Mother’s Day is a wonderful day in praise of moms everywhere, in which
hard-working mothers are commended for their selfless dedication, admired for
their steadfast love, and given a day in which they have absolutely no
responsibilities at all. Right?

Except that it doesn’t always work that way. Children still behave like children. And sometimes their idea of a “gift” for me involves reading me the entire catalog of our Dr. Suess books. Aloud. HELP ME.

And as long as we’re being honest about things, here’s a list of gifts children
(or husbands) should never—under any circumstances—give a mother for Mother’s

1. Any How to Be a Better Mom book.

2. Another dog. Because you know what’s missing from my life? Another mouth
to feed. Another needy creature to clean up after. More poop.

3. A workout DVD. “I love you, Mom, but you’ve gotten squishier the last few
times we hugged.”

4. A pink kitchen appliance or tool. Actually, I don’t care what color it is.
If it implies work, then I don’t want it.

5. Money. Chances are I gave my child that money in the first place.

6. A trophy. You know where I would like to display that store-bought “Best
Mom” or “#1 Mom” trophy? In the trash. (Unless you made it yourself, in which
case I will display it on a shelf in the back of my closet.)

7. A tattoo on any part of your body that references how much you love me.
Dear God, no.

8. Any cleaning product, no matter how fancy it is. If it implies, “Go clean
something, Mom,” then keep it for yourself.

9. An e-card. Nothing says “I care about you” like something you didn’t pay
for or take the time to mail. (But a hand-written thank you note or lovingly
written email? Those would be wonderful.)

10. A trampoline. Well done, Dad. You have become an expert manipulator of
your children.

11. A video game. Well done, kids. You have become expert manipulators of
your father.

12. Spanx. See #3.

13. Spa products. These I’ll allow, with one condition: The assortment may
NOT include wrinkle serum or cellulite cream.

14. Breakfast in bed. Unless you also clean up the kitchen and do the dishes.

15. Socks. Go away.

16. A tin of popcorn. Just because you forgot to get something and the Boy
Scouts happened to come to the door doesn’t mean this is a gift I want.

17. A coupon book if you are over 12. Look, it’s cute that I can trade a
coupon for a hug, but there are only so many times I’ll make a transaction for
your affection.

18. A whole day of hanging with the kids without any donwtime. DO YOU NOT