Sunday is Mother’s Day, and for the last week I’ve been reading all kinds of suggestions about what to do for Mother’s Day, what to give Mom for Mother’s Day, where to take Mom, etc. And while I appreciate these sweet and creative suggestions, a part of me wants to reply "welllll . . . there are some other things that Mom wants." A quick survey of my mom friends revealed the same thought.  So lean in closely, kids and dads, I’m going to share the secrets of what Mom ACTUALLY wants for Mother’s Day.

She doesn’t want breakfast in bed.

Look how happy this mom looks.  What a delightful surprise from her children.  See how she lovingly reads the special note that came with the breakfast? 

Let me tell you what this mom is really thinking. “Wow, that coffee cup is full - is there any chance it’s not going to spill all over this bed?  What the heck are those sprinkles on top of the bagel?  That’s going to be tough to pull off with a smile.  Oh good, another form of bread on the left.  That’s going to be a lot of crumbs.  Oh well, it was time to change the sheets anyway.”

On paper, breakfast in bed sounds great and as seen above, provides a great photo op. But the reality is it creates a mess for mom to inevitably clean up.

Verdict: Breakfast is a lovely thought - please just serve it in the kitchen.

She wants to do things she likes to do.

I’m talking to you, youth sports and dance and music studios.  I cannot tell you the number of “mom” events that actually have nothing to do with mom.  And we love these sporting events, dance recitals, and music performances - JUST NOT ON MOTHER’S DAY.  Mom may put a smile on her face and say “no, that sounds great” but I’m here to tell you that when she pictures Mother’s Day, it’s not sitting in the sun in Foley, AL watching a soccer game.

Verdict: Ya’ll know what Mom likes to do.  Let her do it.

Do not, I repeat not, ask her for a single password.

No phrase in the annals of history has produced more eye rolls or shoulder slumps from mothers all over the world than “Mom, what’s the password to ______?”  Along a similar vein, do not choose Mother’s Day to redeem that gaming gift card.  She does not want to spend 30 minutes figuring out the password to each log-in only to find that one number has accidentally been scratched off of the gift card.  This also goes for Christmas, but that’s probably asking too much.

Verdict: Give her the greatest gift of all - a spreadsheet with every password, for every account, for every person in your household.  

Do give her handmade art from the kiddos.

My oldest once gave me the above painting for Mother’s Day.  My first thought was “who’s the naked, drunk lady?”  Upon further questioning, I was told that the nude figure with smeared, red lipstick was, in fact, me.  “Why don’t I have on any clothes?” I asked.  “I ran out of time” was his reply.  I thought, “yep, that pretty much sums up motherhood.”  But in truth, it’s one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts.

Verdict: Paint, draw, and sculpt away kids - Mom actually loves (most of) it.

Do tell her that you appreciate all that she does for you.

All joking aside, this really is the thing that Mom wants the most.  To hear that all of the work that she puts in is noticed and appreciated.  She doesn’t expect to hear it everyday, but if there’s one day to tell her - IT’S MOTHER’S DAY!

Happy Mother’s Day, Birmingham!  I’ll be busy reading (hopefully) and cleaning crumbs from my sheets (probably).