to what your mom likes to read or her hobbies. Find out from her friends or your dad what she’s currently interested in. Do some research to find something new and interesting that would appeal to her as a gift. Don’t purchase something just to give something or because you like it. Get something you know she will really enjoy.

10. An event with siblings

If you have siblings, plan a get-together with all of you and your mom. Moms love to see their children happily interacting, so make sure you leave sibling rivalries and problems at the door.

11. Forgiveness

If you are angry with your mom about something, use this as an occasion for healing. If she’s done something wrong, forgive her. If you’ve done something wrong, apologize. Most issues aren’t worth the pain and heartache that these conflicts cause. Talk with her face to face and start to rebuild your relationship.

12. Family movies

Dig up some of the old family videos/dvd’s and sit next to your mom on the couch to watch them. She may shed a few tears, but they are happy tears, so let her cry. There will probably be a lot of laughter too.

13. Inclusion in your circle

You and your mom are from different generations, but at some point in adulthood, you may realize that your mom is pretty cool. Maybe your friends will think so too. On occasion, invite her to join you and your friends for an event or dinner. You may come to see her in a new light.

14. Those three words and a hug

We never get tired of hearing “I love you” and receiving a big hug. To mothers, you are always our children, whether you are 15 or 50.

15. Advice

You may be grown up, be we still want to feel like you value our opinion and wisdom. Ask your mom’s advice and thank her for it, even if you decide not to take it.

16. Positive focus

Every parent screws up some part of child-rearing. Sadly, that seems to be what most of us remember about our childhoods. Choose to focus on the things your mom did right instead  of what she messed up. Our intentions are usually for the best, so try to let go of the bad stuff.

17. Be happy and show her

More than anything, mothers want to know their children are happy and content. Find happiness in your own life, doing what you love to do and living the life that you want. Let your mom see that you are happy and doing well. She will feel rewarded beyond measure.

Here’s to all of the wonderful mothers who raised us, gave us so much, and who continue to love us every day! Happy Mother’s Day.

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Comments

  1. This is a great list and great thinking behind it. I’d add another thought, born out of my own regret: find ways to relate to your mother adult to adult. (Your points 11 and 13 touch on this.) I never did get to know my mother intimately – who she really was as a woman. It was very much a mother/daughter relationship, not one of two grown women who happened to be mother and daughter. She died when I was in my late 30s and I’ve often wondered who she really was, independent of family, what her hopes and dreams were when she was younger and all that.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Tess,
      I wholeheartedly agree with you. It is so wonderful when your children get to an age when they can also be your friends. I’m so sorry you didn’t have that opportunity with your mom, but perhaps you will be able to create that relationship with your own children.

  2. This is profoundly inspiring. We can never find enough ways to repay the kindness of our mother who gave us this previous human birth in which we can realize our full potential. We understandably have troubles with our mother, but that doesn’t negate the precious gift she has given us.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Sandra,
      I think mother/daughter conflict is inevitable, but I’ve certainly come to appreciate all of the things my mom did for me now that I’m a parent. It takes a lot of patience and unconditional love! So in spite of their imperfections (and ours), it’s nice to remember the good.

  3. A friend of mine passed away last year at the young age of 21, and I’ve been in touch with her Mom. This Mother’s Day I started a little fundraiser (“Makeup that Matters”) to honor both mother and daughter on my blog that is going to donate to one of my friend Kassie’s favorite charities…it’s going to be an honor to give her mom the news when it’s successful…that’s how I’m going to celebrate moms this year!

    Loved this post!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Shannyn,
      What a lovely tribute! I know your friend’s mother will be so touched by your efforts. This will be a hard Mother’s Day for her, and you will help her through it.

  4. Cathy | Treatment Talk says:

    Wonderful list, Barrie. What great ideas to remember our mother in special ways. The simple can be so much more meaningful. Happy Sunday!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Cathy,
      Thank you so much. Yes, simple is more meaningful. I know it is for me. :)

  5. Justin | Mazzastick says:

    I really like your unsolicited help idea. Most Moms don’t want to burden their children but would love the extra help.

    And you must always include you Mom in your circle and your life. This easier once we get a little older.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Ah Justin, I can see you are a loving son! I hope you and your mom have that kind of relationship. So what are you going to do for your mom this year??

  6. I really love and appreciate your post—I can tell it was heart inspired. Unfortunately, sometimes we take love ones for granted thinking they know how you feel and how much they are loved. It is nice when Mother’s Day comes around so that expressions of gratitude, as you described, can be shared with your beloved Mom.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Cris,
      Thank you for your kindness. My own mom passed away when I was 24, so I really try to remember her for all the good things she gave to me and taught me growing up. So much of my love for personal development, the arts, and my sense of humor I got from her.

  7. I just love these wise and wonderful suggestions. So helpful, meaningful and beautifully conveyed. Thank you!

  8. Shaleen says:

    Hi Barrie

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful post on Mother’s Day. I have raised my children not to get caught up in the commercial aspects of Mother’s Day etc. and over the years as they grew up, we have celebrated it with outings as opposed to gifts. I just hope that I haven’t played it down too much and that I can look forward to their expressions of love and appreciation now that they are in their 20’s!
    Inspired by your article, I have decided to make a collage of photos of my mom and myself to give to my mom this Sunday. Thanks Barrie and Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That is so lovely Shaleen. Your mom will really love that, and you will have fun putting it together. Show it to your kids before Mother’s Day. Maybe it will inspire them to do something equally creative and loving!

  9. Lori Gosselin says:

    Hi Barrie!
    This is wonderful. My mother has passed on and I wish I could go back and so some of those things. My daughter gave me a wonderful Mother’s Day Gift a few years ago. She made a card with a schedule of events of things we’d do together that day. Time is the most precious gift!
    Last spring we took a mother-daughter trip to Greece and what made it most valuable was not the Parthenon of the amazingly peaceful islands, but having all that time to be with her and hear her stories. THAT was my best Mothers’s Day gift – to me and it wasn’t even Mother’s Day.
    This year, since my kids are away from home, I’m going to do something nice for myself. I haven’t thought of what yet, but I will!
    Lori

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Lori,
      It sounds like you have a very loving and thoughtful daughter. You raised her right! Maybe for Mother’s Day you should buy a ticket to go see her. :)

  10. Hi Barrie,

    I was sitting with my mom when my daughter was just a few weeks old when realization dawned and I said to my mom, “Wow. Do you love me as much as I love her?” Of course she said yes and everybody cried. :)
    Especially after reading the comments, I realize how lucky I am to have my mom with me, and to have the opportunity to get to know her as a woman (although, I must admit, there are some things I don’t want to know. :) )
    We’ve already planned to spend time together on Sunday, but I think I might need to tell her again just how much I love her. :)

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