Gifting

woman unboxing a nice stepmother gift
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20 Best Gifts For Stepmoms

Make your “bonus mom” feel extra special with these thoughtful presents.

If you have a “bonus mom” in your life, you might want to give her a gift to show your love and appreciation. The gifts for stepmoms on this list are all super-cute and plenty practical, but just a little bit luxurious too. From art to decorate her phone or computer, delicious cookies, nail polish and lotions, and books to read (maybe while curled up under the wearable blanket on the list) these gifts will all make your stepmother feel pampered and care for. You might be getting her a gift for her birthday, for Stepmother’s Day, or just because. Some of them are a nod to her status as “bonus mom” and some are just great gifts for a woman of any age. (If you’re getting her something for Stepmother’s Day, you can add to the celebration by paying tribute to her with one of these cute Stepmother’s Day quotes on social media.)

Stepmothers don’t always get a lot of care. Wednesday Martin, Ph.D., an expert on steparent/stepchild relationships (who wrote a book ironically titled Stepmonster) noted that these women don’t have it easy: “The pressure on women who have children with men — to blend, to love, to take the high road, to fix it, to put his kids first, to have a sense of humor in the face of repeated rebuffs — are overwhelming... everyone knows that nobody wants a stepmother.” Despite all these negative societal messages, and plenty of fairy-tale propaganda about their evilness, lots of people love and value their stepmoms. The phrase “bonus mom” is a nod to that — she’s not the same as your mom, but she’s another amazing woman in your life. And that’s definitely something to celebrate.

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1

Some weights for the stepmom who has embraced at-home workouts

These Bala Bangles can take a sporty stepmom to the next level no matter what kind of workout she enjoys. They come in either 1 or 2 pounds, and come in a whole variety of colors: sand, sea, blush, and charcoal. They’re “one size fits most” and sit comfortably the wrists or ankles. They work to add extra resistance to barre workouts, strength training, or even just walking or running. A stepmom who has embraced at-home workouts will appreciate the chance to take her workout to the next level and make it just a little more challenging.

2

A keychain that lets everyone know how she really feels

Whether she is a T-Swift fan or not, this Etsy “Fuck the Patriarchy” keychain is something everyone needs these days. These keychains are made out of leather and come in black, gold, silver, and rose-gold. Both the key ring and the pendant are one inch, making this key ring large enough to hold a few of her keys but small enough to also just be a decorative part of a larger set. It looks super-elegant and unobtrusive, and no one’s likely to notice the swear if she’s in mixed company. It’s only when you read the message that you realize that this is anything but a basic keychain.

3

A journal to help her connect with her authentic self

Glennon Doyle’s best-selling book Untamed now has a journal counterpart, “Get Untamed: The Journal” that will help your stepmother stop settling for less. It’s a great choice for a stepmom who likes to write, or one who is just a fan of Glennon Doyle’s brand of no-nonsense and compassionate advice. Prompts include “What were you taught to believe makes a good daughter/child?” and “What were you taught to believe makes a good wife/partner?” and “What did your culture hold up as ideals for you to strive for?” Doyle encourages the reader to examine those beliefs and then reconnect with their actual values.

4

A handy device for reading in bath

It doesn’t get much more luxurious than sinking down into a bubble bath and reading without fear that you’re going to make the pages waterlogged. This waterproof Kindle Paperwhite is a great gift for a stepmom who loves baths and loves to read but never has enough time to do either. The screen has glare-free display that reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight, and weighs only 6.41 ounces with a 6-inch screen, so it’s easy to hold one-handed. It can withstand immersion in fresh water for 60 minutes and immersion in seawater for three minutes (probably not a big deal unless she really likes to read while scuba diving!) You could load it with some of the books on her “to be read” nightstand table to really take this gift over the top.

