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Mother's Day: What Mom Needs

Looking for a truly thoughtful Mother’s Day gift? Go beyond flowers and brunch by drawing inspiration from a classic psychological theory.


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Illustration by Aldo Crusher

Your mother always knows what you need—even when she asks, “Are you sure you’ll be warm enough in that?” This Mother’s Day, we’ve thought about how to enhance Mom’s life, using influential psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The theory proposes that humans are motivated by certain requirements, ranging from the basic (food, sleep, air) to the ineffable (esteem, self-actualization). So, celebrate the woman who gave you everything by examining her needs—and utilize Maslow’s pyramid as a gift guide.

 

SELF-ACTUALIZATION
Only after other needs are gratified, wrote Maslow, can a person work on achieving his or her full potential. For the questing mom, a meditation workshop could guide the way. The Art of Living offers meditation and happiness programs throughout the East Bay. artofliving.org.

ESTEEM
Pour your mom (and yourself) a glass of bubbly, and toast the many ways she’s helped you over the years. Or find a class that allows her to master a skill she’s drawn to, such as painting, bird-watching, cooking, or kayaking.

LOVE AND BELONGING
Spend the day with your mom doing her favorite activity—whether it’s hiking, going to a spa, or working on her scrapbook. If you’ve had a rocky relationship with her, simply send a card or check in with a call.

SAFETY
The woman who stopped you from sticking your fingers into sockets deserves to feel safe. Buy her cozy slippers and a calming herbal tea to bring some hygge into her life. For her peace of mind, gift a DIY emergency kit filled with useful items like an N95 face mask, emergency radio, and portable solar charger. You can even download the Cal Fire app on Mom’s phone.

PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS
Your mother’s survival needs are probably covered, but research confirms that she’ll sleep better if she wears amber-colored glasses when checking her phone at night to see if you’ve texted. Alternatively, you can combine sustenance with sublimity by appealing to her sweet side with a treat from Danville Chocolates. danvillechocolates.com.

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