Unless mom really wants a walleye for Mother's Day (doubtful - but I can't rule this out altogether) there is always a certain level of confusion, doubt, despair and fear about what to get your favorite mom. Somehow, a drugstore-purchased Hallmark card just doesn't cut it. Believe me, I've had my share of cards and flowers from the local grocery store. Clothing? I wouldn't begin to know what she wants. Jewelry? On paper yes, but that usually comes with a much bigger price tag.

So I was curious to see a survey at Parents.com that conducted a little research to investigate what your mother might REALLY want this year, and here were the top answers:

  • Sleep - 30%
  • A day off or alone time - 30%
  • A spa day or massage - 11%
  • A vacation - 7%
  • A night or weekend alone in a hotel - 5%
  • A clean home - 2%
  • Recognition and appreciation - 2%
  • Someone else making breakfast/breakfast in bed - 2%

Sleep and "alone-time" at the top of the list? Yep. Mom just wants a break - that's more important than an Amazon delivery or knickknacks she'll pretend to adore and then quietly stash in a drawer. The best gift may be the easiest: you watch the kids and the dog. Carve out some quality time where mom can do whatever she wants for a day, or better yet, a getaway or "stay-cation"?

Give her an experience. Credit: Paul Douglas
Give her an experience. Credit: Paul Douglas
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Under the heading of "experiences resonate better than things" I took my wife out to a nice dinner, followed by seeing a play she was interested in. I don't have the answer key, and your results may vary, but planning a special meal, either homemade or at a local establishment might go a long way. Recently we had VERY good experiences at the Apostle Supper Club and their rotating restaurant with amazing harbor views - and at the other end of the spectrum, a festival of pie at The Rustic Inn Cafe up in Castle Danger.

A few more suggestions:

Pop-up card: credit: Amazon.com
Pop-up card: credit: Amazon.com
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If you're going to get mom a card, consider a creative card, like the pop-up card above available at Amazon.

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Personalized book, credit: Amazon.com
Personalized book, credit: Amazon.com
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For only $10 you can pick up a personalized "fill-in-the-blanks" journal that personalizes the experience and your affection for mom. Again, something different and it won't break the bank.

Gifts that can arrive by Sunday. Credit: Amazon
Gifts that can arrive by Sunday. Credit: Amazon
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I'm always a fan of buying local - that would absolutely be my first choice. Support local stores wherever you can. But if you're frantic, here is a link for last-minute items that will arrive from Amazon by Sunday. Not my first choice but it beats a mad dash to the local CVS or Walgreen's Saturday night.

Your mother is unique and one-of-a-kind. With a little creativity you can find a gift, a gesture that rewards her with what she really wants this year: an experience, more sleep or a badly-needed day off for the hardest working mother in your life!

What Moms Really Want for Mother's Day

We took a poll and asked moms in Minnesota, "What do you really want for Mother's Day?" You might be thinking the number one answer is chocolate or flowers, but nope. Scroll through to see what moms across the state are hoping to receive on Sunday.