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Mother Lode

Mother’s Day gift ideas for every type of “mom”

By Maija Zummo · May 4th, 2011 · Special

“A mother (mom, mum, momma or mama) is a woman who has conceived, given birth to, or raised a child in the role of a parent. Because of the complexity and differences of a mother’s social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to define a mother to suit a universally accepted definition.” — Wikipedia

There are 82.5 million mothers in the United States — and at least a few more living in countries outside of the U.S. Do all of these landmasses celebrate Mother’s Day? Who knows? (Probably Wikipedia.) But they should, because moms do many things: grow us inside of them, raise us, feed us, wipe our butts, yell at us, etc., and they deserve assorted presents and recognition for that, especially the butt part.

Don’t know how to honor the human you call “mom” this Mother’s Day? Here are some gift suggestions for all the different types of mothers in our lives:

New Mom: This type of mom has just gestated a child, adopted one or is fostering. Think baby basics and caffeine.

Gift suggestions: Cloth Diapering Cuteness class at Park Vine; a membership to the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center; unique baby clothes from Fabricate; Marimekko toys and bibs from Mica 12/v; a pass to 6 a.m. “Rise and Shine” yoga class at You Do Yoga (she’ll be up anyway); a pound of Coffee Emporium artisan roasted coffee (to drink after yoga); Clinique’s All About Eyes under eye concealer.

Your Mom: This type of mother is typically considered to be the female who raised you. Think food and pampering.

Gifts: modern jewelry from Paolo (ask dad to pitch in); a bottle of wine from Market Wines (they have pretty bottles); a cake from the BonBonerie or Take the Cake (unless you bake); classes from Cincinnati Bell on how to use her phone to text you (LOL); a massage; a check for your college tuition (just kidding); Godiva chocolates; plastic surgery to restore her body to its pre-you state.

Grand Mom: The mother(s) of the people who you consider “parents.” Think chores (they get harder to do as you age; joints hurt).

Gifts: some pretty sewing notions from SEWN; a handmade card from Crafty Supermarket; a Capri Blue “Volcano” candle from Anthropologie; a plant; Bettina Soap from Findlay Market (it smells good and looks like you made it yourself … you could lie to your grandma?); a lawn care coupon; a free car wash; a gift card to Bob Evans or First Watch (old people love breakfast).

Stepmom: Do you like her? Stepmoms are often known as fairytale symbols that represent pure evil, but she deserves a gift because you’re actually the asshole.

Gifts: cash in your frequent-flyer miles for a plane ticket to a far-off locale (looks nice and gets rid of her for a bit); tell her you love her; Edible Arrangements are always good; a New York Times best-seller (probably on sale at Joseph-Beth); bath salts (generic and universal); buy her the Stepmom DVD (stay away from Disney films; they’re a bit skewed to evil side of stepmoms).


Mom: A stay-at-home dad, single father, widow or half of a same-sex partnership. Think necessaries.

Gifts: a cool stroller with a cup holder (for beer or coffee); a nice grill utensil set; a Garmin GPS to find ballet class and/or friend’s houses; an IKEA starter pot and pan set; a Rachel Ray cookbook (food in 30 minutes or less = doable for dad); Goodnight Moon; a weekly maid service.

Biological Mom: The woman who pushed you/had you pulled from her body. This can get complicated depending on your relationship.

Gifts: see “Your mom” for suggestions.

Surrogate mom: This female grows a baby inside of her so you don’t have to get fat (or if you can’t get pregnant because you’re in a same-sex partnership or if you’re infertile).

Gifts: prenatal vitamins; hospital bills; a Doula; Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for stretch marks; some kind of “Thank You” card.

Baby Mom(ma): This lady had your baby.

Gifts: child support; the Baby Mama DVD (wasn’t really that funny; find it at Half Price Books).

Working Mom: Aren’t they all? Think helpful and practical items.

Gifts: take-out dinner from Wild Ginger (it ain’t pizza); DVR; a pedicure (or PedEgg); a Moleskine planner from Joseph-Beth (they come in bright red); a time machine; Dr. Scholl’s For Her gel inserts; an iPad.

Soccer Mom: Female who drives a minivan with TVs in the seatbacks and has a cooler full of Capri Sun. Think on-the-go items.

Gifts: stick-figure family bumper stickers; Purell antibacterial hand gel; a reusable coffee mug that looks like a Starbucks cup; a Starbucks gift card; some type of organizational thing to put in the car from Target; car detailing service from Sullivan Auto Spa (they pick your car up for you and bring it back); a calendar; a To Do list; Stila Convertible Color Lipstick/Blush from Sephora for makeup touchups; disposable finger toothbrushes.

Dog Mom: Self-explanatory.

Gifts: pet clothes that look like human outfits; dog food delivery service from Pet Wants; map to dog parks; gift card to Pet Spot for boarding or grooming.

Cat Mom: See “Dog Mom.” Insert “Cat.”

Gifts: Cats are pretty simple: they like cardboard boxes and plastic bags; some type of fake carpeted steps or a ledge to sleep on. Cheap and easy.

Earth Mom: Enjoys recycling, unplugging appliances and makes you take short showers. Think green.

Gifts: “I <3 compost” bumper sticker; farmer’s market calendar; glass Tupperware; an Earth Machine compost bin; free range chickens; Visualingual seed bombs; Crocs; gift card to Picnic & Pantry or Melt; one of those sling things you put babies in when you’re a hippie.

God Mom: You are not required to buy your godmother a present for Mother’s Day. The end. (Unless your parents die and she becomes you’re guardian, then see “Grand Mom” for reference.)

Queen Mum: Queen Elizabeth II.

Gifts: N/A. You are a commoner, and therefore dirty and unworthy. Sorry.

Teen Mom: Biological mother under 20 years of age.

Gifts: money; college education; childcare; condoms.

Mama’s Boy: Boy who loves his mom. Think commemorative plates and pictures of mother.

Gifts: personalized M&M’s with mom’s face on them; a “mother” tattoo from Designs by Dana; a decorative mug with mother’s face on it (generally not dishwasher safe); a room in his parent’s basement.



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