Mother's Day: 7 Ways to Give Yourself a Break

Hint: You may want to start incorporating a few of these throughout the year!

woman drinking tea

Take it easy (or at least easier) with these ideas for enjoying Mother's Day your way.

  1. Go to a Coffee Shop (Alone)
    Most mornings you take that first blissful sip of coffee, then you're pulled away by your husband or kids. You return a half hour later to find it's cold, then warm it up only to have the situation rinsed and repeated...and this time the mug sits in the microwave until you find it around dinnertime. (That's when you think, "Where did this day go?")

    But not today! Today you're going to enjoy your cup of coffee. While sitting in -- get this -- a chair. You may even watch the steam rise out of that heavenly dark liquid just because you can! "It's really important to be able to create and take a time out for oneself," says well-known psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig. "It can be tremendously therapeutic,"

    So, here are the rules: If you want to read a newspaper or an article or two from your favorite glossy, fine. But no smart phones are allowed during your coffee shop getaway! (And, yes, you can meet your husband and kids for brunch afterwards -- even slip back into bed while they're cooking, if that's where they want you to eat your heart-shaped pancakes. They never even have to know!).

    Get more tips on how to limit the morning madness »

  2. Make it a Ponytail-No-Makeup Day
    Unless you enjoy blow-drying your hair and applying mascara -- and some of us do! -- skip it on Mother's Day. Your family will still think you're beautiful, we promise! "Everyone needs a low maintenance day when they can just throw on their sweats, wear no make up and realize they're still lovable anyway," Ludwig says. Now here's the real question: Whatever are you going to do with that extra hour in your day? (You're always saying there aren't enough of them, after all.)

  3. Rent a DVD
    Movie night! There's popcorn and there's chocolate! But the best part (yes, even better than the chocolate): Your family is blessedly together -- and you get to admire them from your couch perch while they sit there...all beautiful and quiet-like. After all, mamas want to be with their kids on Mother's Day -- that is the point, after all, right? -- we just don't want to entertain and discipline them. "Nothing is more important than connecting with your family in a way that's easy and effortless," explains Ludwig. "Not every family event needs to be so strictly orchestrated."

  4. Ask Daddy to Play Quarterback
    If your partner or husband watches football, he might appreciate the sports reference and understand that you're putting him in complete charge of the kids and the house today. (If this isn't a novelty, skip to #5).

    That means: If he's going out, the kids go with him; otherwise, there's a chance they'll make a mess while he's gone, leaving you in charge of some sort of washing, mopping, scouring, scrubbing or wiping (which would break the Mother's Day rules).

  5. Buy Yourself Something You Don't Need
    "It's important for your emotional well-being to get yourself a little something every once in a while to remind yourself you're worth it," Ludwig says. So, if you were looking for help with the rationalizing, there you have it: The expert says so! Especially since, chances are, you're constantly buying items for your kids and never for yourself, you'll feel a naughty little rush when picking out something you want, purely for fun.

    And it doesn't have to cost a fortune! In fact, set your budget at $25. Are you artistic or do you like scrapbooking? Head to a craft store for some new pens or markers. Are you fashion-forward? Pick out a lightweight cotton scarf or a small piece of costume jewelry. Are you into home décor? How about some fresh flowers or a scented candle?

  6. Take a Nap
    Stop laughing. We're serious. Remember when everyone told you to sleep when the baby sleeps...and you never did? Well, today you're making up for lost (nap)time. No excuses.

    "Sleep is the new staycation," says Ludwig. (Don't you just love that?!) "Motherhood can be an exhausting gig, so invite your partner to give you that much-needed break." It will feel so indulgent to lie down in a quiet room while Daddy gives you that precious hour off in the middle of the day -- even more than a massage or a manicure. "It can make a world of difference," Ludwig says.

  7. Hire a Housekeeper (for a Day Anyway)
    No, we're not talking about a housekeeper IOU! Pick the day. Make the call. Done. Your best bet is booking it for the Monday after Mother's Day so you can relax -- really relax -- knowing that someone else will be cleaning up after you and your clan tomorrow (you won't even have to make the bed).

    "Moms often have a hard job saying 'no' when it comes to taking care of their family," Ludwig explains, recommending that it's time to break that pattern. "Hire a helper to look forward to...to make your special day even more special." Tip: Make sure the person you hire does laundry, ideally even ironing. Yes, it's a splurge. But it's just this once, and you deserve it.

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Comments (7)
Photo of Jane K.
Jane K.
After we teach ourselves to nurture ourselves better we can be better caregivers again when on duty.
Posted: May 04, 2013 at 7:49 AM
Photo of Jayne H.
Jayne H.
Fantastic ideas!
Posted: April 18, 2013 at 1:20 AM
Pooja K.
I love the idea of just having to sit back and relax with a cup of tea or coffee
Posted: May 09, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Photo of America G.
America G.
love it
Posted: May 08, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Sally C.
I just might take you up on those offers...it is hard being the mommy
Posted: May 03, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Photo of Ilana S.
Ilana S.
Great ideas, thanks!
Posted: May 01, 2012 at 8:13 AM
Maria R.
Love it very good!!!
Posted: April 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM
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