Mother’s Day is right around the corner this Sunday, and in preparation, CivicScience examined how Americans plan to celebrate and what they plan to spend. But one crucial piece of the puzzle remains to be heard from: Mothers.

So, how well do Mother’s Day plans this year align with what mothers want? Here’s a look at what is the most desirable from their perspective:

How Moms Want to Spend Mother’s Day

Time is a valuable commodity for a growing number of Americans, and according to new CivicScience data, this holds true for mothers in terms of their ideal Mother’s Day plans. Nearly half (49%) of U.S. women who are parents would most like to spend their day in a manner that money can’t buy: quality time with their loved ones. One in five most enjoy celebrating with a meal out – just as more people plan to do so for Mother’s Day this year.

Ten percent lean toward a different approach altogether, preferring to treat themselves with some time away, be it a spa day or yoga, for example. A community Mother’s Day event is the least popular choice, while 18% have an alternative option in mind for celebrating the day.

Dining Out Tops the Gift List

Along the lines of family connection, a plurality of women who are parents (39%) prefer a meal out with their family as their Mother’s Day gift. Coming in a distant second (14%) is a thoughtful handmade gift from their children. Experience-related gifts (12%), flowers (12%), and a day off from parenting duties (7%) round out the top five most popular Mother’s Day gifts.

On the other hand, material items such as clothing/accessories and jewelry (6%), chocolates and other sweets (5%), and electronics or other media (4%) are among the least preferable presents.

Although a restaurant meal with family is the favored choice among all age groups, mothers aged 55+ show a greater preference for this choice than other generations. Mothers under 35, meanwhile, are more likely to desire ‘electronics/media’ or ‘clothing/accessories/jewelry.’ Older Millennials and Gen Xers aged 35-54 are around twice as likely than other age groups to prefer an experience-based gift, such as a spa day. This group – who index as the most likely to have children aged 18 and younger – may be looking for some much-needed pampering and time to relax amid the stresses of managing childcare. They are also the most likely to just want to be given a ‘day off from parenting duties.’

More Mother’s Day Insights:

  • Mothers residing in a city are more inclined towards spending Mother’s Day ‘doing something special for myself’ than those living in suburbs or rural areas. Mothers living in rural areas are the most likely to prefer ‘going out for a meal.’
  • Mothers who consider themselves morning people tend to gravitate towards experiential gifts like a spa day, while those who identify as night owls often prefer receiving flowers as a gift.
  • Mothers who prefer a meal with family as their gift are more likely to favor red wine, while those who would appreciate a handmade card or gift from their children tend to prefer white wine. Moms who want to receive chocolate or sweets highly prefer rosé. 

While there is some variation in how American mothers prefer to celebrate and what they like to receive on Mother’s Day, it’s clear that family connection plays a significant role in making the day special. 

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