Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 8th. There are plenty of brunch, afternoon tea, and dinner specials, as well as various activities and meetups. I expect that some of us mothers may have some trouble leaving the house for quite so long. Or, we might just dread taking our little ones with us to a fancy cafe or restaurant (oh, the hassle)!
So, for those of us who would rather daddy take the kids out to play for a while, or catch a breather while the little one sleeps, here are ways to pamper yourself at home this Mother’s Day.
Note: Some of these services may need to be reserved a day or two in advance–hence why we’re telling you now!
Step 1: Reserve a nanny
If your partner is busy or away, a good back up plan is to hire a nanny. However, babysitters are hard to come by in Beijing, not every ayi will watch kids, and your friends are just as busy as you are. What to do? Use an app and hire a nanny!
Wuyoubaomu (无忧保姆 = worry free nanny) app has a selection of ayis based on the type you need, from elderly care to postnatal care to nanny services. For a short term, last minute choice, select lingshi xiaoshi gong (临时小时工 = last minute per hour work). The minimum babysitting time is two hours and all you have to do is specify the time and place.
Step 2: Order a cake delivered home!
Every bakery and convenience store in Beijing advertises “Mother’s Day Cakes” to the point where even I believe that Mother’s Day and cakes go together: I’m a mother, I like cake, and it’s Mother’s Day, so honey, where’s my cake?
The funny thing about cakes is that they need to be ordered in advance, and then they need to be picked up (yes, even at 7/11). Personally, I can’t be bothered with all that unless it’s my son’s birthday (not even for my own, really), so I thought how nice would it be if they could just deliver the cake and save us the trouble? And they can!
21Cake offers delicious cakes and gelatos delivered straight to your door! No pick up necessary.
Step 3: Reserve an at home waxing or facial session
These are two things I prefer getting done in the comfort of my own home. Facial sessions in Beijing have often required showers (for some reason), and waxing–well, that should be self-explanatory, so if you haven’t had time for either, what better opportunity to pamper yourself than on Mother’s Day?
Add Annie, an old timer from Daisy’s Salon, on wechat (id: anniewax111) and schedule to have your wax and facial sessions at home!
Step 4: Pamper yourself!
I remember once upon a time I would get facials, foot massages, and manicures done regularly. I would schedule with friends or coworkers, and we would go together. I haven’t been able to stick to that schedule since motherhood, so if you’re anything like me, you’re way overdue.
Time to pamper yourself with the app, Helijia (河狸家 = beaver home), which offers all beauty services, including facials, make up, and hairstyling. You can even order a yoga teacher to come host a session or a personal trainer to motivate you!
Step 5: Get a massage!
We could all use a massage, but mothers especially could use a massage on Mother’s Day!
Use the app, Gongfu Xiong (功夫熊 = Kungfu Bear) to order a masseuse straight to your bedroom! You can choose from a quick neck and shoulder massage to a few hour full body session. The price of your massage depends on the level of your masseuse, and you can always choose the one you think looks most qualified from the picture. The masseuse brings their own equipment and even cleans up before they leave!
Step 6: Reserve a chef
Since you’ll be relaxed and pampered at home, you might as well just call it a day and stay home. But what about food? Cooking would ruin your nails and hair, so how about scheduling a chef to come over and cook your favorite Chinese food?
Haochushi (好厨师 = good chef) is an app that allows you to customize a menu and invite a chef to cook in your home. You can specify how many dishes you want, what type of food you prefer, or even ask the chef to prepare exactly what you want. Since it’s Mother’s Day, you might as well have the chef do the grocery shopping, the cooking, and the cleaning afterwards.
Step 7: Hire an ayi
Chaojiayi (超级阿姨 = super ayi) is an app that provides ayi services similar to the popular Ayibang (阿姨帮 = ayi help) app, but rather than have you choose an ayi (who may or may not be available when you need her), the process is similar to Didi or Uber where the ayis have to fight for your order. This ensures two things: 1) you get an ayi nearby who hopefully can also find your home, and 2) you get an ayi who can definitely come at the time you designated (no negotiation). Did I mention it’s cheaper than ayibang?
Did you notice all the apps are in Chinese? Living like a local doesn’t have to be impossible for Chinese illiterates (like me)! Don’t bother your one useful Chinese friend to help you, either. I have personally found Grabtalk employees very friendly and helpful, and have had plenty of friends who’ve used Wechat Secretary for assistance (which charges a 10% fee); both have wechats you can add.