29 Great Gifts for Mother's Day

It's not too late to get your one-of-a-kind mom something fun, inappropriate, or selfish (like a self-help book on not smothering your kid). Here are 29 suggestions.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

May 09 2013 6:18 PM ET

Peace of Mind
This one is especially good if the mom you're celebrating is your wife, not your mum. Give her piece of mind with the MobileKids App, which enables parents to monitor activity and set limits on a child’s mobile phone use without eavesdropping on private conversations or combing through text messages. After you load the app on your phone and the kid's phone, it offers filters to block inappropriate downloads and contacts, GPS-tracking capabilities, and weekly reports on downloads and phone usage. She can even set limits on times the phone can or can't be used. (MobileKids.com, $59 for one year; there's also a free version)

Books About Motherhood That Aren't Self-Help
There are far too many books aimed at mothers that just underscore the author's biases, the vast commercialization of "self-help," and cultural myopia around women's roles. These two books, one biography, one novel, do no such thing. In My Mother’s Wars, lesbian literary pioneer Lillian Faderman writes of her Jewish immigrant mother, who lived among the squalid factories of New York's Garment District in the 1930s and '40s as the family she left behind in Latvia remained in Hitler's deadly path. It's a story of unionizing, single motherhood, enduring guilt, and more. Meanwhile, Diana Gould's brilliant debut novel, Coldwater, tackles the intimate relationships we can build wtih children who aren't technically our own. It focuses on a woman on a downward spiral who forces sobriety on herself in order to find the missing daughter of a former lover to whom she has no legal relationship, meanwhile juggling AA, Hollywood power players, and characters straight out of a neo-noir. Brilliant and resonant for many women who have raised kids they didn't give birth to. (My Mother's Wars: Beacon, $25.99; Coldwater: Amazon.com, $12.21)

For the Mother of Your Children. Maybe Not Your Own Mother
Not that every woman doesn't deserve this, but unless you're both one of those super cool Our Bodies, Ourselves types, you might not want to give this to your mom. But it deserves attention: the Stronic Eins uses the latest technology to give you an orgasm. The Stronic Eins is the first toy in the world to actually thrust (not vibrate). It does not use classic turbine motors, rather, it contains a new patented technology, called Drive Technology, that is supposed to replicate the pulsating found in "naturalistic lovemaking." And if you snag one for your sweetie, be kind enough to include a bottle of the new Astroglide Sensitive Skin Ultra Gentle Gel Personal Lubricant (FunFactoryUSA.com, $199; Drugstore.com, $6.99 )

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