Why most Mothers Day Gifts suck – even though you’re giving her what she asks for

Mom asks for a new blender,


a Kindle gift certificate,

the latest John Grisham Novel,

a cheese slice (is that just me?),

new carpet, or something along those lines?

And so that’s what you buy for her (naturally).

And she opens the gift,

looks at you,


says, “thank you, that’s exactly what I wanted!”


Only, it really wasn’t what she wanted.

In this article, I’ll cover why your mothers day gifts usually fail to delight (even though you’re giving her what she asks for), the 5 best gifts any mother will love, and the 5 things you should NEVER give as a Mothers Day Gift (unless it’s a bonus gift along with another GREAT gift).


Reasons these gifts like blenders and gift cards don’t work:

  1. They’re expected. She asked for it, you got it, end of deal. What she really wants is a surprise.

  2. They’re something she could buy herself. In fact, she would have just done the “buy with one click” thing and gotten that novel onto her kindle in seconds.

  3. They’re usually things she needs. I mean really, how much enjoyment does a blender or a cheese slicer give a person? Nobody wants what they need. They want? What they want.

  4. They’re easily forgotten. Nough said.


So then, what the heck am I supposed to do? Be a mind reader?

YES, yes EXACTLY! I’m glad you asked! 

I’m going to help you read her mind.

Because I’m a mom myself, I have a mom, and I’m going to share the insides of my brain with you.

So before I share with you 5 things any mom will love for mothers day, I’m going to delve deep into the psychology of the Mom brain. Because it changes after having children.

A. Moms won’t ask for something if it makes them feel selfish.

They want to spend their time and money on their kids, not on themselves. A few months ago I was researching a new type of photo session I was going to offer specifically for moms, and asked a past client if she had thought about doing this type of session. She said yes, she would love to, BUT, when it came down to it? She would feel bad spending the money on herself instead of doing a family photo session and including everybody.


B. You know how they sex sells for men? Well NOSTALGIA sells for woman.

Women love to remember the “good old days.” The days when their teens had chubby baby legs. Their first date with their husband. The love letters. The days when they lived in a studio apartment with a baby before they had the money for a house. The song they danced to on their wedding.


C. Moms want to feel loved and appreciated.

But WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I tell my mom/my wife I love her every day when I leave in the morning! DOESN’T COUNT. “Bye, I love you,” is one of those things that turns into a routine. You say it without thinking. Not that it’s a BAD thing. It’s just that she wants to hear in your own words why you love her, why you appreciate her.

Now that we’ve gotten those three things covered, lets chat about what that means as far as gifts. I’ll give you gift ideas in each of 5 categories, then give you a bonus of something you can give her that will cover ALL 5 categories.

5 Mothers Day Gifts EVERY Mom Will Love

1. The force-her to be pampered gift.

You could get her a massage, a facial, a pedicure, a day at the spa. OR you could take it to an entirely new level. Call her hairstylist and find out what it is she’s been eying to do, but hasn’t committed to splurge on (remember…she wants this, but feels guilty asking for it)


2. The frivolous gift she would never ask for.

Is there a shirt, a pair of jeans, or a purse she would DIE to have, but just won’t buy because she knows she could buy 3 outfits with the same amount of money? Buy it for her! Or maybe there’s a clothing boutique she absolutely loves but doesn’t shop at often.


3. The EXPERIENCE from the past gift.

You know how sex sells for men? Well, NOSTALGIA sells for women. Bring back the memories for her in a new way.

  • Scan all of those photos in her old photo albums and put them on her computer. Better yet? Make a slideshow of them complete with music. It will likely make her cry.

  • For husbands, take her on a date where you first met.

  • Record her grand-kids (or just kids) with video from your or just audio from your computer singing songs and talking about mom.

  • Find her favorite childhood toy or movie on ebay and buy it for her.


4. The Make NEW memories gift.

Moms want something they can experience, and remember back on. Not something that will die in a few days (flowers) or is something we’ll toss out when we’re finished with it.

  • This could be a million things – like taking her on a weekend getaway. Taking her Vegas. But my favorite is – no surprise – getting her those family photos she’s been wanting for YEARS. She wants to be able to look back on professional photos and not just see what everyone looked like, but FEEL it. Feel the way you all hug tight, the tickle fights, piggy back rides, running hand-in-hand.


5. The gift of APPRECIATION

  • The written word really goes a long way. What do you love most about your mom/wife? What has she sacrificed for you? When did she help you through a tough situation? How has she supported you financially, emotionally? What’s one of your favorite memories with your mom? Write it all down in a letter or a card and give it to her.


Bring it all together in one AMAZING gift!

 She'll feel appreciated when her children write down what they love most about her.
She’ll feel appreciated when her children write down what they love most about her.

I know, I know…ALL of these ideas sound so amazing! How can you give her all 5?

Put all 5 things together into one Mothers-Day-AMAZINGNESS package.

The Pampered Mom

 She'll be pampered with professional hair and makeup, and even a massage! (Above: before, and after hair, makeup, and professional photos.)
She’ll be pampered with professional hair and makeup, and even a massage! (Above: before, and after hair, makeup, and professional photos.)
  • Force her to be pampered by booking her a morning massage, followed by professional hair and makeup (I recommend Tasha of Studio 19!).

  • After she’s been pampered, she’ll get dressed in the new outfit she bought from the boutique gift card you gave her (I LOVE Mirror Mirror in Butte – the latest fashion trends, and super classy).

  • Then, she’ll arrive at her portrait session at the Lisa Wareham Photography studio. The first 15 minutes is JUST for her, to create amazing images of herself that should would NEVER ask for (because she hates being in front of the camera, but at the same time DREAMS of amazing photos of herself). Then you’ll arrive with the kids – all dressed and ready for family photos! There will be laughter, smiles, and memories to look back on for years to come.

  • She’ll feel COMPLETELY appreciated. Because, during the portrait session, children will write down what they love MOST about their mom, moms will write down what they want to remember most about at this age. We’ll create an amazing piece of artwork mixing the words and a photo of mom and kids in our Signature Celebrate Mothers collage.

Wanna make this happen? 

Contact me for more info on making this happen, and info on the Family Portrait + Celebrate Mothers Session

I’ll send you my recommendations and even help coordinate professional hair, makeup, boutique gift certificate for clothing.

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