The Mother's Day gifts mums don't want you to buy

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

Retailers will slap the title "Perfect Mother's Day gift" on just about anything, but that doesn't make it true.

There are some things that were not meant to be given as gifts. Tin openers, chutney, cleaning paraphernalia, and mugs all belong in that category.

Here's a quick guide on how to tackle Mother's Day and come out on top as the favourite in the family.

What mothers don't want

Cheap flowers​

Ah, a bouquet of purple gerberas and orange carnations with one piece of dying fern in lime green paper. "Oh you shouldn't have!" she gushes.

No really, you shouldn't have.

Cost-effective flowers aren't bad but thoughtless [ugly] ones are a timeless expression of, "This is an occasion and I put no thought into what to get you."

Unless, of course, you know how to give dairy flowers that designer look.

Sweet treats


Chocolate is lacklustre, especially as mum is most likely going to end up sharing (you know it's true).

So ask yourself, is that really a gift for her?

But if you're a handy baker, win points with this triple chocolate cake decorated with all sorts by Jordan Rondel.


Vacuum cleaners were cutting edge tech pieces in the1950s yes, but you're not in Stepford anymore, Dorothy. 

Buy a cleaning appliance for mum this year and you may just be written out of her will.

Similarly, no toasters, mixers, electric toothbrushes, or blenders. No fancy graters, peelers, or anything to do with cooking you food.

It's a total 'no' to appliances unless it's a motorised corkscrew. That's a labour-saving gifts most mums would cherish.


Dads, are you listening?

If the kids are anywhere under the age of seven, your wife doesn't want Mother's Day brunch, unless it is by herself.

It's not a treat for her to sit shoulder to shoulder like sardines in a noisy cafe with other people's children (the worst) while you browse the paper and she keeps the kids' hands out of their food.

So what then does mother dearest want? 

A botanical baby

Ideal for the stylish mum with an empty nest, a groovy houseplant is the 2019 upgrade of flowers.

Take your pick of:
dramatic indoor plants with bold, bright foliage
tillandsias: the perfect soil-free plants
houseplants to lift your mood, clean your air or improve your sleep!

A pre-potted arrangement of baby cacti or succulents also create context for lots of great "we bought you a new baby, ha ha, we are old now," jokes in the card.

Don't forget to buy a card.

Sumptuous throw 

A new take on something that's just for mum, how about a snuggly alpaca, mohair or chenille throw rug in her favourite colour?

It's practical (tick), it's warm (tick), it's comforting (tick), it marries well with watching one's favourite TV show (tick), and it can be used across different rooms in the house to revive the existing decor (big tick).

It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Something made by hand 

Drive home the message of "mum, you're one of a kind" by giving her an equally unique gift.

All Formantics ceramics are literal one-offs, as are many of the designer wall hangings available on Etsy.

Or, if your mumma is an active relaxer, a candle making kit or a night at a social painting class could be just right.

A professional house clean

A particularly good gift if you are a reformed vacuum cleaner giver, provide your dear mama with both a fresh and tidy home and an actual day of relaxation.

Hire professional cleaners to give her home the once over, or a gardener to tidy up the outdoor space.