What Not to Get Your Mom for Her Birthday

We all can agree. Moms are the hardest people to shop for. You don’t want to let your mom down on her birthday (Hey, I thought those chore coupons were a nice gesture. Apparently not.). Looking back, I realize just how hard my mother worked to earn that prestigious title of “Mom.” She always took care of me and my sisters with kindness and patience, even when she probably wanted to throw us off a cliff. Make sure your mom has a good birthday by avoiding some of these “mom gift” cliches and faux pas.

Breakfast in Bed

OK, if you do this one correctly it can be very nice for your mom. However, if making her breakfast in bed requires her to wake up early or do the dishes after, it is a very bad idea. Make her favorite meal, serve it fresh and include some roses on the tray to make it seem even more special.

Breakfast in Bed

Photo of a breakfast tray by Trent Bigelow via Flickr


You may hear your mom comment about how she could really use some new jeans or how she doesn’t have enough shirts, but Stuff.co.nz points out that doesn’t mean you should buy them for her. Trust me. First, there is the issue of knowing her size. If you guess too big you risk offending her, and if you guess too small you risk embarrassing her when she tries it on. Next, you don’t really know her style, no matter how astute you are. If you insist on giving her clothes, opt for a gift card to her favorite store instead.

Gift cards

Photo of gift cards by 401(K) 2013 via Flickr

Cleaning Supplies

Yes, vacuums are very fancy these days. No, that does not mean they make an acceptable birthday present. Huffington Post states that moms spend every other day of the year cleaning. The last thing they need is a reminder of these duties on their one day off. That doesn’t mean you can’t still get her the vacuum she wants, just don’t give it to her on one of the few days each year that is all about her.

Cleaning supplies

Photo of cleaning supplies by Zepfanman.com via Flickr

A New Pet

A new puppy may be adorable and your mom may love animals, but a pet should be her decision. It is another mouth to feed and body to clean up after. If you give her a puppy, she will feel obligated to keep it whether she wants the extra responsibility or not. Don’t put your mother in that situation.


Photo of a puppy by 23am.com via Flickr

“Mom” Items

There seems to be a plethora of items made specifically for moms. How can you find them? Because they have “Mom” written right on them. Even if these seem like a cute idea, they aren’t, according to wowt.com. Moms hear the word many times a day, they don’t need to wear it too. The only exception to this is for a first-time mom because the word is still new to her and she wants to shout from the rooftops that she is a mom now.

I heart mom t-shirt

Photo of a mom t-shirt by Jamiesrabbits via Flickr

Exercise Equipment

Maybe your mom keeps saying she wants to get into shape. Maybe you just want to help make her happy. That’s great, but there are better ways to do it. Skip anything that risks insulting your mother, please. If you wouldn’t straight up tell her she’s fat, then don’t get her workout gear for a gift unless she specifically asks for it.

Home gym

Photo of weights by Rene Cunningham via Flickr

It’s not that hard to make your mom happy on Mother’s Day. Spoil her. Give her compliments. Go out of your way to make sure she has the best day ever.