What Moms Really Want for Mother's Day: A Wishlist That Withstands the Test of Time by Elisa Schmitz

What Moms Really Want for Mother's Day: A Wishlist That Withstands the Test of Time

My first business was iParenting, a leading website providing parents information and inspiration along the parenting journey. As a mom, I built a business while raising my family, and I learned so much via iParenting that helped me be a better mother.

Photo: My son, CJ, at age 2.

One of the fun and interesting things we did at iParenting (now owned by Disney) was to survey our moms to see what they really wanted for Mother’s Day. After all, there are many types of moms and mother figures, and being a mom means different things to different people.

Photo: My identical twin girls, Cassie and Jules, at about 10 months.

Some feel that becoming a mother is a rite of passage, while others see it as fulfilling a lifelong dream, and still others find it part blessing and part curse. One thing that most moms agree on is, no matter how it happens, becoming a mom or mother figure is a life-changing event, after which you will never be the same.

Photo: CJ, age 3, and Cassie and Jules, age 6 months.

So on the day we celebrate moms, we wanted to know (back in 2005!) what moms really wanted from their special day. Would candy and flowers suffice? Did they prefer appliances or trips? Or did they just want time alone? We surveyed our readers and received an overwhelming number of responses.

Here’s what moms told us they really want for Mother’s Day:

  • More than anything, moms want to be recognized. Mom wants a card that expresses how you feel about her, and to know you appreciate how much she does each day. Only a quarter of the moms said they’d received cards the previous year, yet half ranked this as the top item they wanted. So whether you buy a card or make one, that should top your list.
  • The next most popular choice was the gift of pampering. Whether Mom gets her nails done or has a full-body massage, she wants to ease those aches and feel good about herself. Only 2 percent of moms had received this gift the previous year, yet 40 percent ranked it as their gift of choice.
  • Next in line was a night out. Whether with her partner or just a friend, Mom wants to go to dinner, see a movie or some other outing. Only 6 percent of moms were treated to a night out the previous year, yet nearly 40 percent said this was their top pick.
  • The old stand-by, flowers, ranked next. Whether you buy a fresh bouquet or a showy plant, any colorful or sweet-smelling flowers will do. Only 20 percent of moms received flowers the previous year, yet a third said they’d like them as a gift.
  • Because so many mothers have very little time alone, it’s no surprise that moms want more of it. Only 3 percent of moms got some alone time the previous year, yet about a third of them want the gift of some time to themselves.
  • Mothers often serve as chief cook and bottle washer in their households, so being treated to breakfast in bed is something they crave. Only 4 percent of moms got breakfast in bed the previous year, yet a quarter of them want that kind of royal treatment.
  • Some of the moms hadn’t had a vacation in a while, and they thought Mother’s Day was a good time for one. While exotic trips are nice, moms are practical (especially in the age of COVID). Even if it’s a trip to a local hotel or just a staycation, that’s a getaway to treasure. Only 1 percent of moms received a trip for Mother’s Day, yet 15 percent said they would like one.
  • Chocolate is always appreciated, and moms would certainly enjoy a box of it if none of the above is doable. Only 3 percent of moms received chocolate for Mother’s Day the previous year, yet 10 percent said they would like some gifted to them.
  • Appliances made the list, but just barely. Not many moms want a new gadget to help them cook or clean better – not on Mother’s Day, anyway. Only 2 percent of moms received an appliance the precious year, and only 7 percent would want another.
  • The last item on our list was simply nothing. We asked moms if they wanted anything at all, and a couple actually said no. We’re pretty sure that, while these mothers may be saints, they’re in the minority (and the moms in your life are unlikely to be in this group!). Nearly a third of moms received nothing for Mother’s Day the previous year, and unsurprisingly, only 2 percent said they wanted nothing again. Clearly, nothing will not do!

Photo: CJ, when he was an intern for 30Seconds.

No matter how many years go by, what moms really want for Mother's Day remains the same: your love and appreciation, however you express it. Whether it’s a homemade creation, a fancy greeting card, their child’s handprints on paper, a simple poem or a trip to the tropics, the bottom line is this: Whatever you do, do it with love.

Photo: Cassie and Jules, age 21.

This will ensure you fulfill what’s in Mom’s heart – and that’s a wishlist that withstands the test of time. From all of us at 30Seconds, Happy Mother’s Day!

Photo: My mom (mi madre) and me (around age 2).

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Keri De Deo
I'm a dog mom, and I love that my two pups get me a card every year (via my husband)! Just being thought about and included in Mother's day is wonderful (despite not having any human children)! Having a day off is my gift of choice along with that card. 😀💜🐕
Elisa Schmitz
Aw! Your pups are adorable, Keri De Deo ! How sweet they give you a card each year. So much love! I’m with you on the day off each year, nice! ❤️
Melissa Vickers
At this point, I'd like for the universe to fall into place so that our diabetic cat decides traveling is a wonderful idea so we can go to GA and FL to see our kids and grandkids!
Elisa Schmitz
I agree, being in person with our loved ones is the BEST gift (especially during these difficult times). I hope your cat cooperates so you can take the trip, Melissa Vickers . Happy Mother's Day to one of the best moms I know!
Nicole DeAvilla
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds I love all of your old photos! They are precious as are your kids.

I pretty much would like all of the above (LOL) except: a night out (I have been lucky now that things are opening up to have had some recent outings), I want my breakfast to be a special treat, but not in bed! I crave some gluten free pancakes or waffles which I don't normally eat and want to be upright to enjoy the syrup etc!, No chocolate - I have been off chocolate for a couple, of years now and like it that way. Probably not an appliance. Maybe... an espresso machine with a good frother as long as it is easy to clean.

Happy Mother's Day!
Elisa Schmitz
Thank you so much, Nicole DeAvilla , for your kind comments on the photos! Hard to believe my kids are all grown up, LOL. I'm with you on the GF pancakes or waffles, yum. Great idea about the espresso machine - that seems less like an appliance and more like a luxury, YES! Happy Mother's Day! xoxo
Marjorie A. Carter
Enjoy being with family, but some day in the future take a trip to a quite place to enjoy the scenery where it is quite
Elisa Schmitz
That sounds so lovely, Marge Carter , thank you for sharing. Happy Mother's Day!

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