"Because every day is Kids Day," we all wisely counsel our children when they ask why there is a special day for Mom, and a special day for Dad, but not for them. While this isn't technically true, the sentiment behind it infers that kids are inherently rewarded every day just by virtue of the fact that they are kids, free from the stressors of everyday life that their parents have to face. The fact that most of those stressors come from the kids, is lost to them.
And so when the second Sunday in May rolls around, many moms anticipate this will be the one day that they get to be spoiled, to be free of mundane chores, and above all, to be celebrated. That's a lot of pressure to put on Dad and the kids, and many are disappointed when that one day doesn't make up for all of the hard work and sacrifice Mom has given on the previous 364.
So what's the solution? After all, everyone knows that when Mom's happy; everyone's happy. Maybe it's time that Mom starts rewarding and celebrating herself, every day. Try at least one of these before the big day comes around.
1) Attend a lecture: It's easy to get immersed in the "small stuff" around the home, or at work, or of course with our "real" small stuff; the kids. But take the time out to go to a lecture on a subject that interested you before real life got in the way. History, politics, art, music, philosophy; it's all out there. Investigate with your local university, museum or community centre and engage that part of your brain currently being used to calculate the next garbage day or band rehearsal time.
2) Download a book: I know, you're too busy to read. But many moms spend their time driving kids to activities, and then waiting for those activities to end. Use your phone or tablet as an e-reader, pick up some ear buds and download a book you can enjoy where ever you can. You'll feel better not "wasting time" and the book will be an escape from the doctor's office, the other parents complaining at the lounge at the karate studio or even the rest of the school concert that your child isn't in.
3) Cash in reward points: Budgets are tight for everyone, but the reward points we gather can be cashed in for small treats at any time. Particularly if you use a program that has a store as a catalogue, for instant redemption. The PC Plus program offers real dollars off your bill, so you can throw in a blouse from Joe Fresh, or redeem them for a variety of gift cards. Use your PC Financial MasterCard to earn more PC points, fast, wherever you shop. So you can reward yourself frequently and not wait for that "special" day.
4) Go out for dessert: Going out for dinner, especially with kids, can be expensive, time consuming, and let's face it, more trouble than it's worth. But stopping in for an ice cream or a slice of pie at a local restaurant can bring the family together for a fun meal (not one like Mom makes) and provide an indulgence which is always good for anyone's mood.
5) Work out: Exercising releases your brain and challenges your body. Whether it's a brisk walk around the block or a hard core weight class, or both combined, it's hard to think about the stressors of the day when you're lunging, squatting and straining. You'll feel better, and do it often enough, and you'll look better...which will make you feel better.
6) Reward another mom: No matter how tired, stressed, and busy we can feel ourselves, it usually isn't hard to take a look around and see another mom at the same, or increased level of insanity as ourselves. Maybe her kids are younger, or her schedule more frenetic, or her partner less helpful; or maybe she just seems like she could use a shoulder or a helping hand. Lend a body part -- or your whole body and babysit for those kids -- to let her know she's not in it alone. It'll come back to you.
7) Write a letter or talk on the phone: With our constant mass emails, Tweets, status posts, and "pinning" we forget how nice it can be to have one on one communications with another person. Imagine how you'd love to find a single card in the mail, just because, amongst all those bills and junk flyers. Send a card to someone you know would appreciate it -- or even ones who might not -- or pick up the phone and call someone whose voice you really need to hear. Chances are they need to hear yours, too.
Kathy Buckworth is the Chief Family Advisor for President's Choice Financial. Follow Kathy on Twitter @KathyBuckworth and visit www.kathybuckworth.com
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