It’s the classic, generic elementary school Mother’s Day card blessing: “Dear Mom, I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you. I love you.”

Indeed! We get it. We know that our little jelly-smeared, doll-faced kiddoes aren’t trying to give us a medical school lecture on the human genome. They are, in the most tender and efficient way possible, saying that Mom is important, that she’s irreplaceable—that she’s Mom!

It doesn’t get any easier to try to sum that up as the years go by. It’s hard to put words to just how important Mom is. She’s certainly worthy of more than just a special Sunday each year, in which she gets inundated with cheesy cards, burned toast, lovely hugs and a sink full of dishes to wash on Monday morning.

Gifts are a symbol. They represent something more valuable than their price tag, something more lasting than their shelf life and something more significant than their sparkle (though sparkle does have its place!).

Gifts represent the concepts of recognition, of purposefulness, of focused attention. The recipient—in this case Mom—feels the aim of appreciation, the significance of being honored and the exclusiveness of being recognized for her tireless excursions into the jungle of child rearing.

Gifts often start couples down the road to marriage and motherhood (see said reference to sparkle above), but gifts can also help couples stay off the road to divorce court. A friend of mine recently told me a story. She was having lunch with another friend of hers, and they started talking about a tiff that had transpired between her and her husband over where the TV remote had been misplaced. My friend had an inspired solution: a universal remote app for their phones. Remotes are shared and get lost. There’s just one of them. If your phone is your remote, it’s harder to lose and when you do lose it, you know exactly who’s to blame! Just kidding about the blaming part, of course.

We don’t often associate tech gifts like universal remote apps with Mothers Day, but we’d be wrong to assume that we should overlook tech and dive right into the flowers and cards. Don’t misunderstand. You must do the flowers and the cards, but why not explore some new ideas as well? Change it up.

  • Go big. For those who are looking to get out of a huge doghouse or just to be extra special nice with sugar on top, Mom might be the perfect person to adorn with the new Apple Watch. It’s versatile enough for a variety of styles and sensibilities. Just make sure dad keeps it off his wrist and on hers.
  • Go small. Perhaps Mom already has all the tech a girl could want. Phones, tablets, laptops…they get a little boring on the outside after a while. It’s super cheap and simple to spruce up her current tech with a facelift. You can order personalized covers and “skins” for almost any device. Sure it can be a bit cheesy, but she’s your Mom. She raised you. She can handle cheese like no other.
  • Go smaller. Moms are busy. In our house, I’m usually the one who can’t find my keys, but maybe in your house, Mom’s the guru of misplacing. She’s rushing to and fro, her calendar is stacked, she has meetings, events, lunches, dinners, presentations, and she has to drop one of the kids off at daycare five minutes ago and can’t find her keys. There are a range of devices, such as the Tile, that can help solve this old problem with new technology.

Okay, now for the final thoughts and to address the elephant in the article. What if buying tech for Mom makes your eye twitch, not twinkle? You know that you’ll be getting the call: “Dear, I can’t seem to turn this thing on. Sweetie, do you remember my password that we set up a few Christmases ago?”

Perhaps rather than buying new tech for Mom, the most compelling gift that you could offer her is to put down the phone, make your way to her house, enjoy some time catching up on life and taking some extra time to sort out her tech challenges face-to-face.

While you’re at it, please remember to tell her that you love her and that “you wouldn’t be here without her.” It will be the most important gift that you’ll ever give her.

Richard Singleton, MACE, MAMFC, LPC, is the executive director at STARRY in Round Rock.

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