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What moms want this Mother’s Day that you won’t find at a store



PROVO, Utah – A few nights ago, Emmy Salazar’s husband Gus asked what she wanted for Mother’s Day. He would be shopping, because their son, Calvin, is just over a year old.

“What I really want,” replied the Provo, Utah, mom without hesitation, “is one uninterrupted hour of time while our son is awake.”

Gus Salazar may have been surprised by the simplicity of his wife’s Mother’s Day request. But it’s no surprise to Susan G. Groner of New York City, author of “Parenting with Sanity and Joy” and founder of The Parenting Mentor, or other moms the Deseret News interviewed. Groner said her own informal surveys have shown that women want some alone time and a chance to be pampered or at least time to pamper themselves.

A new survey conducted by The Harris Poll for Nutrisystem found that moms spend just 3% of any given week on alone time or self care. Instead, they’re consumed by work and child-related responsibilities, which makes a carefree day especially appealing.

“I know this sounds bad, but I would love to be alone and rest for a day!” said Stephanie Ryan, an Indianapolis mom who has a 4-year old. “Give me a literal day alone and I can restore my energy level.”

What Rebecca Beach of Dallas doesn’t want to do is “wash anyone’s laundry, cook anyone’s food or pick up anyone’s toys.” And she doesn’t want anyone to leave the dishes for her to clean up on Monday, either, said Beach, who owns, a resource for moms who work at home.

Does that mean that children should be banished for a day? Not at all, said Groner. But moms want their families to express appreciation. And they definitely don’t want to do chores.

Something different

The National Retail Federation said as more folks are being vaccinated against COVID-19 and stimulus checks have been received, “consumers are going all out for moms this year.” Its annual survey shows shoppers will spend an average of $220.48 on Mom, which is the most in the survey’s history. Popular gift categories include jewelry and electronics.While mom’s sure to love the flowers and other gifts, experts say she’d also like something a little more personal — and less costly. There is no shortage of options.

Michelle Garrett knows that her request “sounds a bit crazy,” but she hopes her family will spend Mother’s Day helping her clean out closets. “It’s something that needs to be done that never gets done. It would be a fun way to spend time together — and also to get something done. Then we could go get some ice cream,” said Garrett, of Columbus, Ohio.

“Mom would love to hear how thankful you are for the things she’s done in your life. Being a mom is a lifelong commitment full of hard work and sacrifice. I’m sure that she’ll love anything you had planned, but receiving a simple, handwritten letter of gratitude is priceless,” said devoted son Matthew Paxton, founder of the electronic gaming blog Hypernia in Washington, Indiana. “Writing about the things she did right, your favorite memories together or just telling her how she inspired you and raised you to be the person you are today would simply mean the world to her.”

While many moms want to escape the kitchen for the day, others want the laughter and

camaraderie of cooking together with their spouse or children. Those moms want time, too — but time that is others’ to give. Groner said that’s especially true of moms with older children who don’t have to be cared for or entertained, but can engage more or less on equal footing.

“One of the best ways families can truly spend quality time together is making food,” said Sarah Yeoman of Portland, Oregon, who photographs families cooking special dishes together for custom cookbooks at The Family Cookbook project. “There is something about the act of cooking together that brings out conversation and creates connection. Especially after a year when so many families have had to stay apart, reuniting on Mother’s Day over a family meal is going to be extra special.”

“My mom actually loves to cook, so I’ll be her sous-chef for the day and will be enjoying a nice homemade dinner with the family. Everyone is crazy about her recipes and being able to make them with her is the best kind of tradition,” Paxton said.