It’s officially May. Every person with a mother or children knows the second Sunday in May is reserved for celebrating that special woman who painstakingly brought you or your children forth into this world. And if you didn’t know that, let this serve as your official reminder before it’s too late and you disappoint your mother or the mother of your children on her special day. Us moms definitely don’t like to be disappointed.

Mother’s Day emerged in the 1900s at the urging of Anna Jarvis, a woman who felt very strongly that mothers should be celebrated for the important role they play. In 1914, after much persistence and several years of dedication, Jarvis succeeded in having Mother’s Day marked as an official holiday by President Woodrow Wilson. But as early as 1920, the celebration of this sacred day began to reflect its current gift-giving iteration, kind of like how Easter has become a second Christmas for our kids these days. As greeting cards and flowers became synonymous with Mother’s Day, Jarvis felt the meaning behind the holiday was lost in this very American over-commercialization. She spent the rest of her life trying to undo the very thing she’d worked so hard to create, proving once again that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

Was Jarvis right? Has Mother’s Day become too commercialized? Certainly these days, as jewelry stores advertise chocolate diamonds for that special mom in your life, things do seem to have gotten out of control.

Personally, I loathe these commercials and these gifts. I love my children dearly. I appreciate their thoughtfulness. But I don’t appreciate a manufactured day where they are told to adore me. I would prefer that my children find ways to be grateful for my presence on a random Tuesday, after I’ve assisted in the construction of a kick-ass science project that will certainly put them in contention for first place. Or on a random Thursday, after I’ve solved the case of the missing textbook that was lost when a category 4 hurricane mysteriously ripped through my child’s bedroom and scattered belongings everywhere.
These are the moments when sweeping gestures showing your adoration and undying love would mean the most to the moms who make daily sacrifices on their children’s behalf. Trust me, I’m a mother.
If, however, you feel compelled to shower your Baby Mama with appreciation on this day, here is a definitive list of no-fail suggestions of things moms actually want on Mother’s Day, in order of their desire for them.

A Nap

If the special mother in your life is the mother of your children and if those are small children, all she really wants is sleep. Uninterrupted sleep is better than diamonds. I actually don’t know any mother who has said she wants a chocolate diamond for Mother’s Day. Cross chocolate diamonds off your list now and forevermore. Instead, try this free trick: Wash the bedding, because nothing is better than crawling into a bed with crisp, clean sheets. Then, usher your woman into bed and turn the lights off. Take the kids to the park while she sleeps for four hours. There is literally nothing she wants more.

A Shower

If you feel compelled to purchase something, buy a nice bottle of soap, the kind that she loves but rarely ever splurges on. The kind you can’t buy at Target. Put a little bow on it, lovingly hand it over, and then see “A Nap” for further instructions.

A Bottle (or Three) of Wine

Moms are stressed and they enjoy sipping adult beverages. They have earned that right. They wash everyone’s dirty socks, match those socks up with their mates, and then make those socks magically appear in everyone’s dressers. That task alone is enough to make anyone need a stiff drink. Buy her favorite kind of wine and let her drink it in peace while you take the kids to the park. Then see “A Nap” for further instructions.

Dinner

Moms have a love-hate relationship with cooking. Of course, we want our families to be nourished, but on this day we do not want to be the ones providing that nourishment. Get your wife takeout and let her enjoy it. If she has small children, she does not want to wrangle them in a fancy restaurant on Mother’s Day. Trust me on this one. She would rather eat saltines with butter for dinner than take those kids to a place where they have to be quiet, well mannered, and dressed up in pants that make them scream bloody murder. Do not make reservations anywhere unless you are sending her by herself while you take the kids to the park. Then see “A Nap” for further instructions.