5

A cute and colorful way to keep track of the charger

If she lives in all iPhone house (particularly with teenagers) your stepmom might be a little sick of her charger constantly being used by everyone else. This personalized iPhone charger box that you can order with her name on it should do the trick of letting everyone know that this is her charger, not yours, and to let her phone get to 100% without being unceremoniously yanked off its charger. It is designed to fit the iPhone factor charger (1 inch by 1.4 inches) and comes in 16 different colors including “silky purple” and “sky blue.” This is a particularly nice gift for a stepmom whose name has an unusual spelling and who can therefore never find anything personalized in the stores.

6

A sweet way to keep her getting flowers all year long

Flowers on a special day, like stepmother’s day or her birthday, are nice —but flowers wilt, as we all know, and wouldn’t it be nice if she had a fresh bouquet coming to her door all year? A flower subscription from The Bouqs Co. will have fresh flowers arriving on her doorstep on any interval you choose (weekly, bieweekly, monthly, or bimonthly) to keep the surprises coming. You can customize your plan: “original” will get a monthly order of 10-16 stems, deluxe will get you 20-32 stems, and grand will get you 30-45 stems. You can also change the delivery size for a given order (if it’s her birthday month, maybe she gets an extra special bouquet). You have control to send or snooze your delivery schedule, but this subscription service will remember for you so that you won’t be googling “late night flower delivery” before a big occasion!

7

Gorgeous nail polish in eye-catching colors

This nail polish is vegan, cruelty-free, Black-woman owned—-and straight-up gorgeous. Coming in all kinds of unorthodox colors that will make her fingers and toes really pop, this Ginger and Liz nail polish is a luxurious treat that won’t break the bank. A lot of the colors have cheeky names (“Truth by Told” is a “flamingo melon shade in the pink family with neon undertones and opaque coverage;” “Inner G” is “cool mint green hue with opaque coverage” intended to help the wearer “keep a cool head a warm heart.”) Each nail polish bottle yields approximately 30 manicures, so she’ll have super stylish nails for months if you get her one of these.

8

A long-lasting candle with a message to make her smile

In case “you’re a badass bonus mom” doesn’t say it all, this “Bonus Mom” candle lets you add a further personalized message so you can put an inside joke or just a few more lines about how fantastic she is. Every time she lights it, she’ll get reminded of your admiration and love — what could be nicer than that? You have the option to choose from seven lovely scents: wildflower, “in bloom” (which includes orange blossom and agave— yum), sweet jasmine, sunkissed (which includes “jasmine and lily of the valley), and “golden hour” (which includes eucalyptus, crisp mint, and sugarcane). It’s 16 ounces, has a burn time of over 80 hours, and made of all-natural ingredients. For $2.80 extra you can add a Mast chocolate bar, and for $5.20 extra the seller will include a little jar of matches to make this gift even better.

9

Comfy sandals that are too cute to pass up

During the summer you need a versatile shoe that stands up to whatever you throw at it, so what could be a better gift than shoe that’s both super comfy and super cute? These Teva sandals come in 12 different color choices, but I’m partial to the “90’s Multi” look where the straps include yellow, green, pink and blue. They’re made of recycled materials and are vegan, so they’re a great gift for a stepmom who wants to be part of saving the planet. These will take her from the park to the beach all summer long. They’re even waterproof so she can wear them into the ocean, and they have a rigged rubber sole that makes them great for some short hikes. Despite all that, you could still pair them with a dress or some dressy shorts and wear them to a backyard barbecue.

10

Body butter that’s almost too pretty to use

This deliciously hydrating and beautiful Unicorn Fruit Whipped Body Butter from Truly has acai berries and matcha, and has a playful vibe like the short-lived unicorn Frappuccino. Its base is made of shea butter and includes both Vitamin E and collagen to make her skin feel really great. It’s a nice gift for your stepmom to feel cared for, and will look beautiful on the bathroom shelf until she uses it all up. If the 1.3 ounce size that this comes in isn’t enough, you can do a “subscribe and save” order where $18 will get you the same size product delivered every 30, 60, or 90 days. Many of the reviews suggest that a little goes a long way, so, despite the small size this product, it should give some long-lasting hydration for her skin.

