Mother’s Day Gifts She’ll Actually Use

As a practical and frugal mom, I cringe when I see the “Best Mother’s Day Gifts” lists.  Most of the gifts just aren’t things I would enjoy or use.  So, I’ve compiled my own list of Mother’s Day gifts.  

This list, although my true feelings, is for entertainment purposes.  I would love any gift that was given to me for Mother’s Day.  

*DISCLOSURE: I only recommend products that I would use myself. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my Disclosure for more information.

#1. Real Hand Lotion

I wash my hands, A LOT.  A good hand lotion is always a good gift.  But, I don’t want the smell-good stuff that’s just going to wash right off.  I want the heavy-duty lotion to heal my dry, cracked hands.  O’Keefe’s Working Hands is the best lotion I have used to help heal my skin.

#2. Gift Cards

Many people shy away from giving gift cards because they aren’t “personal” enough.

Well, if it makes you feel better, you can make me a personal card, (and slide a gift card inside).

I accept cards from the following locations: Walmart, Amazon, Dollar General, CVS, Walgreens, or the local grocery store.

Granted, I do usually use the gift cards to buy things for the family, but knowing that I’m not spending MY money makes the shopping more enjoyable.

That’s gift you’re giving here….time to shop. Now, just make sure you offer to keep the kids so I can go alone 🙂

#3. Food (But Don’t Take Me to a Restaurant)

Cook a meal for me, give me a gift card to a restaurant, or get takeout.

But, please, don’t try to take me out to eat. Even without a pandemic, I do not like going to restaurants for special occasions, you know, the ones where EVERYBODY is going to eat on the same day.

And, it doesn’t even have to be fancy! Texas Roadhouse is perfect 🙂

The gift here is enjoying time with the family without having to worry about doing the dishes.

#4. Nothing for the Bathtub

Who has time for baths? Or, I guess, who has ALONE time for a bath?

I never use fancy soaps or bathtub trays on which to sit my beverage as I soak in my bubbles.  (Although that does sound lovely!)

Instead, a new shower curtain liner.  And bonus points if you change out the old one and hang the new one up!  EXTRA bonus points if you scrub the shower while you’re in there 🙂

Painted flower pot with colored pencils, paper flowers, teal awareness ribbon painting with flying pigs

Some of My Favorite Handmade Gifts

These are just a few of my favorite handmade gifts from my kids.

  • The teal awareness ribbon is for Ovarian Cancer Awareness.  My mom passed away from Ovarian Cancer when I was 22.  Her favorite animals were pigs.  My daughter painted this for me 🙂
  • Because I’m not very good at keeping plants alive, I opted to use my hand-painted flowerpot from my son as a colored pencil holder.
  • These paper flowers have been dusted around for over 10 years now!

#5. No Dust Collectors

Unless it is something that is homemade or has a lot of meaning, I don’t want to have to dust it. 

Some things I’d gladly display though, like the gifts below. 

Hugs and kisses are always accepted!

#6.  Coffee Mugs

Before you consider getting me a coffee mug, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Is it dishwasher safe?
  2. Does she need another mug?
  3. Is it handpainted and can be used to hold other items?

If the answer is yes to these questions, then a coffee mug would be a great gift! 

Macro images: LEGO tire, pinecone, candy, rosebud, cauliflower, and a dandelion

Here are some examples of the fun I’ve been having taking macro photos 🙂

Check out my Instagram to see my #100dayproject

100 macro photos in 100 days!

#7. Something for my favorite hobby

I love learning new things, but I hate spending money on myself.

I try to find the cheapest way possible to get things done.

Having someone else splurge on something I’ve been wanting is always a welcomed gift.

This year I got a new macro lens for my camera (a little early). 

Family photo gallery wall

My Family Photo Gallery Wall

These lovely pictures were printed at Walgreens on a 75% off deal.  The frames are awesome because you can change out pictures and they attach to the wall with magnetic sticky squares.  You can rearrange and adjust the frames. No more making sure the nail holes are in perfect alignment!

This was our Christmas photo shoot 2020 🙂

#8. Photo Gifts

This one is a little complicated.  Let me explain:

I love taking pictures of my family.  They don’t enjoy it near as much as I do.

So, the gift here is actually getting everyone together for a photo shoot with good smiles and good attitudes!

And by photo shoot, I mean my camera, tripod, and remote shutter release.  (If you get a remote, make sure it works with your camera!)

Then I will gladly make my own photo gifts when I can get them on sale…maybe that’s what I can spend that gift card on!  Walgreens always has great deals on photo products.  Get The Krazy Coupon Lady app and sign up for reminders!

#9. Clean Something of Mine

One of my favorite scenes from “Despicable Me” is when the orphanage director tells the girls to “Go clean something of mine.”

This is my response when my kids say they are bored.

Cleaning a room, doing the dishes, cleaning out the car, putting laundry away…these are all excellent ways to show your love for me!  

#10. Spend Time With Me or Give Me Some Alone Time

This could go either way. 

I love spending time with my family. So a day together is a great way to celebrate. 

On the other hand, if the day together is just going to consist of everyone complaining or sitting on a screen, then just give me that time to be alone and do something I enjoy.

How About You?

What are your favorite non-traditional Mother’s Day gifts?

Purple Flower Background


  1. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! It can be so much fun finding the perfect one.

  2. Areil

    Great list! Coffee mugs is one of my mom’s favorites! 🙂

  3. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks 🙂 I’m glad you liked the gift list!

  4. Nat

    You’ve got some really practical gift ideas here. Love this list!

  5. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Pamela 🙂 I hope it was helpful!

  6. Pamela Malu

    Great list for mother’s day gift. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  8. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks! I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  9. Lauren

    So many great ideas! Love this.

  10. simplyjolayne

    I love your list! Especially the ideas of things you Don’t want!

  11. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Aw man, Michelle! I hope you get a chance to soak up some you-time soon!

  12. Michelle / Taste As You Go

    No. 4 — so true. I’d love to be able to take advantage of our huge soaker tub. But we’ve lived in our house for a little over two years now, and I’ve never had the time to take a proper bath in it!

  13. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Jordan! Yes! A big basket of supplies sounds nice 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day!

  14. Jordan

    I love #1 and #7! I am for practical gifts, especially Hobby gifts! As a dressmaker, anything about sewing is a HIT for me! 😉

  15. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Valerie! LOL 🙂

  16. Valerie

    These are such good ideas! I love how realistic you are about this. You’re right, who has time for a bath?!

  17. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Thanks Ele! Yes! Hobby gifts are always fun and very useful 🙂

  18. Ele

    I love your list especially buy something for an hobby 🙂


Hi! I'm Misty, the imperfect Mama behind Life Between the Dishes.  My goal is for you to find tools, tips, and resources here to help you maintain sanity through daily mom life!

Stay In Touch!