We asked moms what they really want for Mother’s Day — and no, it isn’t a kurta or a candle

A pinch of love, a dash of appreciation and a cup FULL of peace is the recipe for the perfect Mother's Day present!
11 May, 2024

Mother’s Day (arguably the most important ‘day’ for celebrating a loved one) is around the corner once again — and for those who have a mother figure present in their lives, the most pressing question is often what to get their mom for Mother’s Day. Before you grab your wallet and rush to your nearest mall to grab a basic candle and a basic kurta from K̶h̶a̶a̶d̶i̶ a local clothing store, know that we asked a bunch of moms what they really, truly want for Mother’s Day and we have the perfect answers for you.

But, you won’t get them straight away. First, let us give you a little history lesson on why Mother’s Day is celebrated (just read it, your mom will be proud of you for knowing something). In the United States, Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday of May, every year — and this year it is on May 12. Other countries have varying traditions and dates for marking the occasion, but since the US version currently looms over us, and most likely when your mom is expecting her present, we’ll stick to that one.

The idea started in America when a woman, Anna Jarvis, held a small memorial service for her own mother on May 12, 1907, the BBC details. Shortly after that, most places in the US started celebrating the day, with the US president — he must’ve really loved his mother — making it a national holiday in 1914.

Jarvis, however, was super unhappy with how companies began using the day as a money-making scheme and campaigned for the government to remove Mother’s Day from the calendar completely.

Keeping in line with the theme of not getting what you wanted, Jarvis’s campaign against the holiday presumably did not work very well, because more than a century later we’re celebrating the holiday on a completely different continent — personally, I find it funny that we’re adhering to the US iteration of the holiday, even though the UK has their own version and they were the ones who colonised us and left us with a plethora of their traditions.

We’re sorry we continue the tradition, Jarvis, we just love our moms!

Given the global popularity of the day, mothers must definitely be an integral pillar of the family, right? Well, that and the fact that they risk their own lives to bring you into this world and then spend every subsequent moment putting your needs before their own.

So the question remains — what do we get our moms for Mother’s Day? What could be possibly good enough for the women who care for us from the get-go and don’t stop until their very last breath? Here at Images, we thought the solution was simple — ask the moms what they want! Revolutionary.

Here’s what moms want for Mother’s Day.

I couldn’t start my research anywhere but my own mother, who has two kids — my younger brother (19) and me (24). Her answer was pretty straightforward, she wanted candles. This was not the reply I was hoping to hear, so I pushed her for another answer; after all, I had an article to write. Her second answer was that she wanted us to spend time with her, which pretty much ruined any plans I had of going out that night. Don’t worry, I will spend a lot of time with her!

While some moms want their children to spend more time with them, other mothers, especially those with younger kids, want some space — and rightfully so, I mean have you ever spent every single day with a five-year-old? They talk. A LOT.

A mother of a four-year-old and an 11-month-old said she would love to check into a hotel with a stunning view, and spend a day being herself “without any roles like mother, wife, and sister”.

“I’d get up whenever I want, eat anything I want, and just relax. I’d like my best friend to be there with me, and chat about everything but kids and husband and home,” she said. Mothers deserve the rest and relaxation — fresh white linens, room service, and absolutely no screams, snots or scrapes.

Another mom, with children aged 11, 15 and 16, said she wanted a nice staycation away with the kids, but swiftly added that she would be okay without her children, too. And, again, we get it, we totally do, anyone would want some time away from the constant barrage of “mom, mom, mom, mom, mom?!”.

A mom of a 12 and 16-year-old said she wanted breakfast in bed, a handmade card, a day without household chores and an official holiday from work — all of this seems achievable, except the last one. Capitalism will never give in that easily, unfortunately. However, maybe a sick leave would work? Even better, blame it on your kid and say they’re sick — hey, there have to be some perks to having children, and what are children even for if not to use for fake illness so you can enjoy Mother’s Day?

“Somewhere I could just relax and not worry about the kids — like a girls’ trip but with [the] kids who would be looked after by the nannies,” a mother of a three-year-old and a 10-year-old said. You know, being a mother is starting to sound a lot like being a 24/7 nanny. We really hope this mother gets some help with her kids, even if just for the day.

When we asked a mother of a six and 11-year-old, her answer was short and sweet: “A day off from all responsibilities”. Given everything mothers do, for not just their kids but their entire family, wanting to do nothing is totally valid. So, perhaps the perfect gift for your mother would be you picking up the slack and doing some work around the house to offer her respite.

A mom of an eight-month-old said she wanted a nanny who would supervise her baby, feed her and put her to bed, “basically all the tasks that [a] mother does”.

She added that most importantly, she wanted a nanny to look after her baby so she could tend to other household chores — which has us shook; you would think the ONE time mothers are asked about themselves, they would prioritise themselves, instead of thinking about chores?! Leave it to moms and mom-figures to only think about working to make their family’s lives better.

It is (going to be) Mother’s Day and we strongly believe moms should not do any household tasks on such a sacred day.

Another thing mothers really want? Your love — and that costs literally nothing. A mom of an eight-year-old said she wanted a handwritten note declaring how much her child loved her and why. Not only does that sound super sweet, it’s perfect for the age demographic. I’m sure moms can be the only people who cherish young children’s art; it’s called “unconditional love” for a reason.

A mother of two teenage girls, on the other hand, said she “craves the feeling of being essential and cherished once more”.

“While I cherish their independence, I long for reassurance from them.” She added that material gifts did hold some significance, and she preferred small, meaningful presents sprinkled throughout the day rather than one grand gesture.