11

A wearable blanket for cozy days

A crackling fire, a good book, and this Cozy Sherpa Wearable Throw sounds like the most hygge thing ever. This wearable blanket is super cozy but significantly less silly looking that the Slanket. It comes in cream and gray, and will make a stepmom who likes to stay in and stay warm feel like you really get her. It’s 58 inches by 60 inches, made of polyester sherpa, and is machine washable (the last thing anyone needs is a dry-clean only blanket!) She could wear it as a beach cover up, around a campfire, or just on the couch around the house — and no one is going to make her share this blanket. It also has a hood which could come in handy right after the shower or whenever it gets particularly cold. It’s not quite a bathrobe, and it’s not quite a blanket — it’s just its own thing, and it looks too cozy to pass up.

12

A book for her to laugh and cry along with

Adiba Nelson’s brand-new book Ain’t That A Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything in Between is not your average motherhood memoir. Nelson writes with honesty and humor about navigating her complex relationship with her own mother, being a parent to a child with high medical needs, and discovering a love for burlesque dancing. In the opening pages, Nelson writes “The curse of falling in love with married men would stop with me. And the curse of having children with married men and then raising them alone would also stop with me.” But, the real story, shall we say, gets a little more complicated than that. If your stepmother likes books with both humor and heart, this would be a great choice.

13

A cute tote that tells everyone how great she is

Let your bonus mom announce how great she is to everyone, whether she’s out on the town or just at the grocery store. This cute “World’s Best Bonus Mom” tote bag is pictured with a pattern of arrows and sweet words in a curly script, but it’s fully customizable if there’s an image that she would like even better. It’s also available in five different sizes, from “tiny” (11 inches tall by 14.5 inches wide — perfect for grabbing her wallet, keys, and other necessities) to “jumbo” (14.5 inches tall x 20 inches wide — a great size for grocery shopping). The “jumbo” tote has a squared bottom, which really adds to the tote’s usability because then it stands up on its own. You could choose one size, or get her all five so she’s never without the perfect tote no matter what she’s doing. She may have to answer some questions about what exactly a “bonus mom” is and why she’s the world’s best one, but there are worse problems to have!

14

Soft and silky pajamas perfect for lazy weekends

This soft and silky Natori Enchanted Garden PJ are a bit of splurge—but their gorgeous floral pattern, cute fit, and silky fabric make them worth it. If your stepmom has been rocking the ratty T-shirt look and wants to up her game (but would never make her own bedtime outfit a priority) these might be just perfect! Made of 97% polyester and 3% spandex, they have just enough stretch to make them extra comfy. At 25" long from center back with 26" inseam, they’ll fall as a cute capri length on most wearers. Despite being pretty schmancy, they’re machine washable (in cold water). The Enchanted Garden pattern is one of the ones with the most inclusive sizing, but there are other patterns that go up to XL, including “misty leopard” and the “bouquet printed.”

15

A new book of thought-provoking poems

One review of Shelley Wong’s debut poetry collection As She Appears said that she “foregrounds queer women of color in their being and becoming.” This new book has beautiful, meditative poems about nature, womanhood, and just being alive. It would be a thoughtful choice for a stepmom who seems to have read everything—this book was published in May 2022 so she probably doesn’t have it yet! It also deals with themes of breaking the mold and living life on one’s own terms, which can be very apt for a member of a blended family. As Wong writes, “As a girl, I never / saw a woman / who looked like me /. . . “I had to invent her.”

