Stepper's Mothers Day Gift Guide - the Humble Means Version

The best gifts in life are free. Especially when they are given to you by your biggest fans: your kids.

My kids are small (3, 1, and almost 2 months), and don't have any kind of income save birthday card money from great grandma and the occasional quarter earned by doing an extra chore - which is spent as soon as possible on a new matchbox car.

Yet, when one of them presents me with a crayola masterpiece, a bite of their granola bar, or an unsolicited kiss on the cheek, I feel I am the most pampered Momma alive. That may sound forced, or cheesy at best - but now I know what all those Mom's who always say stuff like that mean. Because it's true.

So here is Stepper's Wish List of Mothers Day Gifts that Don't Cost a CENT (but are rich in thoughtfulness):


Dad and the kids - clean the house! Mom does it every week, give her a week off. This is a great gift on many levels. Not only will she appreciate a break from scrubbing those too-familiar floor tiles, your Queen will feel calmer and more clear headed with a tidy castle. And you will all have more time to enjoy the weekend as a family, which - trust me - is a dream come true for Mom. You know how the saying goes, When Momma is happy...


Give Mom some time to relax. Let her sleep in if that's her thing - and if breakfast in bed is your tradition, try brunch in bed instead. Or send her to bed for a few hours in the afternoon, set her up with some iced juice and her current book and a little bowl of smoked almonds (or something) and tell her she's not allowed to emerge for a few hours unless she hears the smoke alarms. But don't set off the smoke alarms.


Dinner. Mom comes up with the plan for meals 3 times a day every day. Sometimes the task of coming up with dinner and preparing it for the family is akin to climbing Mount Everest. Bake a salmon and set out the linnes - or send out for Papa Murpheys! Either way, she'll appreciate the break. Especially if Dad and the kids clean up, afterward. Perhaps while she's enjoying her bowl of fresh strawberries for dessert?


The Mom Book. I read about this idea in Real Simple magazine, and fell completely in love with it. The idea is that Mom is presented with a blank book - something she can add things to. And then each year, each child creates something for her. A drawing, a painting, a note or a letter - something from the heart. The idea is that Mom will have these little treasures in her book from all the different ages, stages, and relationships she's had with her kids over the years. Read the inspiration here.