This Sunday is Mother’s Day. The one day of the year that we’re supposed to recognize moms for taking care of us every other day of the year.

Father’s Day is easy. Get dad anything that requires batteries or safety glasses and you’re good. But, if you’re like me, you never know what to get “her”. Whether it’s your mom or your mother in law or grandmother.

And men: do you get the mother of your own children something for Mother’s Day? Okay, that was a trick question.

Forget your wife on Mother’s Day, and she’ll never let you forget it.  In fact,  if your wife says she doesn’t want anything-- it’s a trap.

This year, as a public service to children of all ages, I’m here to help you give the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. And, I know because I asked mothers of all ages.

What I learned is that the perfect gift for Mother’s Day depends on how long mom has been a mom.

My research indicates that brand new moms just want to spend the day with their babies or toddlers. As one such mom put it, she'd enjoy "a simple picnic at the park, a trip to the zoo, or a fun family movie.”

Another said, "Go to Fire Island Bakery and eat scones then head to a trailhead.”

As the kids get into those fun teen years, moms need a break.

One said, “ Moms want a day off-- bring her some flowers and breakfast in bed. Tell her she gets the day off to do whatever she wants.”

And says another, "I want my husband to take the kids and let me go to lunch with girlfriends-- or a movie.”

After the nest is empty, a mother’s need to reconnect with their children and grandchildren is strong.

One mom says, “Stuff really doesn’t matter. Those sweet little handmade cards and poems and drawings are cherished.”

And maybe my favorite, “A simple card and note or thoughtful token over an expensive gift is best. Save your pennies for airfare home.”

In fact, none of the moms surveyed asked for anything expensive. But they were almost unanimous in what they didn’t want:

  • No cooking
  • No cleaning
  • And no appliances

I’m telling you now while there’s still time to return it. You’ll thank me later.

Moms don’t get days off. they don’t get to call in sick. They never forgot your birthday and they never gave up on you.

Reality check: Mom’s don’t deserve a Mother’s Day-- they deserve a lot of Mother’s Days, but they’ll take this one.

So this Sunday, call your mother.

And if yours is no longer with us, do something nice for somebody else's, because that’s something your mom would really like.

John’s opinions are his own and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.