16

Adorable handmade decorative stickers to bring a smile to her face

The creator of these adorable stickers is Yup’ik (an Alaskan Native tribe) and creates really eye-catching stickers with fun messages that would look good on just about anything. This “Living My Best Life” sticker would look great on a computer, phone, or water bottle. It’s 3 inches by 3 inches, and has a gloss on it that makes it both water resistant and UV resistant. Sometimes just saying you’re living your best life is enough to make it so. Yupik N Stick has dozens of other sticker designs, many of which would make great gifts (though probably don’t go with the funny one that depicts a ghost coming out of dead flowers with the words “you are dead to me” (unless your stepmom is into that sort of thing!) You could browse the indigenous designs, animals and nature, or other stickers in the “funny/miscellaneous” category.

17

A knockin’-around dress that can be dressed up or down

This Women’s Sleeveless Knit Ballet Dress from Target can be dressed up for a night out (with some cute flats and a jewelry) or dressed down for a day at the beach (with Teva sandals and a sunhat). It has a crew neckline and is at a midi-length. It’s currently in-stock in black, pink, and white, but comes in blue, light green, olive, and taupe as well. In addition to being made of cotton, polyester, and a bit of spandex (which gives it its nice stretch), it has that dress holy grail: pockets! And it’s fully machine washable. It’s a nap dress, a house dress, a beach dress, a going-out dress— whatever you want to call it, it’s a comfy dress that will surely become a staple of your stepmom’s wardrobe.

18

A splurge of a self-cleaning water bottle

If you’re any kind of mom in 2022 you probably spend a lot of time cleaning water bottles — whether it’s your own or your kid’s. Why not take this tedious task off her plate for good with LARQ Bottle PurVis — a water bottle that cleans and purifies itself so you never have to be without fresh, cold water. The bottle’s new technology uses PurVis technology to eliminate things you don’t want in your water, like E.Coli, without you needing to scrub them out. Time Magazine called it “huge plus for people who want a sustainable water bottle alternative that doesn't require constant scrubbing to keep water tasting great.” You can choose between four different colors: Monaco blue, obsidian black, seaside mint, and, as pictured here, Himalayan pink, all of which hold 17 ounces of water. The insulated version keeps hot liquids hot for 12 hours and cold liquids cold for 24 hours. You can also grab the uninsulated version which is lighter and easy to carry around.

19

The thickest, gooiest cookies ever

These enormous cookies are simply mouth-watering — you used to have to be on the Upper West Side to get them, but now these cute Levain Bakery Signature Cookie Assortment Gift Boxes can be shipped anywhere in the United States. Back in the 90’s when this iconic bakery opened, the New York Times said that their cookies “may possibly be the largest, most divine chocolate chip cookies in Manhattan” and described them as weighing “almost as much as a grapefruit.” Today, not much has changed—the cookies are still huge and still not delicious that they’re impossible not to finish. They come in sets of 4, 6, or 12—maybe you should spring for the 12 and hope she’ll share! The 4 pack comes with Chocolate Chip Walnut, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip and Oatmeal Raisin (the 8-pack includes 2 of each of those delectable flavors, and the 12-pack includes three.)

20

Cute earrings that are out of this world

Elena Flores, the founder of Sew Bonita, describes herself as a “chingona,” a Spanish slang term meaning “badass woman”— and her jewelry and clothes are a great pick for a badass woman in your life too! These adorable Saturn Hoops are hand-painted and made out of birch. They’re 1 inch by .5 inches, so they definitely aren’t small but aren’t so enormous that they’ll take over the whole outfit. They’re hand-painted by Flores herself and sealed with a polyurethane topcoat to prevent them from scratching or fading. They’re serving elegant Miss Frizzle — and if that’s your stepmom’s aesthetic, these might just fit the bill. Even if she’s more of a Jupiter person, you can probably find a design she’ll love, from the cute avocado earrings to the flowering saguaro cactus.

Stepmoms, Wednesday Martin writes, can find themselves “emotionally exhausted from years of biting their tongues in a position that could feel thankless, with the tacit understanding that their own feelings mattered less.” But stepmoms who navigate this difficult role with grace deserve to feel celebrated and to have something that’s just for them. Any of these gifts would make a delightful surprise and show her you care.