What a MOM really wants depends on the mom-stage she’s in. :)

I’ve been reading way too many sarcastic posts about what moms do and do not want for Mother’s Day. Many of them, turns out, from non-moms or men. Seems crazy to me, too. So, let me say what I think.

Asking what moms want for Mother’s Day is a loaded question – and the answer is totally different depending on the stage of the mom.

Motherhood is a journey in life and we feel differently in each stage, each age, each child even. So, here’s a bit of a rundown of what moms might like – in my experience – depending on a few things.


The pregnant mom is filled with fear, joy, and anxiety. The baby kicks and hiccups are miraculous, but she can’t wait to hold that precious baby, soak in his or her delicious smell. This mom-to-be might want a massage, some help with laundry, chores, or dinner. This mom wants to know she’s appreciated. She wants to know that YOU know, or can imagine, that carrying that baby is not easy. She wants to know that you love her, every new pound of her, every stretch mark of her. All of it. She needs to know that no matter what – you are in this together and you’ll be there for her to lean on, cry on.  So, rub her feet, her back, and her ego a bit. She needs and wants to feel beautiful.

Then that newborn stage, my personal favorite. The only thing they do is sleep, eat and poop – but, the big joy those little babies bring is indescribable. Sleep deprivation is nothing compared to the pure love you feel with every glance, every burp, every smile. You kiss and hold that baby so close – it’s a bond that can never be broken. You hear people warn you not to ‘spoil your baby’ but you know that’s a bunch of bull. There’s no such thing, so do it. Do it all day and all night. Because that phase doesn’t last long.  At this stage, I would not want a massage or dinner out just yet – because I never wanted to leave my newborns. Ever. I would want dinner in. Or something ‘baby’. Because, that’s all that’s on my mind. A key chain with that gorgeous baby’s picture on it. A scrapbook of baby moments. A soft blanket to cuddle in – yes, with baby. I was all baby all the time with my newborns and I loved every minute of it.

And you’re on to a new phase. You’ve got a crawler. A teething, rosy-cheeked, drool machine. This is when getting out of the house for an evening, or maybe an afternoon, is a good thing. A quick lunch. Or dinner. And I mean quick. Moms in this stage – if they’re like me – worry quite a bit. SO in and out is good.

Once your baby hits toddler years, you’re likely ready for a full-blown evening out. But, there’s a catch. We’ll do dinner and a movie or dinner and a few drinks, but we’re not waking up with the child the next morning. We’d like a break about now. It’s time for a break. A long, peaceful bath all alone. A morning of reading a good book in bed. Just for a few hours. Yes, it’s Mother’s Day and yes, we want to be with our child or children, but we’ll happily take this opportunity for ourselves, too.

Preschool years are fun. But they’re also very busy. This is when we begin to take our kids to dance, gymnastics, karate, music, soccer, t-ball and any and every activity in town. We’re beat. Physically. Emotionally. Beat. We’d like time. We’d like time dedicated to us. We’d like that spa day now. We’d like a gift card to go shopping; alone. We’d like special handmade gifts from our child that we will treasure forever. We’d like to be spoiled without feeling guilty about it.

The next few stages are similar so we’ll skip to the teenage years. Here – flowers absolutely will not cut it. We’re so annoyed most of the time because our kids hate us, love us, hate us, want a ride, want money, hate us again, hate their friends, love their friends, like a boy, hate a boy. It’s like a Williams vs Williams tennis match…. back and forth back and forth. This is, quite possibly, a time meant to test us. Test our patience, our sanity. So, we need – well, deserve – quite a bit here. Maybe a night away. Maybe some romance, because let’s face it, it’s been a while. Maybe we need those teenagers to be nice, consistently, for a few days. We might need help with laundry, dinner, the dog. These are challenging, and wonderful times. Help us stay happy. Give us time.

I can’t say what an empty nest mom might want since I started over again. 🙂  But, I would think that she would want time with her family. That’s where I’m at right now. My big girls have moved out and my husband has been super busy – so I want time. You can’t buy time. Time is the most special gift we can give. I’d love a day planned for all of us. A day when I don’t have to do the planning. Where I don’t have to think of something that will make everyone happy. Where that doesn’t matter anyway, because it’s about making me happy. That and I’d like that spa day, too. And sleep. Oh, loads of sleep. And speaking of loads, maybe a week of someone else doing laundry. Yeah, that is what I want. I know it’s a lot, but aren’t I worth it?  🙂

That’s what I’d say. I’m not big on flowers – unless they’re the dandelions, picked by tiny hands, in a tiny vase on my counter.

One thing is certain, you can’t tell any mom that you love her too much. We work hard. We know that not everybody gets just how tough it can be, how hard we really do work to make everyone happy, but trust me for most of the year, it’s thankless – and that’s okay. That’s not why we became moms. But, feeling appreciated, even on just this one day, will get us though another year. That, and the spa day. 🙂

Mary Friona

Mary Friona

Following my heart with my husband and four daughters. An Emmy Award winning journalist lucky enough to work in television & radio for 20 years - seeing wonderful places, meeting great people and telling their stories.

Comments (1)

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    This is my favorite blog post so far this year of yours. I’m in the last stage and yes, time is what I want and tell the kids and Ben that on every gift giving type celebration. Time is precious and so fleeting and when I have all my loves under one roof it’s the best feeling ever ❤


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