Universal Childcare Is What Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day, But Since That’s Not Happening, One of These Gifts Is Also Nice

published May 6, 2023
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Mother receive gifts during mother's day
Credit: MaaHoo / Stocksy

Let’s hear it for the moms! They brought us into this world and then showed us how to live in it, all while kissing our boo-boos and cheering on our every win. Your mom or the mother of your children might tell you that all she wants for Mother’s Day is to spend time with her family (among other things — see title!) but take it from me — a mother of two and, thus, an expert — any of these gifts would also be welcome.

Gifts Under $20

1 / 4

If your mom is never more than five feet away from a tube of Burt’s Bees lip balm, give her a Burt’s Bees gift set to help soothe her from head to toe, with lip balm, soap bark, cleansing cream, foot cream, body lotion, and hand salve.

2 / 4
Sur La Table

This lovely 10-ounce soy candle will fill any room with the sweet, floral scent of tuberose and gardenia, and its classic, unfussy design means this candle will look great in every room of the house.

3 / 4
was $17.00

Celeste Ng’s 2019 novel Little Fires Everywhere explores motherhood with a keen lens, and the mother figure in your life won’t want to put this page-turner down.

4 / 4
was $25.99

If Mom happens to run hot, help her stay cool with this cute, portable fan that comes in five pretty colors. It’s effective and rechargeable, includes a flashlight, and it folds up to pocket-size in the shape of an adorable little bear.

Gifts $20 – $40

1 / 6
Pottery Barn

Prove that you were listening to the woman who taught you to keep your napkin in your lap by giving her this set of four organic cotton napkins. Mom will love their striped design—inspired by vintage French grain sacks—as much she appreciates the fact that you’ve got impeccable table manners.

2 / 6

Marketed as a weighted blanket for your eyes, this super-soft fleece sleep mask will usher your tired mom off to the land of nod before she can count a single sheep. Pro tip: Tell her to keep it in the freezer for an extra cool burst of relaxation.

3 / 6

We all need to hydrate, and mom is no exception, so make sure she’s getting her fluids in style with this trendy water bottle that features a pour spout and a straw in a dozen aesthetically pleasing colorways.

4 / 6

Mom always kept you company in the kiddie pool, and now she should be able to float around the deep end doing absolutely nothing. This mesh pool hammock will help her do it in style.

5 / 6
Pinhole Press

Bring some family cheer and precious memories to Mom’s desk with this fully customizable desk calendar with a sleek, modern design.

6 / 6

For years, mom packed your lunch with a little note to cheer you up at school. Now it’s time to return the favor by gifting mom this stylish, adult-but-not-boring Kate Spade lunch bag to make sure those lunches she eats at her desk are anything but sad.

Gifts $40 +

1 / 11
Molly Maid

It’s not exactly glamorous, but what I’d really love for Mother’s Day is a spotless house that I didn’t have to clean. There are a couple of ways to turn this into a gift: you could give mom a gift certificate and let her schedule cleaning at a time that works for her; or you could surprise her with a housecleaning at a time when she’ll be elsewhere. Either way, it’ll be a gift she remembers for years to come.

2 / 11
Minky Couture

Mom gives the best hugs, so give her a blanket that feels just like a warm hug. These might just be the softest blankets on the planet, but they’re also well-made with durable fabric that can withstand a trip through the washing machine—a detail all moms will appreciate.

3 / 11
The Caviar Co.

The Caviar Co. will pack up 3 (10g) jars of caviar with mother of pearl spoons so mom can nosh along while learning all about this delicacy of the sea.

4 / 11

Give Mom a new set of PJs with these lightweight jersey knit pajamas from Eberjay. The piped detail and buttons make the pajamas look super chic, and the fabric will feel just as snuggly and soft as an old t-shirt.

5 / 11

Going out for brunch for Mother’s Day is a fool’s errand, and your mother doesn’t suffer fools. Let Goldbelly and Russ & Daughters transport mom to NYC with this brunch kit, complete with bagels, smoked salmon, cream cheese, babka, coffee beans, and a coffee mug so mom will be sure to remember the year you proved why you’re her favorite.

6 / 11
was $64.99

Anyone who’s ever dreaded a pile of ironing will tell you that a handheld steamer is worth its weight in gold, and this one got the highest marks from Good Housekeeping and Wirecutter, so you know it’s not going to leave mom hanging.

7 / 11

For years, every time I’ve asked her, my own sweet mother has said that all she wants for Mother’s Day is a new, framed picture of me. This year, I’m going to do her one better with this digital picture frame with unlimited storage. Now all I have to do is upload recent pictures of myself and my kids, and she’ll be positively tickled every time she looks at it.

8 / 11

If mom loves to entertain (or just snack beautifully), this Mother’s Day charcuterie board will have her swooning. I received a springtime charcuterie board from Boarderie, and it took my breath away. Every little jar of jam and wedge of cheese is individually wrapped and artfully arranged, so the board, which easily serves 2-3 guests, is guaranteed to be perfect upon receipt.

9 / 11
Uncommon Goods

Mom’s love of plants and backyard birds come together in this charming hanging basket bedecked with three hummingbird feeders. Pro tip: Give it to mom already filled up with nectar and a plant hummingbirds love, like fuschia or red columbine, so all she has to do is sit back and enjoy.

10 / 11
Serena & Lily
was $78.00

It feels like moms are usually the ones schlepping all the bags, blankets, and coolers to and from the beach on every vacation. This year, give her a beach towel she’ll be proud to display, like this striped Egyptian cotton number from Serena & Lily.

11 / 11
was $119.99

Your mom might be the last one on the block to get an air fryer, so make it a good one. Hamilton Beach’s 5.8-quart air fryer is easy to use and easy on the eyes, so if it’s love at first bite, she can leave her new favorite small appliance right on the counter for everyone to admire.