Want to truly make every day Mother's Day? Give her a clean house and some time alone.

Instead of thinking about what to give a mom in your life, think about what you could take away.

Pssst. I've got a Mother's Day secret. Moms don't really need a brunch or flowers, as lovely as those things are. What most moms I know really want are the things she rarely gets—a clean house, and time that belongs to her and her alone.

Don't get me wrong. Moms enjoy spending quality time with their kids. But I know few moms who would say they don't get enough time with their children. Our kid cups are full to overflowing most days. It's quality time with ourselves that we crave, but rarely get.


This is why we lock ourselves in the bathroom on occasion. This is why we sit for a few extra minutes in the car after we park in the driveway. This is why we slowly walk every aisle of Target when we're out for a "quick errand."

We want time to read a book uninterrupted. We want time to slowly drink a cup of coffee and stare out the window. We want time to sit in silence of an empty house and just be without having to think about someone else's needs for a while.

We love our families, but the constant flow of our energy to our loved ones takes its toll.

Moms nurture. We teach. We comfort. We worry. We give ourselves to our children and partners, and most of the time we are happy to do so. It's a role we chose to take on (most of us, anyway) and we wouldn't trade being a mom for anything in the world.

But that doesn't mean we don't need breaks sometimes.

A poll conducted by TVBed.com and reported by the Daily Mail found that out of 2000 moms surveyed, three quarters felt like they live their lives entirely for other people. Many moms reported that they go weeks at a time without any "me time," and on average, mothers get a mere 17 minutes a day to themselves. That's not healthy for anyone.

One of the best things someone can do for a mom who's in the thick of motherhood is take her kids for a while. Make sure she knows they are safe and cared for and having a good time, and tell her to go take a few hours for herself. It doesn't matter what she chooses to do with that time—it's hers.

I guarantee she'll think it's one of the best gifts she's ever gotten.

Studies show that women still take on the lion's share of housework. That takes its toll too.

While gender roles aren't nearly as defined as they used to be, much of the work of childrearing and housekeeping still falls on women. Some of that is natural—babies and toddlers in particular tend to gravitate towards their first source of nourishment and nurturing—but some is leftover from days past when a woman's place was in the home.

And the housework bit gets really old after a few years. When you live with children, there is constant picking up, constant wiping up, constant sweeping up. It never ends. Just to have a decently tidy house requires a consistent, diligent effort to stay on top of the perpetual messiness of it all.

And that's just living with children. One might assume that living with a partner would make housework easier, as you can split the duties. But research shows that women with husbands actually do more housework than single moms do. Unless you live with a man who truly pulls his weight, having a partner actually makes housework worse.

I fortunately married a man who is awesome about splitting household duties, but even at that, our house is rarely clean for longer than a few hours. If someone gifted me few hours of professional house cleaning, I'd be thrilled. Heck, if someone just offered to fold my laundry for a few days, I'd be eternally grateful. Taking away the burden of constant housework, even just for a little while, is a wonderful gift.

I'm telling you, a clean house and time alone. That's what most moms really want anyway.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.