As a mother of three young boys, I can speak for most modern moms when I say that macaroni necklaces, construction paper cards coated in glitter, and burnt toast in bed are all really sweet Mother's Day presents. Seriously—us moms cherish those memories celebrating with our families every year.
But what we really want, more than anything, is the rest of the day to ourselves. We want a break from our responsibilities, our mental load, and the day-to-day grind of motherhood.
Basically, we want to be someone other than Mom for one day. We want to spend 24 hours feeling like the well-rested, intelligent, passionate women we were before we started chugging coffee, talking about potty training, wearing yoga pants and top knots, and sleeping five hours a night.
Take a look at all the ways modern moms will love to celebrate Mother's Day.
All moms are technically work-at-home moms, because we spend all our time there serving our families in one way or another. It's a real treat to put our feet up in the comfort of our own living rooms without being asked to do, find, cook, or clean something. Pack the kids up after breakfast and don't come back until dinnertime (but bring dinner home with you—Mom is off kitchen duty for the day).
Or room service will do. Even the busiest mom has a long Netflix queue and a burning desire to log some serious binge-watching hours. We want to lie around in a fuzzy bathrobe all day, eating chocolate-covered strawberries and catching up on the latest season of our favorite guilty pleasure TV show. Book us a local hotel room for the day (or night) so we can indulge in peace.
The dynamics of every family are different, but it's not unusual to find Mom serving as the practical, logical, rational half of the parenting equation while Dad gets to have all the fun. This Mother's Day, we want to be the ones who take the kids out for ice cream before dinner and spoil their appetites while our husbands rain on everyone's parade. It's only fair.
Part of the reason moms are always so busy on Mother's Day is because we're also trying to show gratitude and appreciation for our own moms (and usually our mother-in-laws, too). That means we don't get a lot of time to bask in any celebratory glow ourselves. We want to spend the day at a nice restaurant, spa, or salon with our moms, so neither one of us has to do anything for anybody.
Pampering means different things to different moms: Some of us love a massage, some of us crave a fresh mani and pedi, and some of us haven't had a good haircut and color since we were pregnant with our first baby. But here's a tip: ask us what we want before getting us a gift card. What counts as pampering for some women is just plain annoying or uncomfortable for others.
Getting to spend the whole day alone may not be possible, but moms can at least ask for a little peace and quiet, can't we? We want a moratorium on whining, complaining, grumbling, or otherwise commenting on how much effort everyone is putting into "mom's special day," and we ask that our kids direct all grievances to some other responsible adult during their waking hours.
Not all moms want a break from their kids, but even those women would still love a break from the drudgery of parenthood. We want to pack the family up and spend the day doing something unusual, adventurous, or just plain fun—a day trip to somewhere new, ziplining, and kayaking are just some ideas. But we do NOT want to handle any of the planning and logistics, because that would make it just another day of "momming."
Modern moms might dream of picking up a camera or paintbrush or pair of knitting needles after the kids go to bed, but we'd have to stay awake for more than five minutes first. This year, we want to remember what inspires us—so sign us up for a cooking or pottery class, encourage us to grab our camera for a sunrise photo shoot, or drop us off at a coffee shop with a laptop so we can write the next chapter in our novel.