Give this, not that for Mother’s Day



Dear Husbands,

Mother’s Day is this weekend–Sunday, to be exact. Those of you who sit beside your wives in Church will know this when you see them handing out flowers to each mother. Now this may confuse you because in our politically correct universe even Churches have started giving flowers for Everyone Who Ever Meets a Child and is Female Day. Trust me, the intended targets are mothers of all ages as well as foster mothers and step-mothers.

Knowing how men can struggle with gift giving here is my helpful Mother’s Day Shopping Guide in a helpful “Give this–not that” format. Yes, there are online shopping links [from which I earn nothing] for your convenience. I’ve broken them up by category, too.

What’s that you say? She said to buy her nothing–put it on debt? We’ll cover that. Oh Really? She wants a STORM DOOR? We’ll cover that, too.

But she really likes some of the no-no items. This does happen and you know her well enough to know the exceptions. Just don’t assume there are exceptions in the bedroom category and you’ll be fine.

Let’s start with where you will likely want to start your online shopping (Two words men: Josh Duggar–lets stick to the links I give, ok? No need for Mother’s Day shopping to become divorce lawyer shopping).

The Bedroom

Buy This or This………

Sheets source    Nightgown source


Super-high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Total luxury. Or, a lovely (not slutty) silk nightgown, but make sure you buy her REAL size. If she’s a 0 she’ll be upset if it it’s too big. Otherwise, no woman ever minds exchanging something for a smaller size.

…Not EVER This…



Not even in the correct size. Just no. Don’t go there. Nope. Never.  It’s Mother’s Day, not Hugh Hefner’s birthday.

The Kitchen

Now scroll up so you can’t see the last picture before you try reading this section. The kitchen is not a place for anniversary, birthday, Christmas or Mother’s Day gifts–not from a husband. From the kids, yes, but it should be something Mom actually wants (if the kids are old enough to understand) or something, no matter how cringe-worthy, that they’ve picked out  if they’re under about 4. From, you, however……

Buy This or This………

Date Night In a Box. Blue Apron is a service that sends every ingredient for a two person [or family] meal to your door in a refrigerated box so you can cook together for a special date night dinner. Do I need to say that you get the two person box? Or that you must bribe your Great Aunt Edna to take the kids?  Get the wine box, too, of course. Yes, even if you’re a teetotaler. It’s wine, not Jack Daniels.Order the meal with the stuff you’ve never heard of, then shut up and eat it. There’s wine, remember? Don’t forget desert! A tiny box of really expensive chocolates. Less is more.

Then, man-up, when the delightful meal is done, clean the kitchen HER way while she watches and sips more wine. This is the perfect you-know-what-play and might even get her to not only shave her legs above the knees, but also put on something more alluring at bedtime than her high school band t-shirt and cotton panties. Take your time cleaning. Caress the front of that dishwasher with a microfiber cloth! Polish that stove….slowly, with real muscle….and attention….to…detail. Even…yes…even throw out those carrots turning to slime in the vegetable drawer. Then, without prompting, take out the trash and….OH! Yes! YES! YES!!!! Put a clean bag in the trash can without being told to do so! Give her a minute to breathe–her pulse hasn’t been this rapid since your last child crowned. She’ll be shouting “Again!”

…Not EVER This…


Hot dog grill and bun warmer.  Just no.


Buy This or This………

A Picnic for two at a classy outdoor event. Yes, you can use Blue Apron for the food. The ideas below are for Shakespeare in Cincinnati and the Symphony in Indianapolis. This is a great option if you must have the kids on Mother’s Day, as most such events don’t start until June. In this case it is permissible to have a Mommy’s Day and a Mother’s Day–the later one being just the adults. And yes, this one could have exceptions. One woman’s class is another woman’s boredom. Now, please note, opera was not mentioned. No one expects a man to endure opera unless that lingerie will be worn afterwards and for more than 3 minutes.

Not this….

Embed from Getty Images


…and Not EVER This…




Now, about that storm door, “Don’t get me anything” and other man traps.


