What Moms Really Want: Gifts Mom Wants But Won't Ask For
The Patriot Ledger • May 11, 2002
By Jody Feinberg
Ask moms what they’d like for Mother’s Day and they’ll say time with their families. But if you really want mom to feel special, give her a break. Let her leave behind her brood and broom and bask in time just for herself.
It can be as simple as taking over the laundry for a week (and instructing her to relax during the hours she would have spent on laundry). Or it can be a big gesture like treating her to a weekend away.
Moms say that such gifts actually help both them and their families, because a freer mom is a refreshed mom.
That’s how Abington mother Janet McDonald felt after a weekend last May at the Seacrest Resort on Cape Cod run by MomsAway of Littleton. McDonald jogged, had a facial and massage, read, learned line dancing and spent hours relaxing and talking with other women.
‘‘I felt I was taking care of everybody and had no time for myself,’’ said McDonald, who was working part-time and taking classes. ‘‘This was just for me. I never laughed so much in one weekend. I had a blast. It re-energized my battery.’’
Not that McDonald doesn’t appreciate the way she typically spends Mother’s Day - a brunch at the Ritz and a swan boat ride with her six-year-old son and husband.
‘‘It’s a wonderful day,’’ she said.
So keep the breakfasts and flowers, cards and kisses, but add a gift to uplift mom next week and beyond. Below are 10 possibilities:
1. Dream on
Imagine a resort weekend where your biggest worry is whether to sleep late or get up for the freshly cooked breakfast. Your companions are other moms, also reveling in hours of free time. The MomsAway weekends, which run from Friday evening until noon Sunday, include meals, use of resort facilities, and activities such as yoga, scrapbook organizing and line dancing. Cost is $400. For upcoming weekends, call 978-486-8368 or go online at www.momsawayusa.com.
2. The house to herself
Give the gift of quiet and solitude by clearing out of the house for at least half a day. Forbid mom to do any chores. Instruct her to do only what she enjoys - whether it’s reading, art, music, gardening or just lounging around and listening to the quiet.
3. The kitchen is closed
Don’t ask mom what’s for dinner. Order it for her in the form of healthy, home-cooked meals delivered to her door. Choose a single meal or more from a range of traditional, ethnic and kid-friendly dishes. Caterers typically charge roughly $30-$40 per dinner for a family of four to six. Some choices are Savory Solutions, 508-888-9936, and Cooking from the Heart, 781-293-8422.
4. Spring cleaning
Let someone else do the scrubbing and dusting. Many housecleaning services will do a one-time cleaning and will focus on spots that need extra attention. Prices depend on the house size and condition, but typically begin at $65. Some choices are Naturally Clean in Norwood, which uses only natural products, 781-769-0934, and MaidPro of Norwell, 781-659-8880.
5. The big screen
You can tell who is a mom at Oscar time - moms haven’t seen the films. Let mom experience movies as they were intended - on a screen with great sound and images. Buy a book of movie passes, take care of the kids, and send her on her way.
6. Time for tea
What could be more leisurely than an afternoon tea with miniature sandwiches and pastries? Send mom to the Museum of Fine Arts where tea is served from 2:30 to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday in the Ladies Tea Gallery for $5. Or get her exhibit tickets to Impressionist Still Life for $20. Accompany that with the Impressionist Table, a buffet served from 11:30 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday through June 9, for $25.
7. Feeling groovy
Pamper the woman who cares for others by treating her to spas that bring out her beauty. Facials generally cost about $55 to $65 and a one-hour massage is $60 to $70, but many salons offer packages that discount individual items. Other options are manicures, pedicures and body wraps. Utopia at Personal Best in Pembroke, 781-826-3363, also has a hot tub and swiss shower, as well as computer hairstyle imaging.
8. No dirty clothes
Barricade the laundry room and lock up the detergent. Wash, fold and put away all the clothes for the family for a week. Mom will feel as free as clothes blowing in the breeze.
9. Get organized
Clutter can get anyone down. Abolish it with a home organizer who has a knack for creating places and systems for storing, organizing and discarding everything from papers to shoes. Organizers, who typically charge $35 to $60 an hour, also can create scrapbooks from boxes of photos. Out from Under in Quincy, 617-970-4703, offers a free consultation and then charges $35 an hour. Others, registered with New England Professional Organizers, can be found online at www.nepo-organizers.com.
10. Ha ha
Laughter is an unbeatable stress buster. Give her two tickets to a comedy club, so she can take a friend and laugh. Dick Doherty’s Comedy Escape has shows at the Holiday Inn in Randolph, 800-401-2221, and The Comedy Connection has comedians at Quincy Market in Faneuil Hall, 617-248-9700. Tickets typically are $10 to $15.