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Mom probably has a laundry list of stuff she wants or even needs, so it can be hard to narrow the options down. And while there are many ways to celebrate her on Mother's Day (or just because), it's hard to know where to start—what do you get someone who's deserving of absolutely everything? We recommend a more simple approach: first, take her needs and personality into account, and then go from there.
Here, the best gifts for every type of busy mom.
Royal Craft Wood Luxury Bathtub Caddy Tray
There’s no better place for mom to relax and indulge in some "me time" than the bath, and the Royal Craft Wood Luxury Bathtub Caddy keeps several must-haves dry and secure. There’s a spot for a book or tablet, smartphone, wine glass (or other drink), soap, and even a candle. Made from water-resistant, anti-microbial bamboo, the caddy fits most bathtubs and extends to 43-inches across.
reMarkable 2 Paper Tablet
The reMarkable Paper Tablet is the perfect product for the person who still loves the feel of pen to paper, but appreciates the convenience of technology. The tablet allows her to write down notes, which are then saved to a cloud. Documents can also be read and signed via the tablet. The super-thin device is less than a pound and is a great way to cut down on printouts and sticky notes.
Apple Watch Series 6
From a sleep monitor to a fitness tracker to replying to calls or texts, an Apple Watch does it all! This water-resistant device clocks daily sleep and workout activity (mom might be shocked how many steps she takes a day!) and the thick band is comfortable and durable enough for everyday use. Choose a neutral band that mom can wear daily or go for a fun, colorful style that matches her personality.
Vitruvi Stone Diffuser in Terracotta
Vitruvi's diffuser is a piece of decor that doesn't just look stylish and sleek, but also sets a zen vibe. The seven inch high diffuser can be set to four hours or eight intermittent hours as the scent of her favorite essential oil fills the room. This doesn't just make a space smell great, but some oils can even ease headaches, sinus pressure, or allergies.
Ulta Gift Card
If mom is a beauty junkie who’s always up on the latest palettes being released or she could simply use some pampering, you can’t go wrong with a gift card from Ulta. This bit of plastic or the e-card is the best way to give her a shopping spree on someone else’s dime. The store has pretty much every popular brand in hair, skincare, and makeup.
Ztujo Felt Bag Organizer
Mom’s purse is no doubt full of her own essentials, plus those of the kids. Keeping tabs on all of these items, especially when she switches purses, can be tricky. That’s why this Ztujo purse organizer will be a handy gift she’ll most likely use every day. With a total of 13 pockets, the organizer can hold pretty much anything, from keys, to a wallet, to a planner, toys, and so much more. She no longer has to worry about leaving something behind when she switches handbags.
Tile Mate Key and Phone Finder
Moms have to keep track of a lot from day to day, and there’s nothing more frustrating than frantic, last-minute searches for keys, wallets, or phones. The Tile Mate Bluetooth trackers are an easy way to eliminate this problem—attach them to important items, then launch the Tile app to ring your things. Can’t find the phone? No worries—the Tile Mate can ring it even when it’s set on silent mode. You can buy the one-pack, but there’s also a four-pack available that will truly serve mom well.
UGG Ansley Slippers
Slippers might seem like a basic gift, but don't underestimate how functional and useful they are. The Ansley slipper from UGG is like walking on a cloud. She'll love sliding her feet into these sheepskin lined slippers that keep feet warm, yet cool. Also, the stain resistant exterior and durable soles make them perfect for a run to the mailbox or trip outside.
Uncommon Goods Outdoor Wine Table
This is one of those genius, downright useful products that you’ll be tempted to keep for yourself instead of actually giving it to the recipient. Mom probably needs a glass or two of wine and this table makes it easy for her to enjoy vino while taking in a view, as the spike effortlessly plants in grass or even sand. The foldable table holds a wine bottle, two glasses, and has just enough space for a small plate of bites.
