Whoa, Mama: Unique Gift Ideas for Single Mothers

By Erin Donnelly

Think Santa has a tough gig, squeezing down the world’s chimneys at breakneck speed, micro-managing a team of elves, and spending a good chunk of his time staring at reindeer butts? Try being a single mom. They work just as hard as Ol’ Saint Nick, only they don’t get 364 days off a year and there certainly aren’t any milk and cookies laid out. With that in mind, we’re urging you to toast the flying-solo mamas in your life—even if it’s, in fact, you—with our special Single Mother Gift Guide. Grab something to help make a loved one’s life just a little less hectic, or treat your single-mom self to a little “me time” gift-giving. You’ve totally earned it.

Life Savers: Life-Simplifying Gifts

Kate Spade 2012 Desk CalendarEvery single mother—heck, pretty much every human being—could use a gift that streamlines, de-stresses, and simplifies our life. Help your pal stay organized and on top of her myriad PTA meetings, doctor appointments, and soccer games with Kate Spade’s playfully designed desk calendar, or a floral-printed WeekDate planner, which tracks recurring commitments.

Another great gift idea: treat her to a gift certificate to a kid-friendly restaurant or a gift card to Dream Dinners, which cuts down on kitchen and grocery shopping time by assembling the ingredients for tasty, seasonal dishes perfect for families.

Speaking of food, a digital DaysAgo kitchen tool—a certified Oprah pick—is a clever gadget that any mom will love; affix the digital clock to leftovers, baby food, meats, etc. to keep track of its freshness (or not so freshness).

Finally, we all know single moms are short on personal time. And if you happen to be short on funds, there’s one gift you can give that will keep everyone happy: the gift of your babysitting services. (Bring the new Wall-E DVD and some chicken nuggets and everything will work out just fine.)

Single Parent Reads

Want to give your loved one something to read besides “Goodnight, Moon”? Pay for a subscription ($19.99) to Single Parent Magazine, a bimonthly publication that addresses the issues that single parents face.

Another page-turner: Life in Beauty by Kate Porter, a single mother who seeks to find the pure beauty in life’s experiences.

Gifts that Give Back

Why not give a gift that you can both feel great about? Charity Choice gift cards are perfect for budding philanthropists—you buy the card, and the recipient can select up to three different charities (from a list of 100) to donate the amount to.

Add some fun to the mix with the DivaGirl Game, a fabulous girls-night-out party game that donates a portion of every sale to women’s and children’s charities like Camp Laurel and Home Makers.

We also love the You Are My Inspiration pay-it-forward gift offering from the Step Up Women’s Network. Buy an “Inspiration Gift” ($50 and up) in honor of an amazing woman in your life, and you’ll both receive a gorgeous Isabella Bijoux necklace, while an underprivileged teen girl in the Step Up program receives a gift (a digital camera, money towards a college visit, etc.) in your pal’s honor.

Know a new mom? Snag her some Dr. Bloom’s Chewable Jewels, eye-catching baubles that are safe for teething babies to gnaw on.

The finishing touch: a Kids Helping Kids gift card from MAC Cosmetics, an adorable set of illustrated cards that benefit children living with HIV and AIDS.

Pampered Presents

Just want to shower a single mom with love? You can’t go wrong with a stunning and sentimental Etched Four-Photo Locket from Things Remembered, or an incredibly indulgent Italian-inspired beauty gift set (a bargain at $25) from La Dolce Diva—almond biscotti or tiramisu, anyone?

Or, splurge on a beyond-relaxing Jimmyjane Form 6 Vibrating Massager, a waterproof wand designed to work the kinks out.

If that doesn’t do the trick, snuggling up to an irresistibly soft Max Daniel Adult Throw—available in a slew of sassy animal prints—surely will.

And jewelry buffs on the hunt for something unique will fall hard for the nature-inspired, sustainable pieces from Prismera Designs. Our favorite: the cheerful, stainless steel leaf motif of the Woodruff Necklace. What mom—or woman, for that matter—wouldn’t love that?

Other Great SMW Gift Ideas

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Holiday Gifts for Staff and Boss

Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty Gift Ideas