Let's be real here for a minute. I love brunch as much as the next person. In fact, I live in Brooklyn. Brunch is practically a religion here. Whether it's dim sum or bottomless mimosas, we do it up right. However, on Mother's Day, it's as though everyone who's ever raised a child ever is out for brunch. I'm sorry, I get enough of crowds just living here, I don't want the day of me to be more of the same. Which is why I put together 10 ways to celebrate your mom on Mother's Day that don't include taking her to brunch.
Every year it's pretty much the same thing. We go to church, the kids give me a flower that the priest gives them to give to me, we go out to brunch, I get frustrated with the crowds, and then we spend the rest of the day bickering over dinner plans. It's great, really. This year, I'm thinking of all the fun stuff that we've done together that have nothing to do with fighting off crowds at restaurants and waiting on interminably long lines. Because honestly, I'm really freaking over it and I'm a thousand percent sure my mother is as well. Sure, I still don't want to cook at all on Mother's Day, but pizza was invented for a reason.
1Go To A Botanical Garden
I know, it sounds dull as dishwater, but botanical gardens go all out for Mother's Day. For instance, the New York Botanical Garden does a whole weekend full of activities to keep the kids happy, tours through the gorgeous cherry orchards in full bloom, and of course, champagne. It's relaxing, gorgeous, and there's enough space that no one is touching me.
2Get A Hand Cast Made
OK, Mom, if you're reading this, spoiler alert: you are definitely not *cough* getting this for Mother's Day.
This is a fun activity that is so sensory for the little ones (squishy and splodgy), but also really sentimental. You could — and I'm not saying I did — make a cast of your children holding hands and have them paint it for your mom.
3Mimosa Mani Pedis
A ton of nail salons and spas do this on Mother's Day. If my mom didn't live in the Republic of Texas, this is where we'd be before we hit up the garden. It's Mother's Day, so it's completely acceptable to drink before noon while getting a leg massage. It's practically required.
4Custom Book Plates, Curated Selection, & Silent Reading Time
I am an avid reader. I don't think my life is complete without a book in my hand or an audiobook in my ear. There is nothing quite so satisfying as tucking into a great book and forgetting everything else around you. If my kids made me adorable book plates and put them in books they'd chosen for me (and yes, I have a very well curated Amazon wish list, I'm no noob), I'd be over the moon. I'd be over the next planet if I got a few hours of quiet reading time outside with a cuppa and a few cookies.
5Get Her A One-Of-A-Kind Experience
Have you or your mom ever dreamed of driving a race car or learning how to throw the perfect pizza? Experience gift cards are amazing, and they really show you've given some thought to your gift. I mean, as long as you don't give your mom who can't swim a scuba trip or something. Check Groupon for deals on experiences, but also do some specific research in your town for a hobby you know she'd love.
6Hire A Maid Service
The sad truth is that while we're getting better, studies show that women still do the lion's share of the housework. Hiring a maid for a day or a month shows you care. I'd lose my ever-loving mind if my husband did this for me. It's not that I hate cleaning — I actually don't — it's that it feels like you're being seen. It's a way to meet their needs.
7Re-Create Family Pictures
I know, I know, "it's been done." But has it been done by you? Exactly. Your mom will love it and laugh her butt off. It takes time, coordination, and a sense of humor, which means you're putting in some effort for her. Side note: If anyone knows where I can get a circa 1988 Elmo potty, I have a 6.5-foot brother to shove onto it.
8Old School Coupon Book — All Grown Up
Sure, they use to say something like "good for one hug" or "I won't give my brother a swirly while I force him to sing the Barney song." But now? You're grown. Use sticky post-it labels and attach each to a beer, mini bottles of champagne, or those little Bath and Body Works, and have them read "good for a beer and a hockey game," or "good for mimosas and movies" or "good for one trip to the special hell that is known as the golf course, and I'll even take my little brother and not give him a swirly while making him sing the Barney song, but mostly because he's 6.5-feet tall and I can't overpower him anymore."
You get the point.
I'm a millennial. No one is getting out of this generation without at least one tattoo. The least you could do is get one commemorating the woman who put up with your teenage years. The '90s and '00s were rough times to be a teen. I know I was horrific. Three letters and a little pain isn't much to ask and who knows, your mom might be down for a matching one. (My mom has my birth flower tattooed on her foot, a gift of her midlife crisis. Love you, Mom!)
10Make Her A Playlist
Buying your mom songs on iTunes and making a personalized playlist not only shows you care, but it takes real time and effort. Curate it for your life. Start with songs you remember her singing when you were wee little, move on to the first song you learned on flute that she had to hear you squelch out for 30 minutes a day, and maybe finish with your wedding song, or her favorite Ed Sheeran song.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.