Family life

Why I don't want a Mother's Day gift

A Canadian survey says most moms want a gift for Mother’s Day, but Jennifer Pinarski would rather to go giftless. Here's why.

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Memories of Mother’s Day past. Jennifer Pinarski with Gillian.

Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences about giving up her big city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband, while staying home to raise their two young children.

My very first Mother’s Day gift cost $8. It was a home pregnancy test I bought nearly eight years ago and it revealed I was pregnant with my son, Isaac. OK, technically that $8 gift costs $243,660 (the estimated cost of raising a child for 18 years in Canada), but that exciting first Mother’s Day was also the last time I made a big deal out of it. The only thing I really wanted that year was ice cream.

Like my birthday, Valentine’s Day and Christmas, Mother’s Day is another day that I prefer to quietly acknowledge, instead of making a big hullabaloo. The idea of going for brunch with my two young children terrifies me, flowers are ridiculously overpriced for the occasion and store-bought cards add the the clutter I’m trying to cut. Call me a scrooge, but I just don’t want my family to buy me a gift for Mother’s Day.

Read more: Mother’s Day gift ideas: Our 2014 favourites >

Interestingly, I’m the minority when it comes to Mother’s Day. According to a survey conducted by Ignite Research on behalf of Ebates Canada, they found that 97 percent of moms want a gift and more than half have selected their own gift. Meals out, gift cards, jewellery and flowers top the list of what moms would like to wake up to next Sunday morning. Even an informal check-in with a few of my friends on social media confirmed what the Ignite and Ebates Canada research found, with cards, flowers and dining out being their top picks.

Maybe it’s because I’m thrifty, but the average $50 (according to what Ebates Canada found in their survey) that spouses and children spend on moms seems over top to me. The free gifts handmade by my kids have always said more to me about how much they care about everything I do for them. Personally, I don’t need a special day to celebrate my relationship with my family.

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My first Mother’s Day gift from Isaac.

But then again, $50 would buy a lot of ice cream.

Do you drop hints about what you’d like for Mother’s Day? Tweet me @JenPinarski.