We asked moms to describe the perfect Mother's Day. Their replies were strikingly similar.

When I asked moms what they really want for Mother's Day, the answers were strikingly similar.

Most of us don't want flowers or candy — though those things are nice. We could pass up a Mother's Day meal out with our kids, since wrangling them into acceptable public behavior and cleaning up a drink they spilled across the table isn't exactly relaxing.

What moms told me they really want for Mother's Day doesn't involve buying anything or going anywhere. "What I really want is to be alone, totally alone for an entire waking day," one mom said. "And I don't want to feel guilty about it. Just for one day."


Another replied, "A day off. No cooking, cleaning, or breaking up fights. I want to be waited on, someone to bring me snacks and drinks, and take a nap. Then I want to read in the sun."

A third mom admitted, "I don't want to do anything. I want my kids and husband to literally do everything. I don't want to wake up with anyone, I don't want to wipe any butts, I don't want to make any meals. I just want to hug and kiss my babies but be a spectator that day and watch from the stands."

Answer after answer followed the same theme: We want time that is our own without anyone needing anything from us.

Image via Guilty Chocoholic Mama.

It's not that moms don't want to be moms on Mother's Day — we just want a break from the relentless, never-ending work of motherhood.

We all deeply love our children. We'd step in front of a train or wrestle a grizzly bear to protect them. We revel in the sound of their laughter and relish the sweet smell of their heads. We miss them when we're separated from them for too long.

But that doesn't mean we don't need a serious break in the worst way.

Motherhood is all-consuming. And it's not just the physical, logistical stuff (though that alone would be enough). It's the mental and emotional exhaustion that goes along with molding little humans into decent, not-too-screwed-up people for years on end. It's just so, so much, all the time.

Parenting involves a lot of emotional labor and that can be exhausting.

In Harper's Bazaar, Gemma Hartley wrote in depth about how women often bear the brunt of "emotional labor" in families. She opens with this story:

"For Mother's Day I asked for one thing: a house cleaning service. Bathrooms and floors specifically, windows if the extra expense was reasonable. The gift, for me, was not so much in the cleaning itself but the fact that for once I would not be in charge of the household office work. I would not have to make the calls, get multiple quotes, research and vet each service, arrange payment and schedule the appointment. The real gift I wanted was to be relieved of the emotional labor of a single task that had been nagging at the back of my mind. The clean house would simply be a bonus."

But Hartley's husband didn't understand all of that. He thought she just wanted a clean bathroom, so he deep cleaned the bathroom while she spent the day caring for their kids and the rest of the house remained un-deep-cleaned. While it's nice that he tried to do what he thought she wanted, he totally missed the mark.

It wasn't about just about having a clean bathroom or house. It was about wanting a break from the physical and emotional labor that so often falls on a mom's shoulders without anyone recognizing it.

Bottom line: The best gift you can give a mother with young kids is a slice of time that is hers alone — without any responsibilities, worry, or guilt.

We'd love for someone to clean our house and take our kids away to something fun for a few hours so we can actually enjoy our clean house before it gets destroyed again. We'd like some time to nap. Some silent time to read a book without interruption. Some time to shower without interruption.

It would be great to have some time to think, meditate, brush up on a hobby, slowly sip some coffee — without interruption. Just some free time to ourselves to spend as we please. (And if someone could come put our kids to bed for us, that would be even better.)

A fabulous Mother's Day doesn't have to cost a thing. Sometimes freedom away from worry and responsibility is the best gift a mom could possibly receive.

Image via Motherhood and More.

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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.

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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.