Mother's Day may be tomorrow, but it is never too late to add a little extra sweetness to how we celebrate our moms (or mother-figures). Coincidentally, it is never too late to think about how gracefully our mothers (or mother-figures) have endured the bullshit of their offspring. While I like to think that my mom's memory has gilded the monstrousness that was three, four, twelve, and fourteen-year-old Amber — rosy hindsight glasses and whatnot — if I'm being honest, I know that I was a hellion for most of my childhood.
If you and I have that in common, consider grabbing one of the following gifts for your mom (before everything closes tonight) based on some of the most infamous "difficult" phases of childhood.
Were You An Exclusion Diet Enthusiast?
I have never been a picky eater. I might very well have been, but pickiness was not a facet of my palate that I was allowed to cultivate. I ate what was prepared for me at meal time or I went hungry (also, I really liked boiled cabbage. And rice. I wasn't hard to feed). If you preferred your foods beige, breaded, and very mildly seasoned as a kid, this brand new palette from Too Faced makes a lovely throwback gift for the mom who packed your lunches, cut the crusts off of your bread, and didn't drown you in a bathtub.
The colors in this palette are as rich and buildable — and food-themed — as you would expect from Too Faced, plus they're charming. Who isn't nuts about their mom?
Were You A Frantic, Unintelligible Speed Dialer?
As a senior in college (right on the cusp of grown-ass womanhood), I may or may not have called my mother in a fit of drunk weeping because I was, well, drunk. I was so drunk that I was convinced I would never not be drunk and, like David After the Dentist, I needed my mom to reassure me that I would not feel this way forever. Some mothers might have reacted with fear or abject horror. Not my mom. She's seen some shit. Her demeanor was calm. Her voice did not quaver as she imparted her mom-wisdom upon me, "Amber, calm down. Drink some water. Go to bed. I'm watching a movie."
Maybe you've never drunk dialed your mom, but chances are that you and I have the impulse — whether blinded by tears or rage — to call our moms and blubber or weep or orate in whatever hyper-emotional state we find ourselves in when only mom can fix it. After however many years of this your mom has endured, she deserves a portable phone charger. (Also, it would be nice if her phone was never dead because sometimes you really need to talk to her and she's supposed to be there for you, mom).
This is also a great gift if, when visiting your parents, you have a habit of misplacing your mother's phone cord (and/or chargers) in your purse. Not that I've ever done that.
Were You An Uninvited, Indefinite Bedfellow?
By and large, when I was small, I liked having my own bed. I liked my space. I did not like to share blankets. This preference was briefly (my mom does not remember it as "brief") discarded when I watched Candyman with my Grandmother at the age of three. I spent the following six months wedged between my mom and dad, stealing the covers and being extra-afraid of the dark.
If you, like me, had a habit of interrupting your mother's beauty sleep, you can start the healing process by making sure your mom sleeps in a bubble of serenity courtesy of an oil diffuser. I am an essential oil fanatic. So much so, that I had an unfortunate period of breakouts because I kept dabbing tea tree and peppermint oils on my pillowcases. This Stadler Form Jasmine Aroma Diffuser packs a surprising amount of scent-power in its smooth little body and doesn't require a lot of oil to scent your whole room.
Were You A Boundary-Pushing Visual Artist?
If you ever painted on the walls of your parents' home, it's never too late to say I'm sorry while also standing by your artistic integrity. Makeup brushes are a great reminder that you're putting an art degree to work, that you always appreciated your mom's craftiness (if she was or is crafty), and that you see her as a skillful, brilliant woman in control of her own beauty.
Last year, I bought my mom some beauty swag by RMS — an organic brand that doesn't wreck havoc on her sensitive skin. This year, I'm stepping up my gifting game with some of RMS's synthetic, cruelty-free brushes.
While I am a trendy makeup fiend, my mom doesn't share my obsessive trend-tracking (or my WWD account), but she does get a sizeable amount of nifty, tech-y, "brand new way to do the same old look" beauty samples I receive. To keep her cream and stain blush game strong, I got her the RMS skin2skin blush brush ($34). This nifty little brush makes the perplexing task of applying any non-powder blush simple and straightforward.
Were You A Bedtime Story Tyrant?
From when I was three until I was six, my mother and I had an agreement. I would lay quickly in bed until I fell asleep and not get up (and bother her or ask what grownup shows were on TV or how her night was going) if she read me twenty picture books of my choosing. She agreed not to speed read. I agreed not to plan elaborate escapes from my bed. It was a win-win. It was mostly a win-win for me.
Those hours worth of story time robbed my mom of a significant amount of beauty sleep, and even if you were not oddly dependent on being read to, chances are you had a habit (or several) that kept your mom up at night. Roaming the streets after curfew? Passionately dating a very bad decision in the guise of a high school senior with a mohawk? Whatever your most monstrous milestones were, you can always say "my bad" with a seriously badass sheet mask. Why? Because whether or not your mom seeks to minimize signs of aging or embraces them fully, you caused some of them.
Just to be clear — I'm not saying your mom has a jacked face. I'm saying that all the laughing, crying, smiling, shouting, and expressions that come with raising a monster of a kid like me — or even a wonderful kid like I'm sure you were — shows as the years go by. And this time of year is the time to say, yeah, mom. I know how much effort you put into raising me. Here are some really fancy gel-activated sheet masks made without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates to show how much I appreciate you.
What was your worst phase as a kid? Are you celebrating your mom with offerings of monetary value? Tell me yours and I'll tell you mine!