Mother's Day is almost upon us! It's okay if you forgot, there's been a lot going on. While most of us cannot visit our mommas this year, this is absolutely still a time to show her that you appreciate and are thinking about her. The traditional Mother's Day gifts are flowers and chocolates, but this isn't a traditional year by any means, and you shouldn't buy a traditional gift because of that.
Everyone's life has changed in the last few months, and your Mother's Day gift should be something to help them through it. Whether they're attempting to work from home, are still getting the hang of video-chatting with the friends they'd usually meet for brunch, or they're just trying to not drown in the chaos of dealing with all of your siblings' distance learning and keeping a household together, here are some practical gifts for mom that could show your appreciation for months to come.
Caring and calming
There are no spas or salons open in most places right now, and while that might not mean much to you, it's something that your mother is almost certainly aware of. I know mine is, and while I'm not sure when I'll be able to go get pedicures with her again, I know that a gift card for a spa day is a promise that we'll get to enjoy that pampering together at some point in the future.
If you prefer to get Mom something she can use right now — after all, we're not sure when things will be up and running again — you can help them have that spa day feeling at home. Bath bombs are great and all, but baths take a while to draw and a while to soak in, and not everyone has that kind of time, which is why I like Rinse's Shower Bombs.
Spa day any day
Add a refreshing scent to the shower without taking too much time out of your mom's day or staining her bathtub with some ridiculous color the way some bath bombs do.
Shower Bombs are small, easy to use, and don't require your mom to schedule out a block of her day to use it. If your mom is in need of a calming soak with some calming tunes, a pint-size waterproof speaker is the perfect companion, and the Braven BRV-Mini Bluetooth Speaker is a great compact model that meets all the right criteria for a bathroom/backyard speaker. It charges over USB-C instead of old, annoying micro-USB, the pairing process is painless — the speaker's pairing and connected sounds are guitar chords instead of cold robotic chirps — and it can get pretty loud on its own. It also comes in both blue and red, because your mom deserves a speaker that isn't boring black.
Music makes us better
Bring some spa sounds into the shower or some soul-soothing jazz to the backyard with this baseball-sized waterproof speaker. You can also pair two of them for stereo sweetness.
A bit of brightness
Most of us are not used to staying inside for so much of the day while self-isolating, and if your mother doesn't live in a house with a home garden, one way you might bring a little outdoor cheer inside is by skipping the cut flowers and buying a live, low-maintenance plant instead.
Succulents are cute little plants that require very little upkeep, but if you want something a little more colorful, there's also Kaffir Lilies, Oxalis, Bromeliads, and Holiday Cactus. Aloe Vera is another low-maintenance plant that can be useful in treating sunburns.
If your mother isn't much of a green thumb, another way to help brighten up their day is with what brightens up most of our mornings: coffee! In the age of Keurig, giving your mom the gift of good coffee as easy as asking her — or her partner, if you're trying to be sneaky — what their favorite blend is and then having a few boxes of K-cups delivered for them.
I'd also recommend adding in a bottle or two of their favorite creamer, but since most have a relatively short shelf life, be sure your mom will actually be able to use it all. Unless you know your mom needs one, resist the urge to buy her a mug. Coffee mugs are something that last a long time, and chances are your mother has had too many coffee mugs since before you were born.
You can't give your mom peace and quiet in most households, but you can give her the next best thing: noise-canceling headphones that she can wear for a short break while the kids are working on their homework or being herded by her partner. Active Noise Canceling headphones used to run hundreds and hundreds of dollars, but now we can get a reliable, comfortable set for a much more reasonable price. TaoTronics have upgraded this model with USB-C charging and Bluetooth 5.0 for a more stable connection.
Block out the chaos
Top of your mom's list is probably "peace and quiet," but since you can't wrap that up with a box, how about some peaceful ANC headphones? These should help provide a break from the drama when needed.
Since we're mostly seeing our parents on video calls — and really, above all else, call your mother on Mother's Day — why not make it easier for your mom to enjoy these calls without dropping the phone every five minutes or having it slip down from the mug she propped it up against?
If your mom tends to hold up the phone and carry it around the house showing you the dogs and how the garden is coming along, or passing the phone off to other family members, do what big names do when they have to hand off phones all the time at trade shows: put a PopGrip on it. Not only can PopSockets grips help save your mother's hands, but they can brighten up her day with a fun design. You could even get a custom PopGrip with a cute picture of her pets on it — or a photo of her favorite child if you're feeling brave.
Save her phone and her fingers
Save your mother's hands from the arthritic ache of holding a phone too long and save your mother's phone from tumbling to its shattering fate. It also doesn't hurt that they're cute.
As someone who spends a remarkable amount of time on video calls on her phone, I can't say enough about having a proper stand to keep your phone on while you talk. While boring regular stands are absolutely everywhere and perfectly fine, why not ditch them for a more vibrant stand from Z Plinrise? Get a phone stand in the shape of a cat, dog, bird, or my personal favorite, a dinosaur.
These stands are durable silicone — so Mom can wipe them down with a Clorox wipe when they're wiping everything else down — and you can get them in fun colors like teal, purple, green, and pink.
End the days of mom slowly sliding down the screen as her phone slips off whatever she propped it up on for this video call. These grippy stands are unique, functional, and adorable.
If your mom is still getting the hang of having to work on her home computer instead of just using it for Facebook and Freecell — or even worse, trying to work off her iPad — consider investing in a good mouse for mom. The Logitech Pebble M350 comes in three colors, not just boring black, and since it works with Bluetooth and 2.4Gz wireless, it means that you can use it with just about any device your mother's rocking. You can even quick-swap between a laptop with the wireless adapter plugged in and a tablet or Chromebook that paired over Bluetooth.
Also, unlike other mice that make you break a nail prying up the battery cover to extract or replace the wireless adapter, Logitech has the top plate of the mouse lift off magnetically. This makes it easier to replace the batteries — though they should last over a year — and easier to keep the wireless adapter with the mouse, so mom doesn't lose it.
Cute and practical
Yes, it's not the girliest gift in the world, but it's one she'll use every day and be happy to not fuss with. It even comes in a soft pink Rose and Blue Grey so you can pick a color Mom will enjoy.
We might not be able to come home and surprise Mom with flowers and lunch out at her favorite restaurant, but we can still show we care in small ways that can add up to a big impact. So ditch the flashy flowers and the boxes of chocolates — seriously, they'll just go on sale next week — and buy her something that'll last and something that she'll actually be able to use in this new abnormal.
As a final note, while I would love to recommend buying your mom a cute face mask, keep in mind the ship times for most good masks are weeks and weeks away — and your mom should already have one. Also, keep in mind the material, the health rating, and the fit of a mask when buying for someone, because good, reusable cloth masks are not one size fits all.
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Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.