New Survey Sheds Light on Mother’s Day Wishes, Revealing Common Misconceptions

A new survey reveals that mothers prefer gift cards over traditional gifts.

As May unfolds and planning for Mother’s Day intensifies, a new survey offers fresh insights into what mothers truly desire on their special day.

The survey, which polled 1,000 mothers, aims to recalibrate our understanding of maternal expectations and appreciation.

Reevaluating Mother’s Day Gifts

The findings reveal a notable divergence between traditional perceptions of Mother’s Day gifts and mothers’ actual preferences.

Although 71% of mothers emphasize that “it’s the thought that counts,” a significant 87% admitted they would fake appreciation for a gift they disliked, and only 7% would feel slighted if they received poorly sized clothing from their children.

Interestingly, the research suggests a shift toward autonomy in gift selection, with gift cards emerging as the preferred choice—trumping traditional favorites like flowers and jewelry.

About 96% of the surveyed mothers consider gift cards to be an appropriate gift, underscoring their desire for practical and versatile options.

Additionally, the expectation of gifts extends beyond children, with 63% anticipating presents from their significant others as well.

No Social Media Required

In an era dominated by digital shout-outs, the survey found that the majority of mothers place little value on social media recognition.

Instead, they express a 2.5-fold preference for more intimate acknowledgments, such as personalized cards or ecards, highlighting a desire for genuine, heartfelt connections.

About 75% of mothers look forward to Mother’s Day, though enthusiasm tends to wane as they or their children age.

For those less eager about the day, the absence of their own mothers, especially if deceased, is a poignant detractor, reflecting the deep generational bonds that the holiday evokes.

Preferred Activities: Family Time Over Sports

Unsurprisingly, spending time with family emerges as the top activity for mothers on Mother’s Day.

The most cherished moments include having meals with their children, like dinner or brunch.

Conversely, activities such as working, engaging in sports, and cooking rank low on their list of preferred ways to spend the day.

In line with their wishes for relaxation, a majority of 59% prefer to abstain from watching youth sports during the celebration.

The study illuminates the nuanced preferences of mothers, suggesting a move towards more personalized and thoughtful recognition of their roles, while also challenging some conventional Mother’s Day norms.

More details

The table below highlights the preferences of mothers for Mother’s Day gifts, showing a strong inclination towards gift cards, with 66% of moms favoring them over other options such as flowers and personal care products.

Mothers across various age groups consistently prefer gift cards as the top choice.

The preference for specific types of gift cards includes leading retailers like Amazon, Bath & Body Works, and Target.

Most mothers (96%) strongly believe gift cards are an appropriate Mother’s Day gift.

The data also suggests that as mothers age, there is a notable shift in who they expect gifts from, with younger moms expecting gifts from their children and significant others, whereas the expectation declines slightly with age.

And most mothers would pretend to like a gift they don’t actually like, showcasing their considerate nature towards the feelings of their gift-givers.

Mother’s Day Gift Preferences

Mother’s Day Gift Preferences

Category Details Age 25-34 Age 35-44 Age 45-54 Age 55+
Most Requested Mother’s Day Gifts Gift Card 66%
Flowers 54%
Massage/Manicure/Pedicure 50%
Clothing/Shoes/Accessories 49%
Beauty/Personal Care Products 44%
Household Item 34%
Books/Media 26%
Most Requested Gifts Based on Mother’s Age Gift Card #1 #1 #1 #1
Clothing/Shoes/Accessories #2 #4 #2 #5
Food/Drink #3 #3 #3 #2
Flowers #4 #2 #4 #4
Massage/Manicure/Pedicure #5 #5 #5 #3
Top Gift Cards Purchased for Mother’s Day Starbucks, Amazon, Bath & Body Works, Ulta Beauty, Dunkin’ Donuts
Top Gift Cards Moms Actually Want Amazon, Bath & Body Works, Target, Starbucks, Ulta Beauty
Mother’s Day Gifts Expectation by Relationship Significant Other 82% 64% 57%
My Child 71% 83% 86%
My Parent 17% 11% 5%

We also see that the activities mothers most desire for Mother’s Day involve spending quality time with their families.

Dining with their children, whether through a dinner (68%) or brunch (58%), tops the list, followed by indulging in self-care activities like sleeping late, and receiving spa treatments.

A substantial 74% of mothers wish to spend the day with extended family, with this desire increasing with age.

Working and doing sports are least favored.

Mother’s Day Activities

Desired Activities (and Avoidances) by Moms

Category Preferences Percentages
Top 5 Activities Requested by Moms for Mother’s Day Dinner with my child/children 68%
Brunch with my child/children 58%
Sleeping late 44%
Getting a manicure/pedicure 40%
Going to a spa 38%
Bottom 5 Activities Requested by Moms for Mother’s Day Working 6%
Playing a sport 8%
Exercising 11%
Spending time away from my children 12%
Cooking 12%
Moms Want to be with Extended Family Total 74%
Age 25-34 72%
Age 35-44 72%
Age 45-54 74%
Age 55+ 86%
Moms Want a Break from Youth Sports on Mother’s Day Yes 41%
No 59%