While some gifts begin with the best of intentions (Spa Day anyone?), those presents can quickly become just another source of stress for busy parents. Great that you have a free facial. Now you have to arrange and pay for a babysitter so you can go. Stress level 10. We pull back the curtain to share what gifts are guaranteed to please stressed out parents.
Presents That Please Parents
Last minute shopper? Don’t worry. We are totally looking out for you, too. That’s because most of these presents can be purchased from the comfort of your couch via the glory and ease of online shopping. So sit down, get your credit card ready, pull out your list and get ready to move to the top of everyone’s “they get me, they really really get me” list.
A Car Detail
Nothing reminds me that I have small children faster than stepping into my car. Between the Cheez-It dust of yesteryear and the forgotten gummy bears under the seats, it’s a brutal reminder that I share my car with tiny messy screamers.
Even if you swear you will never ever let the kids eat in the car, one day you’ll be on your way home late. There will be whining. The prospect of the quiet that french fries can bring will outweigh the prospect of greasy handprints on your windows.
This will crush your soul a little bit because when you got your first car you washed her by hand every week and made people take their shoes off before they got in.
Even if their only travels are from home to school drop off to the grocery store, parents deserve to do it in a clean car. So treat that parent in your life to a full car detail.
This is something they won’t do for themselves. Spending money on car detailing would be just another reminder that kids are expensive. (Tip: you can make the detail less so by using a daily deal site such as Living Social or Groupon, which often have car detailing for 1/2 off or more)
But, when they sit in that cleaned up car, you will have given them a priceless gift: 10 minutes of zen before the gummy bears return.
Prepaid Quick Dinner Gift Cards
Know someone with a busy schedule and several kids? Has another parent ever shared their wine with you at a soccer game and lamented the fact that they can’t even physically make it between the three schools their kids attend in the allotted pickup time? So they have arrange the pick-up to end with the child who is least likely to wander off?
Enter Domino’s Pizza gift cards (or something similar). When they are sitting in a parking lot waiting for Junior and realize they don’t know what to do for dinner, they will thank you. Especially once they enter their order online and pick it up on the way home. Magic!
Just about every parent has the same answer when you ask, “What do you miss most now that you have kids?”
We love our kidsl. Really. It’s just that we love them a little more when we’ve gotten a solid 8 hours.
There are two ways to give this priceless present:
- Remove the parent(s) from the house. Send the parent(s) on a staycation to a local hotel where they can unplug the alarm clock and sleep as late as they want (or until 10 minutes before check-out time, whichever comes first). Then settle into their house. After all, someone has to watch the kids for 24 hours.
- Remove the kids from the house. Take them on a full-day outing. It doesn’t give parents a full night off, but if you run the kids around enough, they should go straight to sleep when you get them home.
If you want to level up this gift we recommend leaving a gift basket at the hotel with some snacks, drinks, and all of those lotions and bath products they have gotten and never been able to use.
Or their drink/vice of choice. Tonic water, Swedish fish, cigars, coffee, Yoohoo or Moxie for nostalgia? It’s all up for grabs. This is the feel good gift for your frazzled friend. You can pretend to be classy and give a bottle of wine that featured on Wine Spectator or you can hand over a 750mL of Knob Creek and “Shhh. This isn’t a coffee mug” cup.
Not a drinker? Grab some fancy coffee from a hipster coffee shop and a Chemex. And remember adult coloring books relieve stress and pair well with both booze and coffee.
Bonus points if the present comes with a card that simply says: You are a rockstar, I don’t know how you do it.