Lifestyle

7 Mother's Day gifts you should avoid giving this year

Shopping for Mother's Day? Don't buy these gifts.

Credit: Getty Images

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Shopping for Mom isn’t always an easy task. It can be hard to know exactly what she wants and needs when you’re shopping for a gift.

This year, Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 12. So it’s time to start racking your brain for what to buy Mom. There’s no gift out there that could possibly repay her for all that she’s done, but you can certainly show a small token of your appreciation with the right present. Feeling stuck? Check out our roundup of the top gifts to give Mom this Mother’s Day.

Equally important to highlight, though, are a handful of presents that you should steer clear of. If you have any of these gift ideas on your list, you may want to think about buying our alternative suggestions instead. Trust us, Mom will thank you.

1. Cleaning supplies

Cleaning supplies and robot vacuum
Credit: Reviewed / Getty Images / Amazon

Instead of cleaning supplies, get your mom a robot vacuum that can help her clean while she relaxes.

Moms spend a lot of time cleaning up messes. As a mother myself, I know this firsthand. While Dad is there to help pick up along the way, too, giving your mom cleaning supplies for Mother’s Day probably won’t go over well with her. Plus, on Mother’s Day, she deserves a relaxing break.

However, you can help make future cleaning tasks easier by gifting her the Eufy Robovac 11S. Of the five affordable robot vacuums we tested, the Eufy Robovac 11S was the very best one thanks to its excellent suction and improved navigation. This robot vacuum will help save Mom time so she can kick back and relax on Mother’s Day (and the rest of the year), just as she deserves.

Get the Eufy Robovac 11S on Amazon for $224.99

2. Candy

Meal delivery kit
Credit: Reviewed / Getty Images

Candy may satisfy her sweet tooth, but why not gift her a meal delivery kit instead? That way, you and your mom can spend quality time together in the kitchen and at the dining table.

If your mom has a sweet tooth, it might be tempting to toss her a bag of Snickers on Mother’s Day. I like candy just as much as the next person, but, as a mom, I don’t want a box of fancy chocolates or a bag of sour gummy worms as a gift. It just doesn’t show much thought. We moms can go out and get our own candy any time we want.

Chances are you’ve probably given your mom candy before anyway, so why not mix it up and cook with her instead? We recommend the Home Chef meal delivery service. It won our round-up of 10 popular meal delivery kits because of the plan’s high-quality ingredients, easy-to-understand recipes, and appetizing flavors. Mom will love spending time in the kitchen with you and enjoying a home-cooked meal together.

See Home Chef's plans and pricing

3. An alarm clock

Alarm Clock
Credit: Reviewed / Getty Images/Amazon

Busy moms don't need alarm clocks—they need the Amazon Echo Spot. The Spot functions an alarm clock, personal assistant, and so much more.

If your mom keeps a busy schedule, you might be thinking that a new alarm clock could be a really handy gift. But before you go out and buy one, you might want to consider getting her something that does more than just wake her up.

That’s where the Amazon Echo Spot comes into play. Technically speaking, it does function as an alarm clock, but it's so much more than that. The compact smart speaker allows you to make video calls, and check in on video feeds from smart cameras, doorbells, and baby monitors. The sleek device can also be used to play music and comes with a customizable clock that can be dimmed at bedtime. The best part? It connects with Alexa, so Mom can use the Amazon Echo Spot as her very own personal assistant.

Get the Amazon Echo Spot for $129.99 on Amazon

4. Lawn care tools

Outdoor tools
Credit: Reviewed / Getty Images / Amazon

If your mom loves yard work, get her the Rachio 3 WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller. She'll appreciate this more than outdoor tools because she can water her garden with the click of a button.

Tending to the yard work might be the furthest thing from your mom’s mind when she’s busy relaxing on Mother’s Day. However, if she enjoys being outside in the garden, you might as well get her something that helps her do what she likes.

Instead of a boring old rake or gardening hoe, think outside the box. The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller can help Mom water her lawn and garden with the click of a button (or she can ask Alexa to take care of the task for her). The handy device won our best smart sprinkler systems of 2019 because of its user-friendly options and easy installation. Mom can use the Rachio 3 to set a watering schedule, giving her more time to tackle the tasks she enjoys.

Get the Rachio 3 WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller 8-Zone for $229 on Amazon

5. A tub of wrinkle cream

Wrinkle Cream
Credit: Reviewed / Getty Images

Let mom pick her own beauty products. To help her out, gift her a beauty box subscription to PLAY! by Sephora.

Let’s face it—nobody is immune to aging and the force of gravity. However, giving your mom a new tub of wrinkle cream may serve as a reminder that she can’t turn back the clock. Face cream may sound like a well-intended gift idea for your mom, but she may be insulted by the thought that she needs wrinkle cream.

However, if your mom enjoys makeup and skin care products, why not gift her a beauty box subscription? Sephora’s PLAY! beauty box comes with five trial-size samples worth up to $64 in value and one bonus beauty item. The products are sent in a reusable bag that Mom can use to toss in her purse or travel bag. This way, Mom try several different beauty products and, hopefully, find a new beauty item she really loves.

See PLAY! by Sephora Beauty Box subscription price

6. Exercise equipment

Exercise Equipment
Credit: Reviewed / Getty Images/Lululemon

If your mom likes to hit the gym and work out, you may be thinking about gifting her a new piece of exercise equipment for Mother’s Day. But, before you pull the trigger on a fancy new weight rack or expensive treadmill, consider gifting her something more practical and portable that she can use in her everyday workouts.

If your mom is into fitness (or maybe she’s thinking about dabbling in her first yoga class), check out Lululemon’s Reversible Mat 5mm. Our editors tested the nine best yoga mats and the Lululemon Reversible Mat ranked best overall. Our editors found the reversible mat to be soft and comfortable, yet sturdy enough that Mom won't slip on her sweat when she's mid-plank.

Get the Reversible Mat 5mm for $68 at Lululemon

7. Nothing

Nothing
Credit: Reviewed / Getty Images

A box of nothing won't go over well with your mom. Our Mother's Day Gift Guide is full of gift ideas.

This one may seem obvious, but your mom dedicated a large chunk of her life to helping you become the best human possible. The least you can do is get her a gift to show her how much she means to you and that you’re thinking of her. On Mother’s Day, be sure you get her something. Just steer clear of any of the items that we don’t recommend and opt for one of the alternative options instead.

Every Mom is different, meaning there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the perfect gift. However, you know your mom the best, so make sure to get her a gift that’s thoughtful, useful, and lets her know you’re thinking about her every day of the year. Don’t forget to take a look at our Mother’s Day gift guide if you’re struggling for gift ideas. Good luck and happy shopping.

Prices are accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.