Get her the storm door, but INSTALL IT ….wait for it….THAT DAY!!! Completely. Preferably with her watching. Ignore her “helpful suggestions.”  Pick up the mess. Polish the glass. Wear a muscle shirt and tool belt. Better yet, let the kids help and be PATIENT. Teach them. Resist the urge to grab a beer first. Then serve her favorite ice cream after wards. Yes….even if it’s that gell-o-toe stuff. And eat it without complaint. Bribe the kids to shut up and eat it too. Then, oh then! Then! THEN! Clean up the ice cream mess and the kids hands and faces. Have them change their shirts if necessary, making sure the shirt and pants match and….ohmyohmyohMYMYMY!!! Pre-treat the stains. She’ll need more than a cigarette. She’ll need….wine…and possibly…a long back rub after that! Picture source

When a woman says “Don’t Get Me Anything


This is a cry for HELP. Listen. Do as I say. Suck it up and DO WHAT I SAY. This requires a full day of being with your children. 12 continuous hours. Yes, it could include wiping bottoms or changing Super-Fund-eligible diapers. She does it. So can you.

Step one: FORCE her to go to the grocery store. Really get her angry enough to brave it on a Saturday. No kids. She’ll be suspicious but just do it.  Picture source.

Step two: CLEAN. Yep you and the kids. CLEAN HER WAY. Yes, the entire house. If that’s too much then do the kitchen, living room and master bedroom. She does the entire house on a moment’s notice when your mother comes. You can do this. Yes, you may call 1-800-Got-Junk and yes, you can hire reinforcements–just make sure they observe every obsessive cleaning quirk she has. You’ve done them wrong enough times to know the entire weird list. Tip especially well if the cleaning people keep saying “Oooookkkk then.…”as you explain these quirks.


Step three: FIX at least one thing she’s “nagged” about. She hasn’t nagged you and you know it. You’ve just not done it because you are afraid you’ll mess it up and hear about it for the rest of your life. Go next door and get Rick. Rick has every power tool ever made. Rick even knows how to use them. Rick, being Rick, will whip thru that Honey-Do list in mere minutes. Heck the guy did his own batten board walls and tray ceilings! Then mention that your wife keeps showing you crap on Pinterest she just loves.  When he pulls his phone out of its belt-holster and brings up his own Pinterest account ask him to pull up your wife’s page.  When he suggests “seriously dude, we can so do that Audrey-themed laundry room for your wife this afternoon,” agree and hand over your credit card! THAT debt your wife won’t mind.  Picture source.

Remember to have the kids call Mom and whine about anything. It’ll make the grocery store seem like an oasis and she’ll stay even longer binging on sushi and cheese samples. Have your Mom call her and tell her about dragging your grandmother to the foot doctor. Eventually she’ll figure it out and go to Starbucks or the nail place, giving you ample time for Rick to This Old House himself into a frenzy.

When you and Rick are about done, hand him the rest of your beer and send him home. Then call your wife and scream about “Where the heck are you–the kids are making me crazy.” Ignore her “serves you right,” comment. She’ll come home even though she’s deep in a fantasy about having pursued her dream of being a professional court reporter instead of being a wife and mother. Getting paid to listen to demanding, irrational people all day and not having to wipe up poo sounds really good to her about now. But she knows you’ll never be able to feed the kids a decent dinner.

Now, this is the important part–don’t mess this up. When she comes in, immediately force the children to bring in whatever she bought at the grocery store. Don’t make her use the canned goods straight from the back of the minivan–at least not this week. Plus, you want her alone with you when she walks in and sees the Audrey laundry room, the clean house, the fixed doggie-door, the shelf in the half bathroom….. She will make you feel better than those three minutes she’d have worn that sleazy lingerie before stomping off and changing her clothes ever would have. Your knees will go rubbery. You’ll start to make your patented, never-fails,  first move and then…..and then……just as her back is arching…..a…. kid  will screech “Happy Mother’s Day Mommy…..”






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