What your mother wants for mother's day may not be what you think. There are as many different kinds of mothers in the world as there are people. The pragmatic ones may want a useful gift, while the romantic ones would be quite satisfied with flowers. If you aren't sure what to get, most women do like chocolate, unless you mother needs to be on a diet. You might consider something to do with one of her hobbies or notice things around her house to give you a clue. Mothers, like anyone are charmed if you pay attention to her personal whims. Here are some ideas to get you started:

For the homey mother: Anything made by a child. If you are under the age of 10 consider making her a card, or a candle, or a pencil holder or decorating a picture frame with a picture of you in it. If you are older, you can get a neat calendar made at a copy shop with pictures you have taken of things she loves. You make a meal for your mom, or pick some flowers. If you are particularly handy use your skill to it's utmost, sew her an outfit, knit or crochet something for her. If you have carpentry skills make her a pretty box for her jewelry or some other small project.

For the romantic mom: Flowers, or a plant. Try to get a kind she has mentioned that she likes. You get brownie points for noticing and not buying what the florist is promoting. A small brooch or earring are nice, even a necklace does not have to be sized. If you get her a flowery or ornate photo frame, include a fancy picture of yourself or yourself and her in it. If you take a romantic mom out for a meal pick a very nice restaurant. Consider sending her a gift certificate for dinner and a movie if you live out of state. It's a simple thing to put in a card and mail.

For the hard working mother: consider a gift certificate for a cleaning service, one deep clean or if you have siblings, consider asking each person to chip in for a month. For a pragmatic mother that does not want to have a stranger in her house, perhaps some kind of tool that would make her chores easier such as a fancy new washing machine and dryer, a deep steam rug cleaner. A word of caution, be sure what every you buy is top of the line. You want the present to be something that makes her life easier, and not some kind of meta-message regarding her being the family workhorse. Another gift for a busy working mother might be having a home chef come and prepare meals for her.

For the pragmatic mother: give the gift that she chooses herself, like a membership to a spa, or a membership to Netflix. Have the bill come to you for satellite TV service for a year or faster than dial up cable internet connection. Get a year's subscription to a magazine she likes or a book club. There are mystery book clubs, history book clubs, even romantic novel book clubs. If she likes fancy coffee, buy a pound of the kind she really likes. Wrap it up with the sugar and milk and present it in a basket with a nice mug.

For the creative mother: if your mother has taken up writing as a hobby now that you kids are all up and out consider getting her a roll of stamps for her postage, or paper or ink or what ever you know she'll really need. Perhaps an upgrade on her printer? If your mother has taken up drawing or painting, skulk around and find out what kind of paint or brushes or canvas she uses that you can get her. If she is a photographer, get her some nice (empty) frames for some of her work. IF she is a potter, get her some clay. You get the picture, go along with what ever she does. If she has an eye for beauty, consider a fountain pen. They are slender, feminine and infinitely useful. Pick a fun color for the ink.

For the mother of many children: A group portrait with all the kids. A piece of jewelry like a mother's ring, or a necklace with a jewel for each child is thoughtful. A baby sitter for a night out complete with a gift certificate for the restaurant is nice. A nice piece of clothing if mom never seems to have money for herself would be much appreciated. Jackets are easy to size because they're kind of big medium or small. A fluffy new comforter for her bed is another thing you don't need to size.

For the exercise mom: If she likes to hike, get her a nice pack to put the water in, or go to a camping goods store for fancy gore-tex tee-shirts or sweatsuits. If she likes to run, a gift certificate to the sneaker store. IF she does aerobics there are all sorts of leotards and work out clothes, head bands matching arm bands and stuff like that. You can also get her a DVD to do at home or some small weights in a set. You can get a set of lessons to a yoga or pilates place to see if she likes them, or if she is already attending a health club get her a gift certificate for the juice bar next door.

Chocolate: If you are going to get chocolate don't be cheap about it. Either go to a real Godiva chocolate store, or equivalent for truffles and such or at least get a bar of fancy something from the gourmet store in your town. There are dark chocolate bars that come with raisins or chilies or ginger that are very exotic. Or you can get a number of her most favorite kind of chocolate if you know what she particularly likes. Or you can be corny and get a bag of candy kisses. Beware of cheap chocolate. Some of the stuff that drugstores pull out seasonally has nice packaging and is very awful inside.