April showers bring May flowers, but you can skip the predictable bouquets for something more personal and less perishable this Mother's Day.
Since you share a special relationship with your mom, try to think beyond the usual one-size-fits-all gifts for something more meaningful that reflects her interests, lifestyle or hobbies. But before you rush out to the mall, keep in mind the following advice from the pros for gift ideas.
Before You Hit the Shops
In Style magazine's design market editor Mary Kate McGrath says that since Mother's Day should be a balance between recognizing your mom as a woman and celebrating her motherhood, give her a gift that integrates both themes.
Redbook magazine beauty director Cheryl Kramer Kaye says it's important to get something that allows moms to take a little time for themselves. She advises against a practical present unless your mom has asked for it. This new generation of mothers will likely enjoy a day of deluxe pampering much more than a new state-of-the-art fabric steamer.
Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine, says most women will especially appreciate gifts that feel personal and well thought out, like a memento or an item that complements something they love to do. He also suggests shopping at places that issue gift receipts for easy exchanges, such as large department stores.
If you're planning to get your mom a high-tech gadget or an electronic device, CNET.com's executive editor Molly Wood recommends that you research the products by reading reviews and user comments on sites such as www.cnet.com. Off-brand electronics tend to go on sale at this time of the year, but they may be less user-friendly. So if your mom or grandmother isn't tech savvy, the gift may cause more frustration than gratification. Wood also cautions shoppers to be mindful when considering devices that require extra service or subscriptions, such as cell phones. Her advice, "Try to buy something that isn't going to cost them more money in the long run."
What Gift Fits Your Mom?
Whether your mom is just figuring out how to strap on a car seat or scrambling to meet the boss's deadline, these ideas will jog your imagination to find just what she's hoping for this May 11. Find the mom that best describes yours in our guide, and get the gift that will make her glad she had you.
New Baby Mama
For both new moms or moms-to-be, Kramer Kaye recommends a line of skin care from Mama Mio, which makes body cream, lotion and oils aimed to prevent and repair those pesky stretch marks and scars. Created by three mothers in London, these products are paraben, petrolatum and sodium laureth sulfate free and safe to use during and after pregnancy.
The one thing new moms will want to shed after giving birth is the extra baby weight, especially around their stomach. But who has the time to work out for two hours a day while the baby is crying for mommy around the clock?
For instant gratification, O magazine's Glassman suggests cotton tank tops from Yummie Tummie, which come with hidden microfiber panels in the midsection to smooth bulges and to create an illusion of a flat stomach. Famous new moms such as Jennifer Lopez are fans of this "Spanx for your belly."