Traveller Collective Dainty Silver Necklace
With such a packed schedule, traveling may not currently be at the top of her list, but help mom reminisce about her favorite journeys in life with this necklace. The silver chain is dainty and simple (so it goes with everything) but the discs are engraved with the names of cities and countries. This can be a great keepsake item. The discs are sold separately, so purchase a few to get her started and maybe buy her a new one each year.
Core Meditation Trainer
A weekly meditation or yoga session might not be feasible for the busy mom, but this Core Meditation Trainer brings the zen right to her. The device works through an app to provide guided meditation, breathing exercises, or just relaxing nature sounds. It even allows mom to track her stress. She can use the device without a subscription or sign up for a monthly membership which provides additional access to specific classes, coaches, and new meditation sessions.
Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 Self Watering Indoor Garden
Mom doesn’t need a green thumb to grow herbs, fruit, and more with this indoor garden. The Click and Grow Indoor Smart Herb Garden comes with smart soil capsules, an easy-to-fill water tank, and an integrated LED grow light for added convenience. It also has built-in sensors to help ensure plants are getting exactly what they need—regardless of the weather outside—and the entire set-up is compact enough to fit on her kitchen counter or even desk. Plus, it's dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Slow Cooker
When you visit your friend or family member’s home, do you notice a slow cooker or air fryer on her counter? If the answer is no, then you need to bless her with this Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 that pretty much does it all. This fairly compact, dishwasher safe appliance will surely help mom get meals on the table much faster. Available in five to eight quarts, the appliance even features a tender crisp technology that cooks meat or veggies and then adds a nice golden finish.
Yeti Rambler 24 oz. Mug with Standard Lid
Ideal for the mom who has to grab her coffee and go, Yeti’s rambler is a one-handed wonder that easily fits in the cup holder of most cars. This stainless steel 24-ounce mug is vacuum-insulated to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold without any annoying condensation. Unlike other similar styles that can be hard to grip, this one features a handy handle that makes it easy to sip on the go.
Made to Plan Mom Planner - Daily Planner 2021
For people who still appreciate pen to paper, a planner is a great option. However, this isn’t just any planner. It’s the Mom Planner that maps tasks out by the day, and even the hour. Customize this planner for the mom in your life by selecting the color, layout, and even adding her name to the cover. While some planners need to be purchased at the start of the year, you can buy this planner at any time and determine the start month.
What to Look for in a Gift for a Busy Mom
Let's face it: busy moms may not have time for a gift that's not practical. Show you appreciate all her time and effort by giving her a gift that makes her chaotic life feel simpler. Any mom with a packed schedule is sure to appreciate a meal delivery service, a gift card to her favorite restaurant, or some babysitting.
Self-care shouldn't be an indulgence, especially for busy moms who are taking care of family members. Look for a gift that encourages mom to carve out some much-needed "me time," whether a gift card to the hair salon or spa, a nice skincare product, or the latest book by her favorite author. Bonus points if you pair it with a cozy blanket to relax under.
Moms with romantic partners don't get tons of time to invest in their relationship, so consider a gift that encourages just that. For example, you could buy the busy couple tickets to a concert or a gift card to a nice restaurant. Just make sure you don't forget to line up a babysitter, too (or offer to watch the kids yourself).
How much should you spend on gifts for mom?
When it comes to a gift for a mom, it's the thought that counts—really. Busy parents don't often get a lot of recognition, so any expression of your appreciation is sure to be cherished. And any mom would understand if you can't break the bank for a gift.
What gift should you give the mom who doesn't want anything?
We all know someone who won't list any ideas when you mention giving them a gift. In this case, respect their wishes while finding a different way to show your love, such as something homemade or quality time spent together.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Patrice J. Williams, who has contributed gift guides to The Spruce since 2020. In addition to her work for The Spruce, she also writes product reviews for other outlets as well as appearing on-air for The Today Show and WEtv. She was the Savvy Shopper reporter for WPIX in New York City, and loves helping her friends and family find unique, thoughtful, and wallet-friendly presents. Additional reporting was done by Ashley Abramson, a writer who has worked as editor for local print and online publications. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Allure, InStyle, MyDomaine, and more.