Did you know that KidSnips, along with being an awesome place for kids’ haircuts, is also a great place for adult haircuts too? Our stylists are experienced not only in working with the wiggliest, squiggliest of little ones, they’re also very good at helping even the busiest of moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or anyone who cares for our children, chill out for a few moments, and enjoy a hassle-free haircut of their own. Which might just make a wonderful gift to give a mom – or anyone who does some major mothering – this Mother’s Day!
Mother’s Day became an official U.S. holiday in 1914, largely due to the efforts of Anna Jarvis who believed we needed a day to acknowledge and celebrate all that mothers do for their children. These days there are as many ways to mark this occasion as there are mothers and kids. Popular gifts include flowers, candy, cards, breakfast in bed and dinner out. But we’ve done our own unofficial little survey and here’s four gifts we think every mother deserves to get…or give themselves this year… and the good news is, these are not only gifts that are good for you, they’re good for your kids as well.
1. Something that smells nice.
A beautiful candle. A scent diffuser and essential oil. A wonderful room spray. These may seem like silly little luxuries, but the truth is scents are powerful at evoking emotions – so, having good scents around just make good sense, right? There are a number of studies that have proven certain aromas can “significantly promote stress reduction and improve mood.” Citrus, for example, is known for boosting energy and reducing irritability, cinnamon for boosting brain power, and lavender can help us relax. You could even combine lighting your lovely candle with a moment or two for some mindfulness. An easy way to do this is, after you light the candle, just breathe in and hold it for 6 seconds and then breathe out for 8 seconds. Simple. So, if you’re making a wish list for Mother’s Day be sure to add a good smelling something or other to it. And when you light the candle or start the diffuser or spritz the room with a fragrant spray, you can use the opportunity to talk to your kids about how good smells can help their moods, too. Who knows, it might even inspire them to clean up their rooms and finally put those dirty socks in the laundry bin!
2. Something to read.
It’s not like you don’t do any reading… but as a busy parent you can often find yourself reading package labels, school memos, Instagram posts and your kid’s bedtime stories, more than actually losing yourself in a 300-page novel or a slim but meaty volume of poetry. But there are so many benefits to you when you read for pleasure…even if it’s only a few pages a day. Research has confirmed that reading does in fact keep our brains sharp. It also helps improve our ability to focus, can improve memory, and can even help us strengthen our ability to empathize. And if that’s not enough, reading also helps us relax (which could be why you fall asleep so easily while reading to your kids at bedtime…) and research has even shown people who read actually live longer – in one study, people who read a book for 30 minutes a day were 23% more likely to outlive those who didn’t read often. And when you take the time to read for pleasure, guess what – it’s a great model for your children, too. While you’re probably constantly encouraging your kids to read, the truth is, our kids are more likely to do what we do versus what we tell them they should do…as we all know too well from that time we heard our youngest shout a swear word which she might possibly have heard us saying a time or… 20… Ooops.
3. Something new to try.
When was the last time you gave yourself the gift of trying something new? “That’s a gift?” you ask. Isn’t trying something new torturous, nerve-wracking, awkward and scary? Why would I want to put myself through that?” When we do something new, whether that’s eating a new food, trying a new activity, spending time with new people, learning a new skill…all of these things stretch us…in a good way. In the process we actually develop new neural pathways to handle these novel situations. Our brains react to new stimuli by releasing dopamine (which boosts our mood) and our midbrain area gets activated, which builds up the muscles of our long-term memory and learning. So yes, it’s definitely good for us. Perhaps one gift you could give yourself this Mother’s Day is to make a list of things you’ve always secretly or not so secretly wanted to try. Whether it’s sky-diving or watercolor painting, hip-hop dance or golf, kickboxing or gardening, learning Japanese or log rolling. And then make a plan to try at least one (or 2 or 3) of these things on your list before next Mother’s Day comes around. Sign up for a class, hire a trainer, schedule a trip. And let your kids know all about it – take them along on the emotional roller-coaster of the fear, excitement and joy you experience when trying something new. So maybe the next time you tell them to get out there and try something they’ve never done before, you will not only have empathy for them, you’ll also have a few success stories to share as well.
4. Something a little pampering.
Pampering? You may be rolling your eyes right now and trying to imagine having the time for a bath, much less a spa day. We get it, it’s hard to juggle all you have to manage on a daily basis: keeping the kids fed and clothed and making sure they get their homework done and carting them to activities and doctor appointments and playdates and wait, getting your own work done, and…well the list feels like it goes on and on. But pampering doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. Taking an hour or so for a pedi/mani can do wonders for your psyche. Taking a nice long bubble bath can too. And this kind of self-care can also be a great thing to share with (and teach) your children. What about getting a collection of face masks for a little family facial time? You can find kids’ spa facial masks online or since kids’ skin is so delicate you might want to DIY it with all natural ingredients you have around the house, like yogurt and cucumbers and honey. Doing activities like this together is a great way to talk with your kids about how important – and fun – it is to care for our bodies. Another great family self-care activity? Going together to get a haircut. At KidSnips, since we’re a family-focused hair salon, we make that easy on busy families. Your kids can enjoy getting their hair cut and styled in a fire engine chair, while at the same time, you can also have a moment to breathe, relax, get a trim or new style – and let someone else do something nice FOR YOU, from the comfort of one of our regular salon chairs. Pampering win for both of you!
Whatever you do for Mother’s Day, we hope it’s something that makes you feel like you’re being celebrated and acknowledged for all you do for your family…and for how important you truly are. Because you are SO important – as Dr. Seuss once said, “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”