By now you probably know, Sunday is Mother’s Day. Advertisers would have you think that this is the only day you are supposed to pencil in some time for mom. Wrong: After all, this is the woman who bore you, bored you, adopted you, took you under her wing, forced you to go get some therapy or otherwise raised you to become the awesome person that you are today.
But what to get mom? Fear not! Here is where I come in with a sensible, no-fuss gift guide. And yes, it’s a very low-fuss guide because it’s Friday, May 10 and I procrastinated until the last possible moment taking care of other people. What can I say? I’m a mom.
1. SHOPPING! Okay, this is a very specific type of shopping: In case you didn’t know, three woman-owned businesses on the Hill, Summit to Soul, Hill’s Kitchen and DCanter, are holding Capitol Hill Giving Back week this week. Shop for the mom or maternal figure in your life at these three amazing stores and they will donate 15% of the sale to different non-profits. Hill’s Kitchen will donate to the school of your choice. DCanter will give to Byte Back, a non-profit helping underserved adults become Very Online (or at least A Little More Online). Summit to Soul will donate to Girls on the Run or to Back on My Feet DC. Between the three stores, you can furnish an entire kitchen and pantry, and then look chic while sweating all those delicious calories off– and all for a doubly good cause!
2. The pleasure of being a looky-loo: I realize this doesn’t translate well to all communities, though there may be a reason open houses are held mostly on Sundays. The pleasures of poking in and out of people’s houses for renovation and decoration inspiration reaches something of an art form every year, when the Capitol Hill Restoration Society organizes their annual House and Garden Tour. We had a really fun ticket giveaway over on Instagram, and a lucky neighbor will be going this year and she promised to take loads of cute photos. Did you miss our giveaway? Make sure you follow us on Instagram! You can still grab tickets by clicking here!
3. Some time alone. Part of the motherhood package deal is the inability to go anywhere alone for more than 10 minutes at a time– especially to the bathroom. The mom in your life needs some time alone even if it’s just 20 minutes to take a shower and put on some makeup. But really, you can do better: Book mom a nice date at a restaurant with someone who does not need assistance with their food. Most of us just want to savor a dinner where we don’t have to shout and remind our fellow diners of their manners. I wrote a version of this piece several years ago and that bit hasn’t changed one bit. Luckily, we have great restaurants on the Hill and surrounding areas. Have you been to the Capitol Riverfront lately? Nothing sounds more relaxing than a glass of wine and a pizza at All Purpose Riverfront. Or, maybe take us to a movie where the characters are not drawn by hand or computer generated (Exception: Detective Pikachu, which I will be seeing on Mother’s Day). Another suggestion? Book mom a nice, quiet room at a local hotel for a night of uninterrupted sleep (how about Phoenix Park Hotel, for instance?) and maybe a long bath that does not involve three back-to-back dramatic readings of Thomas The Tank Engine Tells a Lie.
4. Sleep. All of us mothers have regretted deeply those anxious nights we stayed up pre-baby, reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting and worrying about the unknown. We could have used that time just sleeping and sleeping and sleeping because the next time we get to do something so simple is years from now. The first time I slept eight continuous hours after becoming a mother was four years after the fact.
5. The knowledge that you’re thinking of her: So, you are making plans for Sunday, but you can’t get past your mommy issues enough to give her a call? Be a grown-up. Even if your relationship with your mom is tough, give her a call. If it’s truly beyond reproach, then you need some healing. If your relationship with your mom causes you pain, think of someone who has been there for you unconditionally with love and understanding and celebrate that person. Let them know how you appreciate their love and nurturing. If your mom has passed away, maybe it’s a good day to celebrate her love for you. It’s a good day to ponder on what motherhood means, no matter which stage of life you happen to be in.
And finally, just remember to be kind to yourself — your mom would want that for you too.
(A version of this post appeared on the blog a long time ago and has been updated to include current information.)