Dear Husband, I really love you but WHY is it so hard for you to get me a Mothers Day gift I actually like?

You know I’m a working mum of two, running two businesses and in our household, I’m superwoman. For everyone’s birthday, Christmas and ESPECIALLY Father’s Day – I spend weeks researching the perfect gift.

I make notes in my phone when I see them touch something in lust at the shops or make a passing comment to a friend. And then comes Mothers Day…groan.

Apart from some lovely crayon art which I (really do) treasure from the kids – I get the token school Mothers Day Stall $5 gifts and some half hearted effort by you, dear husband, to buy something (usually at 10am Mothers Day) when you have woken up forgetting…again.

For example, last year from the school stall I got not one but TWO bright pink raffia beach bags…complete with giant gerbera stuck to one side. From your 5 minute shopping trip I got lavender body wash (I’m allergic to lavender!) and the kids picked out 2 pairs of fluro abstract dangly earrings from the cheap jewellery store. One lucky mumma here! The delight was uncontainable!

This only barely outshone my Woollies $5 birthday cake mud cake (which I hate) from October! Needless to say you were in the bad books but you merely shrugged apologetically and said “Why didn’t you just tell me what you wanted then?”

UMMM you should know me! Or try to! Or at least know me enough to know that in the worst case scenario you could buy me wine! You can never go wrong with wine – I am a superwoman – but we all run on superwine!

So this year here are 10 gifts NOT to buy me! (Ladies, feel free to pass this on to your own partners if required)

1. Any fragranced perfumed gift packaged box of purple soapy bubbly rubbish

It will burn my skin and spend the next few years covered in talcum powder under the bathroom sink, where I don’t have the heart to throw it out cos it was a gift. Unless it’s a brand name I’ve been (un)subtly dropping the name of for months previously DO NOT BUY IT. I don’t care what the dead sea minerals lady told you as she bailed you up in the aisle at the mall, I’ll just be annoyed at how much you paid, plus I don’t want any product with the word dead in it.

2. A gift voucher - so I can buy what I want

Really? In other words you couldn’t use the teensiest bit of imagination and just wanted to get out of the shops in as little time as possible. Newsflash: If I wanted something for myself I would buy it! You know how long it takes to unwrap and admire a gift card? .5milliseconds! Then that’s it “oh a gift card…great…next” Thanks darling now MUMMY gets to be the one wandering around the mall not knowing what to buy myself for this exact amount of money. I want to open a mystery shaped hand wrapped present – not knowing what it could be – and watching the excitement on 3 faces as they wait for me to discover what it is. I want to ooh and ahh over it and exclaim “I love it!” There is ZERO excitement unwrapping a gift card envelope. I know it’s a gift card before I even start, so do you and the kids. The moment is lost.

3. A voucher for a massage

Actually, you know what? Props for trying. It sounds great, it really does and it’s what every woman (PARTICULARLY SUPERWOMEN) want but in reality the entire 12 months flies by and I never make the time for myself to go. I worry about being pushed into buying loads of product I don’t need when I get there and I hate the “oh you’re redeeming a gift card” face they pull when I turn up at the salon as if I’m getting it for free. It’s all just blah… too hard. Want to give me a massage experience I’ll wet myself over for mothers day? BOOK THE DAMN THING IN! Type up your own gift voucher – “Dear darling wife & mummy – on Tuesday at 430pm – I have booked the kids into daycare. You have an appointment at XX Day spa and I am driving you so you don’t get stressed. I have cancelled all your appointments. We are going for dinner afterwards at blah blah and we love you very much, sincerely thoughtful husband”. Was that so hard? Want to win even more points – have a masseuse turn up to the house so I can stay in my trackies and no makeup all day! Even more points? Actually book it in for Mothers Day morning! That, dear husband is how you get in the good books for EVER. And you know what? It’s almost as good if you just break out the baby oil and try it yourself once in awhile. You don’t have to wait for Mothers Day – teach yourself on youtube! Ok I’m probably asking for too much there but you get the idea.

4. Clothes or lingerie

See item 1 – unless I’ve asked for it and you know my size precisely – avoid it. I’ll almost definitely take it the wrong way “So you’re saying my current clothes suck?” or “What’s wrong with Bonds Cottontails?” or “Since when have I been a size 10? Is that what size you expect me to be?” It can only end badly.

5. Taking me out to lunch as my present

To this great pub with screaming, deafening, kids-welcome, psychotic play area by the dining room. Where we will join every other family in Sydney at overcrowded tables, looking for the kids shoes in a pile of 70 after our dodgy steak and wine that we queued up for 20 minutes to get. No thanks. Lunch with the family IS a treat – on any other day than Mothers Day! Restaurants that are nicer than pubs force out of this world set menus on you and rush you out to seat another family an hour later. It hasn’t escaped me that this kind of present is often used when you have forgotten to plan something or buy anything “Oh I was planning on taking you out for lunch”.. Ahhh fail. Lunch can be an addition to your gift…but it cannot be the gift. You have been warned.

6. Slippers or dressing gown

Am I 90? Enough said. Save it for grandmas – if you can’t think of anything more imaginative than slippers you don’t deserve to be in my family.

7. A magazine subscription

‘Cos nothing says “We think you don’t do anything but sit around and read magazines” than buying me a magazine subscription. Bor-ing AND Insulting. Well done. Just don’t….

