Being a mom is the hardest job on earth. It’s dirty, messy, and (most days out of the year) thankless. Your mom took your ignorant, wiggling young mind and, from scratch, filled you up with confidence, manners, and poise. She taught you how to read, wiped your tush, and let’s not even get started on those nasty teenage years. This Sunday is Mother’s Day and, as usual, she says that she doesn’t want anything. Don’t fall for it. What can capture all your vast appreciation for her in a single present? Well, nothing. But you still have to try!

Flowers are the notorious go-to for Mother’s Day but I prefer sending a different type long distance goodie: Wicked Whoopies. The traditional New England delicacy is perfect for the Mom with a sweet tooth. The Maine-based company will let you build your own box of the heavenly treats by mixing their 21 flavors including banana creme, chocolate dipped, raspberry and creme, pumpkin, red velvet and orange creamiscle. A dozen classic Whoopie pies are $24 and a dozen of the choose-your-own variety packs will set you back $28 a dozen.

All your Mom really wants to do is spend some quality time with you. If you’re lucky enough to have a mother close by, treat her (and you) to an afternoon out. Spoil her with some tickets to any of the Mom-approved shows currently running in Chicago, including Billy Elliot The Musical and the Hitchcock-masterpiece-turned-comedy The 39 Steps. If your Mom isn’t a theater bug, consider taking her on Shoreline’s Architecture River Cruise, where you’ll take a leisurely sail down the Chicago River and learn about the iconic landmark that dot the Second City’s skyline. Tickets start at $23 for adults and $20 for seniors.

Moms are always putting themselves last on the list. Why not get her something that she’d never get for herself? Spoil your mom by booking her a massage, facial or spa treatment she’d never get for herself. Make an afternoon of mother-daughter mani-pedis so you can mix pampering and quality time.

If you have time, custom-made presents are a great way to honor the family matriarch. Etsy seller Diffraction Fiber makes pillows featuring your family’s profiles in silhouette ($32). Get your mom a whole set of all the children (and grandchildren, if you’re feeling generous) to line up on the living room sofa ready to brag about to visitors. If your Mom loves jewelry, Etsy’s Jane Wear Jewelry will custom-make her a necklace featuring the whole family’s fingerprints ($70). If your Mom still hasn’t mastered gmail, Oh Louise Designs will make her a beautiful set of stationary cards featuring her monogram and favorite colors (12 for $12).

Whatever gift you end up getting your Mom this Sunday, make sure that it’s accompanied by a huge hug and an even bigger thank you for all the love, nurturing and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches she’s given you over the years.

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