Oklahoma City family fun isn't just for children.
The role of caretaker is one women know all too well.
Teacher Appreciation Week leads up to Mother's Day this year, which I don't think is a coincidence. The unofficial theme of this week feels like it's all about caretaking but also taking care. #selfcare has made the rounds on social media and this day should be all about that.
Gender roles have shifted. I'm not a teacher; I am a teacher's wife. Women, though, still largely lead the profession and we still tend to lead households, care for them and the people inside.
If you're reading this post, you're probably a mom, possibly one of small children. And I know you're going to celebrate your Mom and your grandma and your mother-in-law.
My suggestion, though, is to be selfish for a day. We are our children's first teachers and that role only continues. I think one area where millennials are doing better than past generations is in recognizing that we cannot be all things to all people. I disagree with the general assessment that we are selfish; we're a sandwich generation at this point, caring for our parents and for our children in many households.
The difference is we're more likely to be altruistic but ask for help when we need. Sometimes, help comes in the form of a break, where you can take yourself out for something fun, dye your hair blue or platinum or unicorn-stripe or whatever is trending on Instagram and catch up with friends IRL.
This blog features family activities and those are around if you want to make it a family day. If you just want a day, though, you should really take it. We'll go back to regular programming next week with kids' events, as will you, but right now, just plan what you want.
Personally, I have a lot to celebrate this Mother's Day. My fourth child was born a month ago and he is healthy and perfect. Adjusting to life as a family of six, with four children under 12, is not all roses, though, so I'm finding myself a bouquet and a cake and some alone time.
Every mother with small children knows why that's necessary and she shouldn't have to explain it to anyone else. We do all the wiping and caring and gift buying for literally everyone else throughout the year. This time, it's you.
This day is your day. Go and do. Or stay and sleep.
Here are seven things just for you, especially if you're a mom of small children. Think of them as gifts to and from you, as a reward for all that caretaking:
- Go for coffee and enjoy sitting there: Good coffee, the kind you don't always order, and actually sit down at the coffee shop to drink it. Skip the drive-thru and take an hour. I did this with my mother-in-law recently at Evoke after we visited the Farmer's Market on a Saturday and it was really relaxing. No one should be asking you for a bite of your scone. Meet a friend or just go by yourself.
- See a movie: I can't remember the last time I saw a movie at a theater that did not feature animated characters or begin with the telltale Pixar lamp. I hear date night suggestions that suggest actually attending films meant for an audience who can see films not rated PG but that's just not the life phase I'm in right now. Go alone. I did that two years ago and it was nice. It's on my list of goals as something to do more frequently.
- Get a pedicure: Book a spa date, change up your hair or just a stop by for a pedicure. Either way, insist on going without anyone currently living in your household.
- Take a nap: Ask a family member to change the sheets for you so they're fresh and crisp. Lock the door and sleep.
- Pick a restaurant: Use this list of brunch venues suggested by our readers. You're be glad you did. There's not a single place on here that I wouldn't want to eat a meal.
- Decide the day's activity: Choose something you want to do from this list of places that will give your free admission on Mother's Day and that you would actually want to go see, for yourself.
- Go window shopping: Choose a shopping center you wouldn't ordinarily visit with your family, i.e. one with things that break. No shopping for other people. No mental check-ins on who needs athletic gear or texts about who wears what size. No. This day is for you. Buy a new purse or a new outfit that you definitely like or buy absolutely nothing and just enjoy walking by yourself with no one asking for things.
I'm going to choose my own cake and flowers. I've done the same for Teacher Appreciation Week and I am truly grateful for the women who care for my sons at school. This time, though, it's for me.
My wish for you is that you find some time for yourself, no matter what that looks like at your house.
Happy Mother's Day!