Take it from a working mom of school-age twins homeschooling in a pandemic: Don’t give a busy mom a present she can’t use. If it’s something superfluous that she has to return or needlessly clutters the house, it’s more a burden than a gift. Whether you’re shopping for something she can wear, eat, drink, or do, the most meaningful gifts for busy moms are personal and practical.
Here are 15 ideas that show not only that you love her, but that you see her — and you know what she really wants.
For many busy moms, “wine down” is a sacred part of the day when the tasks are checked off and the kids are in bed. Fuel her well-deserved happy hour with a gift subscription to Winc wine club. She’ll answer six questions about her preferences and get four hand-selected bottles per month based on what she likes.
In an era when work and school all happens at home, mom may multitask all day long without getting out of her pajamas. Help her feel as polished as she is comfortable with a matching set she can wear all day for lounging, wrangling kids, and working; some tops even pass the Zoom test (no one has to know it’s PJs).
Sleep can be elusive for busy moms — but it’s essential to good health and wellbeing. Encourage natural and drug-free rest with a weighted blanket. Bearaby’s luxurious version gets its weight purely from many layers of natural, organic cotton. The Napper comes in three weight options and an array of sophisticated colors.
Fact: 72 percent of parents say bedtime is the most stressful part of their day. So any gift that helps mom ease bedtime stress is meaningful and helpful. Give her a subscription to Moshi, which offers magical sleep stories and meditations meant just for kids; 97 percent of parents say it helps their kids go down faster. An app trial comes with the purchase of a new Moshi Sleepies plush toy (so it’s a gift for mom and kid alike).
Cash is the most practical of gifts, but it’s just not personal. Solution: A cash gift from the mobile video gifting app GiftCast. Users can send cash along with a personalized video. Mom will get a text message to download the app and watch the clip; she can then withdraw the cash directly into her bank account.
Few things are more essential to many busy moms’ lives than caffeine. Civilized Coffee puts all the essentials together in one giftable set: She’ll get Ethiopian Sidamo whole bean coffee, a Bodum Bistro Grinder, a Bodum Brazil French Press, and a scoop.
Busy moms don’t have the time to fuss over complicated skincare routines — but of course they do want to look and feel their best. Affordable skincare line Weleda’s holiday gift set includes light and original versions of its cult-favorite Skin Food lotion, filled with natural plant extracts. A versatile and multipurpose solution for on-the-go moms, Skin Food works on body and face — as a highlighter, lip balm, hair smoother, and many other uses.
Busy moms need snacks on the go, and a gift subscription to the Bokksu snack box makes those harried nibbles inspiring and surprising. Each box comes with up to 25 Japanese snacks, candies, and tea, curated around a cultural theme — and all from family-run businesses. With each box, she’ll also get a magazine that details the products’ background and flavors.
For busy parents, planning a date night can feel impossible — especially in the time of social distancing. Date Night in a Box helps partners connect in a fun and effortless way, without leaving the house (or having to come up with a date idea). Each box includes interactive activities, accessories to set the mood, snacks or mixers, and chef-curated recipes.
Direct-to-consumer cult-favorite brand Dagne Dover is known for its bags’ functionality and multitasking features. This sporty-looking crossbody with multiple pockets keeps mom’s essentials perfectly organized and at the ready. Plus, a key leash prevents the need for that dreaded dig into the blackhole. Neoprene material is ultralight and soft to touch.
Beaba bills its oversized pillow as a maternity and nursing tool, so it’s great for a new mom or even a mom-to-be. But unlike many specialized products for infants, this one is bound to endure as a comfort for mom. That’s because it’s long enough to wrap around the body and serve as armrests while supporting the back. So it’s the cozy lounge or work-from-home accessory she didn’t even know she needed (no matter how old her babies are).
If it was hard for a busy mom to get to the gym in normal times, the pandemic took that option off the table anyway. So give her a subscription to this app-based platform for women, through which she can access unlimited, varied workouts and self-care classes — like yoga, HIIT, barre, meditation, and foam rolling. Buy a whole year as a gift for under $60 (but do note gift cards can only be purchased for merch, so you’ll have to sign her up for app access).
Here’s something that definitely wouldn’t have been on her wish list last year — but now it’s an essential for life on the go as a busy mom. Elevate the experience of staying safe with the gift of a luxurious face mask made with Italian couture fabrics. It’s practical, fashionable, and made ethically and sustainably — so she can feel good about protecting herself and her family.
Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle writer with a focus on parenting, wellness, and travel. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Good Housekeeping, Parents, TODAY, Best Life, and countless other outlets.