mother's day gift ideas

The Best Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, for Moms of Young Kids

These Mother’s Day gift ideas for moms with young kids are guaranteed to score the dads out there some major brownie points. We all know it’s Dad’s job to buy Mother’s Day gifts when their children are young. That also means there’s more pressure to buy a great gift.  Mom is going to appreciate anything directly from the kids. It’s on Dad to buy something that shows his appreciation for all she does.

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The importance of Mother’s Day gift ideas

Parenting is hard in so many ways. Whether your child is typically developing or has special needs, parenting is a challenge in new ways every day. My two kids are different, but complementary, which means when one is driving me crazy the other one usually isn’t…yet.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both a chance to celebrate the exhausting, hard work of raising tiny humans. When the kids are too young to be properly appreciative, it falls to the other parent to make that effort.

In the case of single parents, I urge close family and friends to make an effort to show the parent their sacrifice is seen. This is extra important when the kids are little and draining. Gifts are great, but a break is even more appreciated (for coupled and single parents).

I polled the moms I’m closest to and the gift ideas most revolve around giving Mom a break or pampering of some sort. The oldest child of these moms is 9, so we’re all deep in the raising-young-kids struggle.

The best mother's day gift ideas for moms of young kids with image of mom holding baby aloft

The best Mother’s Day gift idea: a night away

Speaking from personal experience, a night away from all responsibilities is the best gift you can give. This is assuming there is a competent, reliable childcare provider available to pick up the slack in Mom’s absence, so she can really relax.

If you’re feeling really generous, spring for a weekend away. I don’t know a single parent who doesn’t need a break from parenting at some point, and an extra night or two goes a long way. 

The key here is to make sure the mom you’re gifting a night away to doesn’t have more work to do to prepare for the gift. Both working and stay-at-home moms tend to shoulder a large share of the household and childcare duties, so the true gift is relief from the stress. You, the gift-giver, needs to take care of the concerns: childcare while she takes time for herself, no worries about dinner for everyone that night, a plan for entertaining the kids in the morning

A night in a hotel, even though it was local, was the best, most relaxing gift I could have received last year. I have plans to book another night away this year and have told my husband that that’s all I want this year.

A massage

Give the mom in your life the ultimate relaxation gift: a massage. The longer the better; maybe even upgrade to multiple massages.  Arrange childcare and push her out the door if you have to. 

Again, the biggest gift here is taking care of her typical worries, especially childcare while she’s at the massage. Make sure mom has nothing at all to worry about at home. If the other parent is unable to care for the kids at that time, they should arrange for a babysitter instead of expecting the mom to do so. 

The most frugal Mother’s Day gift idea: a kid craft

If you truly can’t afford the other Mother’s Day gift ideas listed here, there’s an easy, frugal alternative: help the kid(s) complete a craft for their Mom.

So often, Moms are the ones organizing and preparing for gift-giving occasions and their children’s artistic endeavors. Take that off her plate, and organize a specially crafted gift from the child to their mom. 

A craft is even more special if the child doesn’t attend a daycare or preschool program that helps facilitate the creation – it shows someone in Mom’s life values her contributions enough to put in the effort of assisting. 

The craft doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. A simple card with childish drawings is enough. The sentimental value of a child’s craft is more than enough. 

A spa day

You could incorporate the massage into this gift idea if you have a great spa location nearby. Unless a night away is involved, don’t make Mom drive very far for her gift. Don’t stress her out.

If your budget doesn’t allow for it, choose one or two services you know Mom will love: a facial, a manicure, a pedicure, or some other treatment. If it’s an option, cover the tip ahead of time too, to reduce the amount she has to worry about. 

Many mothers don’t take the time to shower as often as they’d like, so a spa experience is a big deal. Allow her a chance to take care of herself for once. 

Book a house cleaner

Even if the housekeeping duties are evenly split between the spouses, I would bet the mental weight of everything rests more on the mom. 

Help her out and make the arrangements for a house cleaner to come by and do a deep clean. Make sure to ask if Mom has any strong feelings about how things are cleaned, what products are used, or what should be taken care of first… because she might. 

Once again, don’t stress her out. Make life easier. 

The best mother's day gift ideas for moms of young kids

Why aren’t all these Mother’s Day gift ideas frugal?

I am all about making Christmas or Valentine’s Day frugal, but it’s also important to see a mother. The Mother’s Day gift ideas listed here aren’t frugal, because life is about balance. 

Balancing the overwhelm of parenting with the desire to pay off debt. 

Balancing the struggle of mothering constantly with the goal of saving money.

And finally, balance the need to feel like your previous, child-free self with the overwhelming love of motherhood. 

You can love your children to a heart-wrenching degree but still need a break. And that’s both OK and understandable. 

I’m not quite 6 years into parenthood, but it’s been a wild ride so far. It’s the most exhausting, rewarding, and doubt-inducing thing I’ve ever done. 

That also means I understand the need for a break, deeply in my soul. I may be projecting a bit, but easing a Mom’s burden goes a long way toward expressing your love for her.

Moms, what do you really want for Mother’s Day?

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