5 tips for Mother’s Day gifts…

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  I have mixed feelings about the holiday.  Sure, I’m a mom and love that there’s a day on the calendar in honor of mothers.  It is wonderful to be appreciated for all the hard work and sacrifices we’ve made on account of raising children.  But for me, expectations can run high and get the best of me.  Consequently, my high emotional hopes on this annual celebration rarely happen the way I fantisize and I end the day disappointed.  For all you kids and spouses out there who are searching for the perfect last-minute Mother’s Day gift, here are 5 tips:

1) No gift can ever appreciate your wife/mom enough.  There is no fancy diamond bracelet or spa treatment that will cancel the years of late night exhaustion, erase the interrupted showers, or relieve the worry of a mom.  (I’d love to receive a day of pampering, don’t misunderstand…hint, hint)  However, instead of searching for the perfect gift, or perhaps along with your gift, let her know how invaluable Mom is to you and how irreplaceable she is.  As moms, we often feel as if our cleaning, cooking, nose-wiping, and diaper-changing are routine tasks that any human, regardless of skill or gifting, could accomplish. It’s incredibly rejuvenating to know that though anybody could get the job done, others recognize that our actions are a choice done out of love, and that our presence is meaningful and important.

2) Don’t get frustrated when you ask her what she wants to do tomorrow and she doesn’t know.  As mothers, we have been conditioned through childrearing that our desires and needs come second.  I have no idea what restaurant I want to go to for lunch.  I have forgotten what good food even tastes like.  I think I like Italian food, or Mexican, maybe?  I honestly don’t remember.  Over the past 11 years, it has become more important to me to keep the peace and make meals-on-the-go easy outings.  I often pick McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, or pizza, just to prevent the kids from screaming.  Mother’s Day is no different.  In fact, if my kids complain about the food, even if I have before me a margarita and some quality queso, guilt of selfishness will consume me.  Mothers usually just want everyone to be happy.  Do whatever results in the least amount of tears for lunch and make her a margarita after the kids go to bed. 🙂

3) Don’t buy her an iwatch.  As a mother of four kids, I already have 4 “I-watches”.  They  watch me change.  They watch me go to the bathroom. They watch my every move.  They remind me I haven’t made their morning chocolate milk yet, I haven’t washed their favorite shirt yet, and that they still don’t like Mexican food.  I don’t need another thing physically assaulting my wrist throughout the day, interrupting my own personal thoughts.  I’d rather receive some personal uninterrupted face-to-face time with some girlfriends or my spouse.  I’d love to have an evening where doctor’s appointments, school projects, the chore schedule, and planning activities are OFF the table of conversation.  (This would also be an appropriate time for a margarita) 🙂

4) Remind her of who she is.  As a mother, one of biggest struggles I have faced has been identifying myself as “only” a mother.  I remember coming home from the hospital with my first baby and my husband asking me, “Do you need anything, Momma?”  I nearly flipped over the table.  I didn’t want to be called ‘Momma’.  My name was ‘Angie’.  I was scared that who I was (rather, who I thought I was) would be lost forever in the craziness of motherhood.  And to some degree, I was right.  But, God has taught me more about who I really am through the service of parenthood.  It is true, that many of my interests and gifts have been overshadowed and neglected by a house full of children who need my attention.  But, I am learning to rest more in the identity that has and will always be mine.  I am a daughter to the King, chosen, beloved, worth more than fine treasure, and forgiven.  My talents and abilities make me unique, but Jesus makes me special and valuable.  Remind the mother in your life of this!  Give her the gift of some time or resources to re-engage with her unique talents.  Yet, remind her of who she is in Jesus.  She needs to know that even if she doesn’t paint, or write, or sing, or garden–or whatever she is great at–for the next 15 years, it doesn’t de-value her or make her fade into the background.

5) Pray for her.  Cover her in prayer.  Audibly.  Out loud.  In front of her.  Even if you are uncomfortable doing so…ESPECIALLY if you are uncomfortable.  She will cry.  I guarantee it.  Thank Jesus for her.  Ask God to sustain her.  Ask Father to tend to her heart, to meet her every need.  Ask for forgiveness for the times you’ve not appreciated her.  Ask the Spirit to fill her and equip her.  Being a mom, or let’s face it–a human–is hard.  None of us can do it on our own.  No matter what role or title we acquire (mom, grandma, single-mom, childless, business woman, doctor, accountant,  etc…), we all need Jesus–His grace, His mercy, and His love.

He is the best gift.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 3:23-24

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