By Valentine Lacour
Mother’s Day is around the corner, and maybe you still haven’t bought a present for the person you love more than anyone on the face of the planet. Not shaming you (or maybe just a little) but this year, your mum deserves better than a last-minute Tesco card. For most of us, our mum is our confidant, our best friend, our mentor, our rock. But somehow, every year on Mother’s Day, we never know what to gift her.
Let’s step up. This year, you are gifting your mum a present that doesn’t only say “you are the best mum in the world”, but also “thank you for being an incredible woman for me to look up to and for loving me unconditionally”.
Yes, our mums are the best mums in the world, but they are also incredible women. With that in mind, here are some ideas for a more feminist Mother’s Day.
Let’s let mums everywhere know how great they are!
1. The most important gift: The gift of a good mental health
If you have read my article about the mental load you already know that mothers tend to be responsible for maintaining the household: completing the chores, planning, and ensuring everyone’s well-being. We often think they have superpowers (they don’t, they just push themselves to the point where they forget their own mental health, to take care of us all). It’s a tough and unfair job. It also represents the perpetuation of a sexist mentality that we need to eradicate so that our mums (and we) are the last generation raised in this way.
The best gift you can give your mum this year is to take YOUR SHARE of the daily mental load.
And talk about it with your dad (or your mum’s partner), and siblings too. If everyone in the family stops relying on your mum for everything, she will finally have the mental space to take care of herself. Stop thanking her for “doing so much” and start doing more so she can rest (or do the things she actually wants to do). Share the chores.
Stop expecting her to remember everything for everyone. Be proactive. DO BETTER!
2. The most beautiful gift: A piece of art
Spend the day choosing something that will really resonate with your mum.
Maybe there’s an artist or an art style she likes? There are also lots of less well-known artists who need support at the moment. Some of them take commission work and can produce a personalised picture.
If your mum is not too into art, you can think about framing a picture she loves or buying a special edition of her favourite book.
3. The most special and fun gift: An album of her life before you
Another great gift idea is a photo album. And before you let out an exasperated “really? A photo album? How original”, let me pitch the idea in more detail.
Don’t get me wrong, mothers and wives are women, of course, but they are rarely reminded of the time when they had no responsibilities other than showing up at school/university/work in the morning and parties/dates/pubs at night. How fun would it be to gather information, pictures, memories, and other anecdotes from your mum’s younger days?
Although you don’t know it yet, maybe your mum was the party girl that you would have spent 100% of your Friday nights with in the 80s? Or maybe she was an ambitious student… no wonder she became your role model! You might help her to reconnect with her gal pals or those teachers who inspired her to pursue her career.
The Ultimate Mother’s Day Self-Care Gift Guide
You might be surprised to realise that your mum has been through similar struggles as you, whether it was a bad breakup, toxic friendship, difficult career choices, or anything else.
I don’t want to idealise the “good old days” here, because everybody goes through some rough times at all ages – and maybe your mum won’t want to raise these memories (so make sure she is okay with it!) but this might be a way to bond with your mum in a different way than you have in the past. She might share stories you’ve never heard about her childhood and teenage years and you may feel closer to her.
She deserves the attention! After all, your mum is also a WOMAN, with a life story to tell.
I hope this gift guide will help you find the BEST gift for your amazing mum this year! Remember that if you are on a small budget, you don’t need much to give a great present.
Educating yourself about feminism and how it will improve your mum’s life (and yours) is a good start.
Find a way to act on it. Become a better, kinder person and show your mum your support – just the way she does for you. Be present for her. Show up when she needs you. Show your love for her, not just today, but EVERY DAY.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mums out there! We love you and appreciate you!
Tell us in the comment section what you got your mum this year and/or what you wish for if you are a mother yourself!