It’s nearly that time of year again. You know the one I mean. That day where you’ve got to somehow find the time, money, inspiration and inclination to keep all of the woman in your life happy. Or, at the very least, not pissed off with you. I’m of course talking about Mother’s Day.
As a son to a mum, a husband to a wife and a dad to a daughter, balancing this special day can be challenging at best. Trying to find that combination of thoughtfulness, sweetness and sentimentality is difficult enough, let alone when you’re now 30 years old and ran out of ideas seven years ago. It’s not like the toddler helps either – she’s supposedly too young to assist her poor, afflicted dad.
This means that I’ve not only got to find a card and gift for my mum to show that I care, but I also have to do the same for the missus under the pretence that it’s from Toddler L. I know that Hay can occasionally be a little slow, but I think she’s already sussed that it’s me that selects, buys and wraps her gifts, rather than our nearly 19-month old daughter.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t want to shower my loved ones with thoughtful presents. I just find that it can be difficult to come up with ideas, particularly when time has a habit of speeding up as deadlines approach. As Mother’s Day isn’t too long after Valentine’s Day or my mum’s birthday, it also means that my choices are limited – I can’t really give a nice bouquet of flowers twice in the space of a month.
Over the years, I like to think that I’ve come up with a couple of hacks for events like Mother’s Day. I wouldn’t call them foolproof, but they’ve served me – arguably a fool – well in ensuring that those closest to me feel like effort, time and thought has been put into their special day.
When time is at a premium and you have a lot on your plate, there’s nothing better than being able to pop into one shop and getting everything you need. Rather than having to traipse around store after store in the hunt for everything on your shopping list, knowing that you can get everything from one place is a massive time and effort saver.
I therefore love shops like Paperchase when it comes to occasions such as Mother’s Day. I’m always about 98% sure that I’ll be able to buy everything I need from just one visit. This means a present for my mum, one for the missus from Toddler L, wrapping paper and two cards – or, if I’m feeling creative, the supplies to make the cards (see below!).
Even if I don’t know what to buy, the huge selection of products make it much easier to find something for the women in my life. Be it planners, notebooks, photoframes, mugs or bags, there’s plenty of inspiration to ensure that they have something nice to open on their special day. Plus, it keeps me out of trouble!
The last few years have seen an explosion in presents that you can personalise for your loved – and not so loved – ones. Through the use of your own photos and / or words, you’re able to give a gift that is tailored, and as a result, that bit more special, memorable and thoughtful.
Personalised gifts such as this have become my go-to purchase over recent years. In the simplest of forms, this can just be a card with an uploaded photo from one of the many online digital photo websites – particularly impressive for the computer illiterate older relatives. However, you can go much further than this with personalised items such as photobooks, canvases, cushions (like the one below from Snapfish), chocolates, phone cases, coasters, mugs and more.
This is particularly awesome when getting the missus stuff from Toddler L for Mother’s Day, Christmas and birthdays. Pretty much everything is guaranteed to be a hit if it has the sprog’s cute little face smiling back on it. Unfortunately though, the same can’t always be said when I plaster my own face on products for my mum!
Make It Yourself
If you’ve not bought something from the shop for Mother’s Day, another option is to make something yourself. Whether it’s lack of money, a desire to make something unique or because you fancy doing your best Mr Maker impression, creating something from scratch for your mum and / or wife could be a great alternative.
Although it can be a little, let’s say ‘challenging’, trying to make something with a baby or toddler, the end results are often rewarding – you just have to expect mess, particularly if glue, glitter, ribbon and other arty crap is used. I’ve used this DIY approach a few times when it’s come to special occasions for others, plus we also used it to great success when the sprog created artwork for our living room wall.
Should you need a bit of professional help when creating your tat – sorry, I mean, presents – you could consider going to one of those pottery places. I’ve been a few times with the little one in order to create handprint, footprint and fingerprint gifts for the missus and grandparents – each time, they’ve been an overwhelming hit.
So, that’s how I try to cope with the pressures of keeping everyone happy at Mother’s Day. How do you juggle getting thoughtful gifts and presents for your wife and mum on Mother’s Day? Let me know below!