What should I get my tomboy mom for Mother’s Day?

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Your tomboy mom may love this flask

With Mother’s Day around the corner I find myself in the same predicament as I always do this time of year — trying to figure out what to get my Mom.

My mom is a lesbian, has been out of the closet for 25 years. Over the years she has become more and more butch which means all the frilly pink and purple cards and mother’s day gifts just don’t work.

I have had advice to just treat it as a father-type of situation but she’s not manly. It’s a fine line that’s confusing even to me after all these years. So my question is: just what do you get a tomboy Mom for mother’s day, without it being too manly… still showing appreciation for her as Mom! — Stephanie

We love this question! Of course the easy answer is “what’s she interested in, and get her something related” … but you need more help than that or you wouldn’t be here, so here are a few ideas:

PHOTOS: framed memories from fun times together

If you’ve got pictures of your mom on your phone or on Instagram, MyPhoto makes it super easy to upload your pics and make cute gifts like these wooden blocks.

SWEET: fresh treats delivered straight to her door!

You can have this freshly made rainbow cake like this delivered to the couple’s house, thanks to Goldbelly.

If she identifies with the pride vibes, you could go for a rainbow cake from Goldbelly!


  • NATURAL: Help the couple grow during quarantine (literally!) by sending a living, growing plant gift from The Sill  — we love their Plant Parent Club!

Is your mom also a plant parents? If so, she might love TheSill.com’s PLANT PARENT CLUB. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

SOCK MONKEYS: but a family

Yep, a cute little set, dressed up like you ‘n’ mom?

A really nice engraved knife

Ignore what it says in sample picture above… imagine this knife reading HER NAME across the top, and then Best fucking mom ever along the bottom?

Comments on What should I get my tomboy mom for Mother’s Day?

  1. My mom is straight, but not girly at all (she was thrilled that I ordered my wedding dress online, saving her the whole dress-searching-appointment thing). She is also very difficult to shop for since she has everything she NEEDS, and doesn’t like the clutter of unneeded gadgets and knick knacks. IF we were the kind of family that got all excited for Hallmark holidays (we’re not; we barely celebrate birthdays), I’d probably buy her the gift of an experience for Mother’s Day, like tickets to some kind of performance or art exhibit. She’d never buy herself something like this, yet she greatly appreciates art and folksy music. Sooooo….does your mom like a certain kind of music or entertainment (comedy show?) that you could get her tickets to?

  2. My mom isn’t lesbian, but in the past 12 years since my dad died, she has run a 200 acre cattle farm by herself,as well as working a home-based business. She’s not very girly at all either. I ended up ordering her a Blurb book with pictures of the kids, me, and my boyfriend, since she always complains that she never has any pictures of the kids since they’re all on Facebook.
    My boyfriend’s mom isn’t girly either, but I did get her a necklace. Not just any necklace though….it has a Mumford and Sons quote as the pendant, handmade from Etsy, since Mumford and Sons is one of her favorite bands.

  3. Ditto all the people that said to get her a gift based on her interests. I’m a tomboy and frilly gifts…not so great for me. I’m also not a big fan of giving knick knacks that commemorate a holiday.

    Of course, the best gift is always to do an activity together 😀 Take her up in a hot air balloon or go bike riding and have a bite to eat!

  4. What about an experience? We go all out for mother’s day brunch (helps that my wife is a chef and LOVES to put on these elaborate crazy meals). House cleaning? A gift certificate to a travel destination (like a B&B)? My mom isn’t super girly but isn’t butch either (and is straight), and I usually go with gifts that have an immediate use (which is usually practical) or gift certificates towards something. I dislike giving STUFF, since we all seem to have so darn much of it. 🙂

  5. Maybe something related to something something the two of you enjoyed doing together when you were a kid or enjoy doing together now? Or something you’re learned from her. Or something that makes her an awesome parent.

    Or, if you live close enough to her, take her out to dinner or go do something she enjoys doing together (Movie? Camping?)

  6. I’m a genderqueer female with no like of the girly things as per se. That is, don’t get me pinky and frilly because it’s pink and frilly, but it might be okay because of whatever else it is.
    Ideas that I don’t think have been covered:
    If she’s not into ‘stuff’, how about tickets to an event or road trip?
    If she’s has enough knick knacks or isn’t into getting more of a type of thing (say, everyone and their auntie gets her things with her favorite teams sports logo), try a perishable. She like tea? Chocolate? Steak? Popcorn?
    My family tends to give each other cash, or let them buy something and then reimburse them. It seems impersonal to some, but that fits our personalities well. “What did I get you?” “A sweater.” “I’ll write you a check.”

  7. How bout something fun? She’s ur mum, so she’d prolly looooooooooooove to spend more time with u. Maybe movie tickets? or laser tag? or a case of her favorite beer? or one of those hilarious singing cards? something with nothing to do with mother’s day, just something to celebrate u and her.

  8. Everybody likes extension cords. This is a fact.
    But seriously (although I am serious about extension cords being a useful gift), I think some sort of accessory for their mode of transportation is nice (magazine subscription for public transit, cup holder for bike, CD for car, etc.) is cool

  9. My straight mom in her words she is a “renaissance woman”. She wore jewelry and nail polish with a face of makeup and smelling like perfume everyday before she went to work AND was always excited to recieve tools and computer gadets and more stereotypically male presents than when I tried to take her out shopping or do spa days. She even tied my prom date’s tie when my dad couldn’t. She was the one my aunt called to help fix the toilet my Gamma called to help her with her pc and honestly she is the reason I love watching hgtv shows, although I admit I like the decorating shows more than the remodel shows. 😉

  10. This is a bit of a struggle for me as well. While my mom is not “butch” or a lesbian the traditional Mother’s day gifts and cards never seem to do the trick for a mom who spends her time building chicken coops and watching football:) I usually make her a card (Greetings Workshop but you can use Word or lots of other things) with my own message and a picture of us from the past year on it. Then for a present I get her something she’d like or use. I got her chicks one year and this year I got her a Lloyd Clarke gift certificate. It doesn’t have to be a “Mother’s Day” Gift just something you think she would like: a book, cooking equipment, memorbilia, her favorite tv season on DVD, whatever she’s into get her that! I know it’s after Mother’s Day but I figured I’d share my two cents about my own Offbeat Mama!

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