Mother’s Day is just over a week away, which means it’s about time for the less-prepared among us to start panicking over what to get our own mothers and mothers-in-law. (If you are already gearing up to type a smug comment about how you’ve had your gift chosen, ordered, and wrapped for weeks now: shhhh. Unless your gift was a really good idea, in which case please tell us all about it in the comments so we can leech off your forethought and thoughtfulness.)
If you’re just not sure what to get your mother-in-law, and flowers or chocolate just seem too generic, we can help you. In our time writing about parenting, we’ve encountered a few different types of mothers-in-law, and we have a few ideas about what to get each of them.
For the mother-in-law who has decided she’s too young or too cool to be called “Grandma” or “Gran”: A custom-made mug that says “World’s Best G-Dawg”.
For the mother-in-law who lets the grandkids cram their faces with junk food, skip naps, juggle chainsaws, and break any and all other rules of yours when she’s with them: An embroidered First Aid kit that she can keep in her purse (but that she probably won’t).
For the mother-in-law who has never had a single nice thing to say about your cooking: A McDonald’s gift card. Let her eat
cake cheap greasy beef.
For the mother-in-law who keeps referring to YOUR child as “my baby”: Ransack the Shutterfly catalog for a few top hits–mugs, calendars, t-shirts–and have them printed up with retro photos of your MIL with her actual child: your spouse.
For the mother-in-law who blatantly favors some of her grandchildren over the others: A leather-bound copy of Cinderella, with the relevant passages marked up in hot pink highlighter to be sure she can’t miss them.
For the mother-in-law who switches between saying your child cleaned his plate and is going to obese before you know it, and saying that he picked at his dinner today and is clearly emaciated: A set of pots, pans, and cooking knives, and the standing invitation to come make dinner for your family whenever she would like.
For the mother-in-law who treats you like an interloper who kidnapped and married her precious child at gunpoint: A bottle of nice wine. This won’t make her like you anymore, but now at least you’ll have something to drink during the next excruciating extended family gathering at her house. Especially while she takes notes on the size of the glass you pour and then tells the other relatives she thinks you probably have a drinking problem.
For the cool, nice, funny mother-in-law who does a ton for you and never falls into tired MIL stereotypes: Er, good question. Maybe try telling her how cool, nice, and funny she is in an article on a mommy-blog?
(Image: AlexRaths / iStock / Getty)