The New & Improved Mother’s Day Gift Guide — Now With 30% More Thoughtfulness

The New & Improved Mother’s Day Gift Guide — Now With 30% More Thoughtfulness

For most moms, the best present is your presence. We’ve rounded up some things that are easier to wrap, too.

As the mom in the classic children’s book/tearjerker “I’ll Love You Forever” sings:

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be.

You may be all grown up, but you’ll always be your mom’s baby. But you’re also an adult, and you can show your appreciation for everything mom’s done, just like you did since the days of macaroni necklaces and fingerpainted cards with a smudgy handprint. Here are a few options that go above and beyond the same-old-same-old bouquets and boxes of chocolates. Mom will know you put some thought into her gift, and in turn she’ll think of you whenever she uses it.

mother's day gift guide

A Mother and Her Son, A Shared Journal Adventure

Amazon, $15

A friend recently told me that motherhood is a series of goodbyes. And if you do the whole parenting thing right, this gut-punch disguised as a nugget of wisdom comes true: you teach your child to spread their wings and be independent, hoping that they fly home for a visit every now and then.

Even when they’re still in the nest, kids tend to be monosyllabic after a certain age. “How was your day?” “Fine.” “What did you do?” “Stuff.” “What are you doing this weekend?” “Dunno.”

You probably did your fair share of grunting and shrugging when you were younger, so now that you’re a (hopefully) more eloquent and communicative adult, you can start to fill in the gaps for your mom. This playful yet heartfelt journal is intended for mothers and their pre-teens/teenagers, but we think most moms would get a kick out of connecting with their adults sons through the humorous and engaging interactive writing prompts.

mother and her son journal
custom necklace

Custom Initial Mama Bear Necklace

Amazon, $21

fossil watch

Fossil Dress Watch

Amazon, $74

family recipes book

Family Cookbook

Amazon, $12

The best recipes are the ones that are passed from relative to relative…but those often live in your family members’ memories, not written on the pages of a cookbook. In the card, note that you want to sit down with her and record all the details of your grandma’s BBQ spice rub and your uncle’s noodle casserole, and you’d love to schedule some time to make some of her favorites and preserve their instructions, too. She’d probably love the opportunity to cook with you now that she doesn’t have to worry about you around knives and stove burners, and this can become a keepsake that you’ll pass on to the next generation.

Garden Republic Indoor Herb Starter Kit

Amazon, $27

Instead of splurging (read: overpaying) on a last-minute bouquet of flowers, try something that will last a little longer and even prove useful in the kitchen (nothing beats the taste of fresh-cut herbs). This garden windowsill set is easy to care for, and mom will think of you whenever she waters it or harvests some cilantro.

herb garden

Convertible Tote Backpack

Nordstrom, $28

The “genius” label gets thrown around a little too liberally, but this “award-winning carryall” easily converts from a tote bag to a backpack, and the whole thing tucks away into its interior pouch for storage. She may not have you to bring the groceries in from the car anymore, but you can still lend her a hand by making it easier. It’s perfect for groceries or travel, and it’s pretty cute, too.

Bath Bomb Gift Set

Amazon, $27

Moms are always told to take care of themselves (“put on your own oxygen mask first!” is a familiar and dreaded phrase), but it’s hard to do when you have to take care of everyone else, too. Help her make the time.

With more than 4,300 reviews, 94% of which are 5 stars, these fizzy spheres might literally be magic. An assortment of botanical ingredients relax the body and soothe away stress, plus it’s an excuse to get away from the world for a little bit for some much-needed me time.

A group of colorful bath bombs
cookbook stand

Cookbook & Tablet Stand

Amazon, $25

Most serious home chefs like buying their own gear and tools, but it’s hard to go wrong with something that makes it easy to actually read the recipe you’re trying to recreate WITHOUT getting Béchamel all over the tablet again, jeez.

mother and son having lunch

Lunch/Dinner/Brunch for Two

When’s the last time you had a meal with your mom, just the two of you? No other siblings, relatives, Dad, children/grandchildren…you get the idea. Don’t schedule this for Mother’s Day, but for another date/time that works for both of you. It’s a great opportunity to catch up, have conversations you might not get to have with a table full of family, and give mom your undivided attention.

As with all gifts, a little thought goes a long way. Take a moment to reflect on what makes mom special. What are her unique likes and interests? Whatever you choose, don’t forget to top it off with a handwritten card. You don’t have to write a novel, just speak from the heart. She’ll probably treasure it just as much as (if not more than) the physical gift.

What’s on your list for mom? Keep the list going and share your favorite gifts to give in the comments.

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Ali grew up in New York and currently lives in Philadelphia, where she works as a copywriter. She enjoys cooking, playing the guitar, and powerlifting, and has a brown belt in Krav Maga. You can find her collected articles on health, fitness, and other lifestyle topics at Instagram: @alibzagat