Mother’s day is upon us, and moms near and far will be bombarded with their kids’ art. Of course, there’ll be brunches with the family, and some mothers will get breakfast in bed, with chaos in the kitchen to show for it. But is this what all mothers really want? Even though I treasure my daughter’s art, I don’t want any more of it, as she gives me around ten pieces a day. And do I really want more mess in my kitchen?
I remember giving birth to our daughter. As I looked into her crib in the hospital, I realized that I would never ever be alone again. The hormones got the better of me, and I was very dramatic. I thought I would never have time to myself again. It scared me, and got me in a state of panic that did not leave until she was a year old. Little did I know that “never being alone again” was partly true. I was in constant care mode, and the time I left her with Daddy, I felt so much guilt. I also thought that I had to spend my husband’s days off with the three of us, making the best of family time. But soon I realized that I needed time for myself to recharge, as keeping this small human alive was more testing and tiring than anything I ever had done.
I started sacrificing family time for “me” time. I still felt guilty, but I knew this was a solution for my problem of never being alone. My husband would take the baby outside so I could rest, read a book, or rearrange the house. Even then, I still did not find my former self until I started working again.
I was at a book fair with my daughter and a childless friend. I spent around 15 minutes browsing fast through the books, made my decision, paid and took my daughter to the playground. My friend however stayed inside for almost an hour. Initially I thought she left without saying goodbye, but then it dawned on me that she has time, she does not need to take care of a child. She can browse without feeling guilty or looking around to see if her child is destroying every book in sight. She has unlimited time to immerse herself in the moment and enjoy what she is doing. How I long to get back to just half a day of that! Don’t get me wrong, I love my child but we mothers tend to forget about ourselves.
I have asked around and clearly this is something lots of mothers secretly desire. All mothers I talked to wanted to spend some time just being in the moment: not feeling guilty or coming back to a destroyed house. So what do mothers really want? Some time off for ourselves without the guilt nor the wrecked home.
Carnisa Berry, a life coach in Beijing, gave me a beautiful piece of advice, “As a mom, one of the best gifts you can give your kids when you think you’ve made a mistake is self-forgiveness. Feeling guilty will not make you a better parent, it will only create bitterness and resentment. Forgiveness creates an environment of love and connection for you and your children.”
So for you loving families, I have found a few venues where husbands and kids can get gift cards, or make appointments to pamper mom, and added an ayi service just in case you are not confident of keeping the home the way it was when mother left.
Spa At Nuo Hotel – Its amazing spa will get you into good graces with mommy. (5926 8888) www.nuohotel.com | 2A Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District 굇쑴懇날捺혐쉥憩쨌2A뵀
Bookworm – A book and a great coffee is something anybody would enjoy. (6586 9507) www.chinabookworm.com | Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District 굇쑴懇날捺혐묏竟굇쨌磎牘4뵀
JZ Jewelry Workshop – Why give her jewelry when she can make it herself? (182 1063 4921) Beijing Jiuxianqiao, 798 Art District 굇쑴懇날捺혐아鉤픕798論減혐
Hummingbird Spa – Pamper your loved one with a massage or facial. (6597 0457) www.hummingbird.net.cn | 102 Central Park, Bldg 17, 6 Chaowai Dajie, Chaoyang District 굇쑴懇날捺혐날棍댕쌍6뵀，劤냘벌셥，26뵀짜103
Blow and Bar – It’s a perfect spot for new hair and a glass of bubbly. (5136 5432) 3021 3/F, 3.3 Shopping Mall, 33 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District 굇쑴懇날捺혐힛쟁袴쨌굇쌍33뵀3.3륩干댕衢3꿔3021뵀
Catherine de France – Get mommy a much-wanted make over. (8442 5120) www.catherinedefrance.com | East Avenue Bldg Ground Floor, No.10 Xindong Lu, Chaoyang District 굇쑴懇날捺혐劤땜쨌10뵀惱佳몬看꿔
Huaqing Hot Springs Hotel – A day soaking in water will take all the troubles away. (8482 6665) www.hqwqbg.cn | 2 Lishui Qiao, Chaoyang District 굇쑴懇날捺혐접彊픕2뵀
Yoga at Yoga Yard – Book her a class! (6413 0774) www.yogayard.com | 6/F, 17 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District 굇쑴懇날捺혐묏竟굇쨌17뵀6꿔
Beijing Ayi – This is for the fathers who know moms have super-tidy powers. Get an ayi before she comes home and she will be grateful forever. www.beijing-ayi.com
This is an updated version of the article that originally appeared on p. 16-17 of beijingkids April Issue. Download the digital copy here.