What Mom Really Wants

Posted May 12, 2013 by Kristen J. Zavo in Life After Five

How many times have you asked your mom what she wants for her birthday, Mother’s Day or Christmas?  And how many times has she insisted that she doesn’t want anything – or that a card would be just fine?  Of course, retailers would have us believe something entirely different.  We are taught that flowers, candy, bracelets, and matching sweater sets are necessary to show mom how much we love her.  While all of that is nice, sometimes the best gifts we can give our mothers are both priceless and intangible.

Love Her!

First and most obvious: Love yo’ mama – Absolutely, unconditionally, and with compassion and understanding – just like she has loved you for your entire life.  

Be Generous With Your Time

The older we get, the more we have competing for our time – school, career, friendships, relationships.  Life has a way of getting so busy that you likely spend very little time with your mother, even if you still live relatively close by.  One of the best gifts you can give your mother is time with you.  For some, it can take a little work to transition from a child/parent to an adult daughter/mother relationship, but it is absolutely worth the work and one of the best gifts you can give both yourself and her.

Think about it like this.  Your mother spent so many years raising you to become the best version of you possible – what could be more rewarding (for both sides!) than an adult friendship with that person, the “fruit of her labor” so to speak.  Make sure that you enjoy each other’s company regularly.  Make new memories!  It doesn’t have to be grand or expensive.  Many times, it is the small things, like laughing hysterically over coffee, that you will remember forever.

Appreciate Everything, Big & Small

Mothers have done, and continue to do so much for us and it is important that we don’t take it for granted.  Take time to reminisce with Mom about all the things – tiny and large – that you remember she did for you as a child.  Beyond the obvious, think about the sacrifices she made so that you could have a better life.  Make sure she knows that you realize it and appreciate everything she’s done for you.

Listen to Her!

Mothers are known for giving lots of advice – both solicited and unsolicited (ha!).  Usually what we perceive as nagging comes from a loving and unselfish place, and the desire to see us happy.  My own mom has told me that,

As a mother there is this need to tell your daughter everything you know, so that even if she isn’t listening now, she has that mental book of advice to look back on later.

What that tells me is that even if we don’t take her advice right away (or ever), Mom just wants to know she’s been heard.  That alone gives her great comfort.  And although it may be hard to see now, when the day comes that our mother isn’t around to nag us, remembering her anecdotes and words of wisdom will bring us more comfort than we could ever imagine.

I am not a mother myself, so please chime in and let me know what else you think mothers really want (besides iphones, fancy kitchenware, or more framed photos of their kids!).

Happy Mother’s Day to all Career Girl Moms and their mothers, and of course to my very own mama – I love you so much!!!


About the Author

Kristen J. Zavo

Kristen J. Zavo is a product development, strategy and innovation professional, with a special interest in the retail industry. Having always been interested in the people side of business, Kristen loves to explore, reflect on, and share stories about the challenges and adventures of being a businesswoman. No topic is off limits - whether it's how to handle being the only woman in the boardroom, or figuring out how to to pack all the "essentials" for a 2-week business trip in just a carry-on! Outside of work, she loves exploring new places, spending time at the beach and meeting friends to workout (spin or yoga, anyone?!).