8. A gym membership or personal training vouchers

Got a 10 pack of these for my birthday last year.. Whoa didn’t you get a 10 pack of filthy looks right back? Nothing says – “Baby you’ve been hitting the sponge cake too hard” than this gift. If you value our marriage…stay away.

9. A vacuum cleaner or ANY housework appliance

You are sending the wrong message again and remember how after this was wrapped so nicely in the loungeroom throw blanket at Christmas, I didn’t speak to you for the rest of the day.

10. A bunch of service station flowers

Now this one will start some controversy as I know a lot of mums like flowers. Me personally…meh…they are nice for 5 minutes if you actually spent any time picking out exactly what I like in the colours I like. But then I have to change their water, pick up all the fallen ones, procrastinate about throwing them out and washing the vase a week later and then, finally,  throw out the vase when a month has gone by and I haven’t found the time. Since my entire experience with flowers has been of service station quality (with stickers attached) I will remain sceptical as to its value as a gift.

So, dear husband, now that I’ve told you what I DON’T want, here’s a couple of tips for what I DO want for Mothers Day.

Maybe put some thought into it earlier than the night before. I want to know you’ve spent some time pondering and googling and asking friends suggestions. Don’t just ask me to tell you what I want.

It’s honestly not that hard.

Anything hand made by the kids I treasure – like stepping stones made out of concrete with their handprints, suncatchers, paddlepop stick jewellery boxes and handmade photo frames. NOTHING compares to the joy on the kids faces (and in turn mine) as they wait for me to open their handmade and hand wrapped presents and cards. You will never get that with a gift card – EVER. So get creative and have covert meetings in the garage with the kids as you work on your special present from them. I get flattered with love and so excited just watching them try to keep the secret and the “don’t come in here!” screeches . You pair this with a nicely wrapped purchased gift you have spent money on that I will actually LOVE and proves you know me? Well babe, you’ve won me forever – again. Quality timeless earrings from a big retailer or a boutique market, a charm bracelet with my kids initials on it, a canvas from our first family photo together, a cushion with the entire family tree printed – you get the idea. Look at my Facebook or ask my friends – what is she into? Where’s her happy place?

And remember – if in doubt WINE WINE WINE (all supermums run better on it). Surprise me with something special to enjoy with that self-taught massage you’re also going to surprise me with remember?

Now THAT would be a perfect Mothers Day…

Author

Jacqueline is a business owner and mum of 2 (husband makes 3) children on Sydney's northern beaches. She survives on a strict diet of coffee,wine and sarcasm and is trying to take life, and herself, less seriously. Life is short, and no one gets out alive! Her business is www.parkwaydesigns.com.au

3 Comments

  1. Lorraine Sullivan Reply

    it’s not so hard to write a list of things you might want, or circle some items in a catalogue or in order to give him a bit of a hand with it. i generally had no complaints in the gift department because my (ex) partner DID listen when i oohed and aahed over a certain item. but at other times, a list and the marked catalogues came in handy. it meant that i would get something i really wanted, but it would still be a surprise.

  2. Diana Tower Reply

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but why is there so much pressure on husbands to “get it right”? I mean, gift giving should be a personal thing that they decide. Sure…I would love my husband to be super creative and thoughtful and do something for me that measures up to a Nicholas Sparks movie…but that ain’t the man I married. He isn’t good a gifts. Correction…he is scared that he will screw it up so he just doesn’t. He avoids gift giving like the plague. But when he does get me a gift…he rocks it. Sure I’d love it if he could rock it on a regular basis but he doesn’t. I’m not going to write out a list of things that he should’t bother getting me though because that is just going to put more pressure on him to “get it right”.

    It’s funny that I am reacting this way to your article because I used to complain ALL THE TIME. He really does avoid gifts and celebrations. Mothers day…nada…birthday…something or we go on a trip. So I know how you feel…I guess I just wouldn’t write a list of things NOT to get me.

  3. Rei Severs Reply

    To be honest, the people agreeing with this sound like moody, indecisive bitches. Because thoughtfulness counts. Kids draw messy, scribbly faces on paper and give $2 gifts. And husbands love their wives and wish to spoil them. Here’s a black or white statement. Men do NOT get hints. If you want them to read your mind, they won’t. Hurr de hurr if you want someone to understand your lady logic, date a lady 🙂 These gifdts sound awesome to me. Smelling good? Hell yeah! Gift card? You mean I won’t get something unwanted? Woo! Massage? Omg yesssssss.. Clothes? I need them so yeah! Free lunch? Aka partner spending taking time out of their day to spend with me? Sounds amazing. Slippers/Gown? Sounds comfy. Magazine subscription? We;; that is actually thoughtful, means they took time to see what I like. Gym membership? Holy hell, that sounds good. It’s not a subtle hint you’re “getting fat” gyms have places like spas and pools and classes. PLus working out makes people feel GOOD. New vacuum? Why be insulted? Those things are expensive an dif you’re a housewife at home, wouldn’t you like your “job” to be EASIER? And flowers? This is not a personal fave BUT it’s a sweet gesture of courtship.

    You ladies need to stop being freaking ungrateful. He could have bought you NOTHING. The fact he did so under some kind of OBLIGATION yet bought you something thinking about your NEEDS/WANTS is something. People are so selfish these days smh

    Signed: A dude glad he chose the child-less, wifeless life 🙂

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