If you’re like many, the longer you’ve been with someone the less Valentine’s Day means to you. It’s not that you don’t love the person and don’t want to show your love, it just means that you’ve grown wise to the commercialization and don’t feel the need to shower each other on that one day.
However, if you still gift exchange for the big day of love, as a spouse or significant other you may be at a loss on what to get the mom in your life for Valentine’s Day. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: there’s a gap–maybe even a chasm–on what you think the mom in your life wants versus what she really wants. With a weekend before the “big day,” you may just now be giving serious consideration to what you should do and give. You’re probably tempted to revert to the “go-to” romantic gift clichés for this day, but I’m going to break down the real truth about those gifts and let you know what moms really want for Valentine’s Day.
Let’s face it, if you’re buying a mom lingerie for Valentine’s Day it’s clearly more for you than her. After a day of work–whether it be in the home or outside–running around taking care of everyone and being exhausted, the last thing we want to do is shimmy into a red, heart-shaped lace-up bustier complete with thigh-highs and a feather boa and pretend to feel sexy. Sorry.
So, bypass those “secret” or “Hollywood” stores and give her a gift card to her favorite clothing store complete with a note to buy herself an outfit. Who knows? She may just be happy enough about it to include a little something “extra” that you may like, too. Wink. Wink.
2. Romantic Evening
If you’re thinking about spreading some rose petals all around, lighting some candles and spending a whole evening of hubba-hubba, just … don’t. If it feels like too much pressure for you, then it’s too much pressure for us, too. Who wants to be romantic just because a holiday tells us we’re supposed to? (Not us, for sure.)
Instead, give her a “coupon” for a hotel night or weekend away–either the two of you, or give it to her as a gift for her to enjoy some alone time. (But don’t make her choose because that would just be awkward.) Book it in a nearby city or small town that is her favorite or that she’s always wanted to visit so she can not only enjoy the night or weekend away, but she also gets to do the things she loves to do–antique, eat at a cool restaurant, shop at boutiques, whatever.
To make this work, select a few dates and make her choose one immediately. Moms are notorious for getting gifts like this and then never using them because we never feel like it’s the right time. I have a “weekend hotel away alone” coupon from Mother’s Day for two years ago that I never used because I always felt guilty to choose the date.
Flowers are nice. Really. They’re pretty. They smell nice. Most people like them, including moms. However, unless you’re a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills and have new flowers brought in every day to deck out your mansion, the mom in your life probably isn’t going to be that thrilled with flowers on Valentine’s Day.
As an alternative to flowers, buy her a day of housecleaning or time with an organizational expert (or a week, month or even ongoing). Seriously. If she’s the one in the relationship who does most of the housekeeping chores, or if she’s been talking about how much she wants to organize her closet, home office, basement or garage, she’ll die for either one of those.
And, if you can’t help yourself and must buy flowers, pair it with a unique bouquet instead of roses.
Many moms just made resolutions to get healthier this year and we definitely don’t need a box of chocolates as big as our head to make our butt bigger. (Seriously, one time I saw a box of chocolates at the store bigger than my one year old.) Instead, give her a spa day gift certificate to an awesome local day spa. Include a facial, massage and manicure and pedicure and she’ll be your BFF.
If she’s not into touchy-feely, then pay for her next haircut and highlight, or just make the spa gift certificate a mani-pedi day with girlfriends.
5. Restaurant Dinner
Moms like to go on date nights and eat at restaurants where we don’t have to figure out what to cook or cleanup. But, going to a restaurant with some cheesy Valentine’s-themed menu and balloon strings hanging in our face isn’t our cup of tea. Instead, give her a girls’ night out. (I’m totally serious.) On Valentine’s Day, make her dinner at home (and clean up!) and then make her gift an all-expense-paid girls’ night out of choice–dinner and a movie, or even something as simple as gossip time at a local coffee shop.
The issue with many moms is that we are very isolated from our peers. A night out with our friends reenergizes us enough to keep us going and helps to make us better moms for our family. She will feel blessed that you were thoughtful enough to give her some time out.
Okay, this is a tricky one because many women do love jewelry and it does make a good Valentine’s Day gift. However, if you’re going to buy jewelry for Valentine’s Day, you better make it good jewelry. I mean, something in a teal box or custom-made is the pinnacle of Valentine’s gifts. However, if you’re not sure what to buy or unclear on what she likes, don’t resort to that half-heart piece you see on television or something mass-produced that the 19-year-old part-time jewelry worker talks you into. If you don’t know, skip this one and opt for one of the earlier gifts we mentioned because it really sucks to return jewelry.