Of all the Hallmark holidays, Mother’s Day is arguably the most important. That’s because moms are so easily under-appreciated and taken for granted the rest of the year. Whether you are a mom, have a mom, or are married to a mom, you probably don’t really think too much about just how much moms do every day for our families.

Mother's Day Cleaning Special

The Mental Load

Too often, aside from the day-to-day mothering activities, moms are shouldering an extra burden that tends to go overlooked. That is the burden of the Mental Load, that invisible responsibility we moms tend to take on for keeping track of all of the logistical necessities that keep a household running smoothly. You know what I mean: Who is the one person in your family who sets up all of the kids’ doctor appointments, who keeps track of the field trips and permission slips, who arranges the babysitters, who remembers to feed the dog or buy the toilet paper, who knows things like where the scissors are, or when the first day of school is, or when the last time the sheets have been washed, or when Aunt Mary’s birthday is?

Even if you have a supportive spouse who helps out around the house a lot, the mom is too often still the one doing all of the directing and managing, usually on top of her “real” job and all of the “regular” mom duties involved in keeping children alive… Seriously, the role of carrying the Mental Load in a family is nothing to sneeze at, and most of us—moms included—have never really even given it a second thought.

All Moms Want the Same Thing

So this Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, May 13, if you truly want to show your favorite mom how much you appreciate everything they do, seen and unseen, I’m going to offer you the only gift suggestion you’ll ever really need. Hallmark may not like this too much, because it’s not something you can find in their greeting card racks. It’s also not flowers, or chocolate, or jewelry—although all of these things are lovely and would make a fine secondary gift.

Take it from a mom: The number one thing ALL of us want and deserve this Mother’s Day is a four-letter word: TIME.

Different Kinds of Time

Here’s the tricky part. The KIND of time a mom needs will vary depending on the phase of motherhood she is in. The mom of a baby or a toddler might just really need some alone time, ie., a chance to go to the bathroom by herself, take an uninterrupted nap, get her nails done, or even go to Target or the Mall without having to drag along a diaper bag, a car seat, a stroller, and a wriggly, energetic kiddo.

Or, maybe what she’s really wanting is some couple time: a time to reconnect with the father of her children, to go on a date, to have an excuse to put on nice clothes and make-up and laugh and not have to cook or discipline children or even be the one to arrange the sitter.

If her kids are teens or if she’s an empty nester, maybe what she’s really craving is quality family time—a chance to enjoy just being with the children that aren’t around as much as they used to be. That kind of togetherness can come in the form of a meal together, a game night, a hike, a movie, whatever—it doesn’t really matter. After all the time they’ve spent on you over the years, moms deserve some of your undivided attention for a few hours.

So, there you go: I’ve given you the key to the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Your mission now is to figure out what kind of time the mom(s) in your life really want this year, and come up with a plan to give that to them.

One easy way you can literally buy mom some time this year is to let her off the hook for at least one good house cleaning. To that end, Immaculate Clean is offering a $65 off special for the month of May for all moms and moms-to-be! Give them a call at (410) 549-0727 to set it up, then send Mom out to enjoy whatever kind of time she will appreciate the most!

Author Bio

Karen Walker

Karen Walker is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and admitted “serial clutterer” on a mission to perfect the art of juggling a work-at-home career with parenting and maintaining a household. She blogs about first world problems and more here: https://lifeinanutshell.blog/.