A mom can be the hardest person to shop for: they typically never ask for anything for themselves, and you’d feel like a jerk if you just gave them a new vacuum or blender. But the fact remains that you should get them something for occasions like Mother’s Day, their birthday, and Christmas.

So what’s a well-meaning person to do when they need a gift for mom?

Hence my list of the best gifts for a selfless mom. These items are frugal, useful, and promote self-care in even the humblest of mothers. Because even if she doesn’t say it, she doesn’t really want a dish scrubber for her birthday.

I do have affiliate links in my article. These are all things which I have been gifted and loved, or bought for myself! There’s no extra cost to you and my family appreciates your support! Thanks for reading all about my ideas for a gift for mom.

The Best Gifts for a Selfless Mom - Real Simple Mama

For the Experience

This first section is a gift which is a bit hard to wrap, because it is the idea of an experience! I know as I’ve had a family, I much prefer to “do” things and have memories rather than get more stuff. Some of these ideas are for the family to enjoy together, but most are just for Mama.

A spa day is a fantastic gift. It really helps Mom to see that she deserves a little pampering too (and believe me when I say a mom would probably never do this for herself). Any combination of a massage, facial, pedicure and/or manicure would be a dream.

A membership to a zoo or a museum is truly fantastic. It allows Mom to enjoy these wonderful venues without worrying about the cost. If I could, I would have memberships to all of the local favorites for our family! We love our zoo and our Doseum Children’s Museum!

Another great gift would be a photo session with Mom and the kids, or with the whole family. I am a sucker for family photos, and want to make sure that we get them done on a regular basis. Finding a local photographer and getting Mom a prepaid package would be magnificent!

The Best Gifts for a Selfless Mom - realsimplemama.com

For Indulging

Mom works so hard, taking care of everyone else, that it often seems she gives herself only the bare minimum. The following gifts are “just for Mom” and help her feel special, because she deserves it!

Dark chocolate is my personal go-to when I want a treat. And let’s face it: it’s not really a treat for Mom if Mom has to make it herself. I don’t need anything fancy, though I do prefer Brookside fruit-infused dark chocolates (which go amazingly with wine), or semi-sweet chocolate chips; I can eat 10 of those fantastic little morsels throughout the day for my chocolate fix, and not feel guilty about consuming lots of calories!

Shutterfly is one my favorite websites: you can personalize and customize anything from stationery to glasswork to pillows. My favorite gift (which I got myself when Shutterfly was having one of their many free gifts) is this coffee mug, on which I put a photo of my kids. Anything which Mom can use, but has photos of her family, is a great idea in my opinion! I recommend a black mug since it’ll never show coffee/tea stains; additionally, their gold/silver paint makes a mug un-microwaveable, so I’d avoid that.

Shutterfly custom mug and Yogi tea! - Real Simple Mama

Lately, I’ve been looking for a sugar scrub recipe. An exfoliating scrub like this is great for weary skin, and helps with shaving too. You could always buy the store-made stuff, but I like making my own because I trust the ingredients and can make the scent that I want! This is the recipe that I recommend: feel free to dress up the jar with ribbons or other handmade decorations! I just made myself a batch with coconut oil and lavender essential oil… now if I could just get time for an actual hot bath…

For Peace and Calming

Being a mom is ridiculously stressful. A mom takes on a lot of “behind the scenes” work which wear on her: making sure the fridge is stocked and the clothes are clean, keeping appointments and making calls. There’s a lot of work which will take a toll on Mom’s body and mind. These gift ideas can really help Mom wind down in a healthy way.

I know that a lot of moms love coffee, and I do too; but honestly, I don’t love the caffeine kick in the afternoon or evening. That’s why I’m a recent convert to tea: it’s delicious, comforting, and warm! There are too many teas to all list here, so I’ll just tell you about my two favorites: Yogi’s Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea, which smells incredible and is great when I’m winding down after a long day; and this Organic Chamomile Tea from Traditional Medicinals. Both of these are affordable, caffeine-free options which taste great undoctored, or sweetened up with a little honey or sugar.

radha diffuser with now essential oils - the best gifts for a selfless mom - real simple mama

I’ve used essential oils for years, and used to have an expensive diffuser; when it croaked, I found a really affordable diffuser on Amazon.  It’s cute and works really well. Essential oils have quite a few health benefits, and fortunately, you can buy some of the “cheaper” brands if you’re just diffusing. My favorite combination: four drops each of peppermint, lavender, and lemon from the Now brand. Sounds weird I know, but don’t knock it until you try it!

NOW essential oils - Real Simple Mama

It might seem strange that I’d list a good pair of headphones as my most essential self-care item, but it’s true! I bought these inexpensive wireless bluetooth SoundPeats for myself and they have been a game-changer. I use them for my workout playlist while my kids nap, and for meditating in the evenings while I nurse my toddler to sleep. Their battery life and sound quality is excellent, especially when you consider that they’re less than $25! Bonus: they work perfectly with my ridiculously tiny ears, which is great since I can’t use any type of earbud.

SoundPeats wireless bluetooth headphones - Real Simple Mama

Remember that meditating I was talking about a moment ago? I have good news: the app I use is free! it’s called Calm and I rave about it on the regular. I’ve used it on and off since my first pregnancy. Giving your mom a free app download seems a bit cheap, but you could give her a Calm app subscription which will run about $60/year. I’m saving up for it myself! Anything that can help someone relax and strengthen her inner peace is a great gift for mom. The app login also works on their website, where you can play sounds or music as well as listen to the meditations and stream the visuals.

Appreciate the Handmade Gift

I couldn’t write this post without including a handmade section! I won’t go all Pinterest on you but I did want to make a point to tell you that I absolutely loooove handmade gifts. I much prefer a handmade card to one bought at a store, and anything with my kids’ pictures or handprints is an instant favorite. Please don’t think that a handmade gift is “not good enough” or that it won’t be appreciated. Trust me, as a Mom… these are the best.

Just for Nursing Moms

I can’t believe that I’m just now hearing about breast milk jewelry, after nursing for almost 4 years! Breast milk jewelry takes a mom’s breast milk, performs a process which hardens and seals the milk, and then mounts it as anything from pendants to earrings. I’ve got an article all about Kellie at Milk Vine Jewelry – her explanation and discussion of breast milk jewelry is fascinating! I’ve got my eye on that bronze ring… hint hint, honey.

What did you find on my list that spoke to you? I hope that these suggestions of realistic-yet-considerate gifts for moms can help you to find the perfect something for that special someone! I mean hey, if I didn’t already have most of this stuff, I’d be requesting it like crazy…

And don’t forget to have Mother Dearest check out my articles on self-care and self-love for moms

The Best Gifts for a Selfless Mom - Real Simple Mama