I’m going to take a moment here to say it sounds scary to be the mother of not one, but TWO teenagers. It’s like having the pretty, popular kids from school live with you. “You want to hang?” “No.” “You want to get some lunch?” “No.” “We could go out?” “No.”

“Plus I want their father to know that he got the best mother for his kids he could possibly ask,” she added.

My aunt, who has a 30-year-old daughter, maintained that material things were not for her at all.

“I would want nothing more than the happiness of my child, and seeing them happy and relaxed is my goal. But the one thing I do want is for them to eat the food I have cooked and enjoy it. Nothing is more comforting and fulfilling for a mother than some time spent with her children”.

Food is a reccurring theme, maybe because a lot of our mothers spend so much of their time and effort slaving away over the stove.

A mother of three aged 18, 23 and 26 said she wanted all three of her kids to cook something for her separately, before quickly adding that she did not want that from her 18-year-old because she has exams. Once again, leave it to moms to worry about their children, even when they’re asked what they want. A quick pasta recipe won’t take more than 30 minutes, which is the perfect break from studying — don’t forget your mom did EVERYTHING with you inside her for nine months, and then clung to her hip for years. Time to repay her for you basically being a little parasite.

However, the best answer came from a mother of a 15 and an 18-year-old:

“As a mother, I want kids who are like dogs — they don’t answer back, wag their tails to greet you and are happy no matter what the treat is. Not this teenage attitude, shattitude.” LOL!

A mother of a four-year-old and a newborn baby said people should, at the very least, acknowledge everything mothers do and all the sacrifices they make, even if they do not support the mom because for mothers “everything is happening all at once”.

She also joked that she would like some peace as well to enjoy a cup of tea or a meal, and as she was speaking her child could be heard in the background. “This! We want to be able to do one thing without interruptions.”

Being a mother cannot be easy, and one of the biggest stresses they face is the situation of the country they are raising their children in.

A Dawn staffer, who is the mother of a two-year-old, told me that mothers, by virtue of motherhood, do not think of their own selves and always have their child on their mind.

She said that she wanted the very best for her daughter and nothing for herself.

“I constantly think of the future of the country she lives in and what I can do to give my child the very best chance at life in Pakistan. What I would want is to see my child grow and thrive, and for my efforts to be paid off.”

Another young mom, with an 18-month-old daughter, said she wished a fairy godmother would come to Pakistan and make it a safer place for children, and that her child’s safety and security were the only things that worried her after she became a mother.

Australian social worker Shaniera Akram, who is based in Karachi, had a special message for Mother’s Day:

“To all the mothers out there, whether they are mothers who have given birth, adopted or become stepmothers, our job is all-consuming. There is no off button. We are on the job 24/7 and it is hard but what we get out of it is more rewarding than any you can ever ask for. We get to say at the end of the day, ‘we did that, we raised them and they are amazing’. That’s the biggest gift you can get as a mother.”

So ditch the motia scented candle — I won’t be though, my mother is definitely getting the candle she wants — and the basic kurta. Chances are, your mom, no matter how old you are, wants some peace, some love and maybe some pampering.

Now that we have equipped you with all this information, go forth and make this the perfect Mother’s Day.

We would recommend some breakfast in bed (for your mom, not by her), some quality time with her and then some rest and relaxation for her while you look after everyday chores.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mother-figures (and best of luck with your kids)!


Taj Ahmad May 11, 2024 02:28pm
Every day is mother day and every day is father day, please respect and care your parents every day.
M. Emad May 11, 2024 02:44pm
Happy Mother’s Day.
Taj Ahmad May 11, 2024 03:14pm
Our Mom and Dad expect from their grown up children’s from age 10 and up theirs constant love, care and respect when it gets older. So please always think every day is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
no May 11, 2024 06:17pm
so ..a kurta or not..???
Zain May 11, 2024 07:10pm
Assalamualaikum! I hope everyone reading this is doing well today—that includes the author of this piece and the wonderful team at dawn. May good health and well-being be with you all! I must admit that working in a call center during night shifts can often make it tricky to catch up with my parents, since they're heading off to work when I return home. Our conversations usually end up pretty short. However, after taking in the wisdom of this article, I feel inspired. I am determined to make the most of every moment I have with my parents. LOVE YOU MAA
Rachhpal Sahota May 11, 2024 08:39pm
Happy mothers day to all mothers - may all of your wishes come true!
Asma Ashfaq May 11, 2024 09:27pm
Happy Mother's day to all the super moms out there. My mom is the most important person of my life. I am childless. I have never become a mom. I wish to become a mother once in this life.
NYS May 12, 2024 12:56am
Regard your mother by giving her respect she deserves at most and another important role ,quest her means of happiness :) Long live mother !!! May your life be worry free yah!
Ron May 12, 2024 09:10am
so nice to read the real stories and feeling then to see fake TikTok fake Mother's Day surprises. My mom is plus 80 and Iam overseas and sent her biscuits as she loves to have with Tea. We all should do a bare minimum to make her feel we are there for her, yes, I wish I can fly to her on this day and hug her and say I love you rather calling her later in the day
Taj Ahmad May 12, 2024 06:55pm
Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms… Besides being just Mom, anyone noticed Mom is also a great artist too when she delivers a baby boy or girl and it goes to like father or mom too, that’s simply amazing.
Javeria Yasir May 14, 2024 03:09pm
Everyday is mother day and every day is father day please respect your mother and father because they work me and my brother and sisters because hethey love to each other