Should I get my mother a belated birthday present?

My mother insisted she didn’t want any gifts. Every time I asked her what she wanted, she told me she didn’t want anything. She wanted some help with gardening and that was all, no presents. I felt a little uncomfortable with this, but ultimately listened to her.

And then yesterday on her birthday, much to my horror, I realized I was the only one who had listened. :smack:

Everyone else, despite her request, got her presents. Nice ones, too. There was much oohing, ahhing and squealing from her. I’m helping her prepare her garden for winter today–and I’m the only one doing so–but I feel pretty cheap in comparison to everyone else now.

I’ll feel lame, giving something a day late and I know if I ask her about it she’ll probably tell me no regardless of her actual feelings, because…well, that’s what mothers do, but should I just go ahead and get her a present today?

Nah. Take her at her word. She’s a big girl and is perfectly capable of clearly expressing her wishes. You’re also a big girl and are perfectly capable of taking her at her word and not worrying about what everyone else does. This isn’t worth worrying about one more jot.

Did she not want anything because she truly did not want anything, or did she not want anything because she’s your mom and “Pshaw, honey, I don’t need you to spend your hard-earned money on me!”

I tell my teenaged kids not to get me anything because of #2. I don’t want them spending money on me.

I wouldn’t worry about it. Give her a card, take her out to a nice lunch, help her with her garden. Make sure you don’t forget her birthday, regardless of what gift you may or may not give her.

Nah, helping out with the garden is a big thing. Much better than any sort of bauble you could have gotten her that she didn’t need.

You’ll be spending time with her and helping her get some hard work done. She’ll be able to appreciate your gift well into the spring!

Thanks for the reassurance, everyone! I’d assisted in throwing her a party and cleaned up afterwards, but I still felt a little “off” about not having some material gift to offer up when I saw the presents from everyone else. I figure what I’ll do is spend the day elbows deep in the garden and then suggest taking her out to dinner.

Being a new mom, all I want is less stuff to clean up. My husband is under strict orders to get me nothing but help in our garden and a back rub. You know your mom better than I, but yardwork, and cleaning in general, can be a huge chore.

What they said. And of course mom is going to ooh and ah at gifts. It’s what we do.

Help with heavy chores – who wouldn’t love that gift?

Erma Bombeck had a lovely article about gifts from her kids. When they were in kindergarten, they gave her laboriously handmade items made in class…one was half a paper plate with a doily stapled to it and crayon scribbles all over it, and her child proudly told her it was a crumb scraper!

As the kids got older, she got more practical, “nice” things, but every once in a while, she longed for the day when she got a handmade crumb scraper.

You’re her kid. No matter what you do or give her, she will treasure it. Get over your guilt and get her garden planted!