A dad’s guide to buying Mother's Day presents

Kinderling News & Features

Give mum a gift money can't buy. Call 1800 KIDS RADIO (1800 543 723) and record a message for us to play on Kinderling! Find out more here.

Buying the right Mother’s Day gift can be a dangerous minefield for dads, new and old. I know – I’ve misstepped and blown myself up a few times.

The bad news is, if you’re reading this, you’ve got three days (or less) to get yourself sorted. The good news is, as daunting as it feels, it’s not that hard to give great gift.  And it doesn’t have to be expensive, either.

Here’s six tips I’ve learnt for getting your missus the gift she deserves for being a magnificent mum.

1. DO NOT BUY any of the following:

Footy tickets, a new PlayStation game, hot lingerie, beer or something for the car. Unless she has specifically requested them.  

Most importantly, DO NOT BUY ANY DOMESTICALLY-THEMED PRESENTS. EVER. Even if they’re dropping hints, it’s a trap.

One dad I know bought his partner a vacuum cleaner. She threatened to stick it up his man-hole and hit turbo. Another one bought his a new four-slot toaster. I think he's dead now. They never found the body.

2. ‘Special Mummy and Daddy time’ is not a present

Tough I know, but you can’t wrap up something you try to give away for free every other day and call it a present. Save it for Father's Day.

3. Give mum the day off (or at least the morning)

If you love someone, set them free. When she comes back, she'll be glowing and grateful and think you’re freakin’ wonderful and know you get it. Because deep down, mums, just like dads, are dying for a break. Not because they don't like being with their families - it's just that's what they do the other 364 days a year. 

You'll score a million points if you give your missus a much-needed time-out to sleep, breathe, reflect and poo in private.

If you’ve got the budget, book her a massage or a pampering session. If you’re low on dough, give her the morning off to go to her favourite café, beach, pool, gym or yoga studio – depending on what she’s into.

Alternatively, secretly organise a brunch for her with other mums while the dads and kids get together. Or just take the kids out early, let her sleep and then pick her up for lunch.

4. Personalise your gift

Yes, the kids will give her their hand-drawn card and badly-painted mug from daycare, but you can get creative too. The standard chocolates and flowers will tick the box (just), but they’ll hardly make your lady feel special. 

A little thought goes a long way. Research her favourite author, store, band, fashion label, jewellery-maker or illustrator and show her how well you know her. She’ll appreciate the extra effort tenfold.

5. Don’t offer IOUs or ‘gonna-do’s

Give them a present on the day, not a promise. Don't give them a hand-written voucher for dinner with no date set, or a cute Photoshopped print-out for ‘one free massage from me’ (let’s face it, we all know partner massages after kids are pretty rubbish).

Additionally, don’t tease them with ideas you didn’t follow through, like “I was going to book that day spa for you, but then the water bill came in.” They might punch you.

6. Avoid fancy restaurants

It's a nice thought but fancy restaurants just aren't fancy when you take kids. We did lunch at a posh pub once. Then my daughter started throwing plates on the floor. We left not long after.

Unless you’ve got a babysitter, take the safer (and cheaper) option - pack a picnic hamper and hit up the park. 

Whatever you get her, don't forget to call 1800 KIDS RADIO and leave mum a special message for us to play on air!