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13 Ways to Pamper Yourself on Mother's Day

pampering mom

Mother's Day is approaching and whether it's your first or your fifteenth, surely you're looking forward to this once-a-year opportunity to put all the focus on YOU. Now we know the pressure to live it up is on, but not every mama has the time or the flexibility to take a whole day off from mothering to sleep in or head off to the spa or hit the boutiques on Main Street. Worry not! We've got some great ideas perfect for the busy mom that'll fit right into your crazy day and put only the slightest dent in your savings. Go on, reap your rewards. You deserve it!

I Can't Leave the House

1. Lotion up: Start your day with a post-shower intensive moisturizing session. We all buy that pretty bottle with the best of intentions but if you're like the rest of us, that pretty bottle just sits there day after day while your elbows, knees and toes dry out. Spend just five minutes smoothing a lovely, scented lotion on your skin and see the little lift it gives you for the rest of your morning.

2. Have lunch "catered": Today, don't get stuck in the kitchen making sandwiches and eating the cut-off crusts. Call one of your favorite restaurants and have food for you and your brood delivered, with something yummy and, best of all, not made by you.

3. The cleaning lady cometh: It's been your fantasy for years. Now it's time to do it – even if it's just this once! Hire a cleaning crew to come to your home and give it a thorough once-over, if not on Mother's Day itself, then just a few days before so you can bask in the glory of your clean, pristine kitchen all weekend while you don't lift a finger.

4. Soothing smoothie: Drag out the blender and mix low-fat yogurt, your favorite fruit or three, maybe a little honey and touch of ice, pour it into a tall glass, and drink up. You'll feel like a million bucks! You may become addicted to this morning or afternoon ritual but why not? It's good for you.

I've Got a Free Hour...

5. Magical massage: If you can get away for just an hour you can squeeze in a 15-, 30- or 45-minute massage at a clinic, spa, or massage parlor near you. It's indulgent, it's relaxing, it's therapeutic. And you're worth it!

6. Get a manicure, pedicure, or both: Most mani/pedi professionals are so quick you can get both of these done in less than an hour and often for a very reasonable price. Be sure to show off your tootsies with some open-toed shoes or thong sandals – and enjoy the rewards of this little luxury for up to a couple of weeks.

7. Find your zen: Take a yoga class. This ancient practice is getting more and more popular for a reason, and now, many gyms and yoga studios offer beginner classes where anyone is welcome. The benefits of yoga range far and wide, from increased flexibility and muscle tone, to relieving stress and improving ability to focus. If you've never tried it, Mother's Day is the perfect time to get in there and give it a shot.

8. Take a walk: Put on your walking shoes and get thee to the beach, or the park, or even to the shopping mall where you might just happen to stroll by that killer purse. Just being out and about, alone, will let you take in the world and clear your head for awhile.

9. Tame your mane: Make an early-morning appointment to have your hair cut and styled and wear that fresh-from-the-salon look all day. Be sure to work some photo-taking moments into the activities so you can admire yourself later, too.

I'm Covered, All Afternoon!

10. Teatime treat: Afternoon tea is not just for grannies anymore. Tea shops and salons are popping up all over and offer great, small bites to accompany your perfect cup. Many hotels and museums offer afternoon tea as well. Call a friend, relative, or even one of your older children and indulge – and don't forget – meeting for tea is ideal for gossiping.

11. Reunite with the big screen: Do you remember what it was like to sit in a dark, air-conditioned theater and watch a movie, a real, grown-up movie while keeping the popcorn all to yourself? Mother's Day promises plenty of great matinees and, likely, small crowds.

12. Be bookish: Dust off the novel you bought for yourself last year or better yet, head to the bookstore and buy a fresh, new one, and make a beeline for the most quiet, peaceful place you can find – whether that's the backyard hammock, a bench on the boardwalk, or the coffee shop on the corner. Then proceed to lose yourself in literature for a couple of hours, only pausing to refill your latte.

13. Indulge your creative side: Got a long-lost hobby? Photography, short story writing, bird-watching, stamp collecting, quilting, golfing? Revive it with an afternoon of bettering your skills with a workshop or class, or a simple , self-motivated session where you challenge yourself to learn one new skill. It'll do wonders for your sense of self and well-being.

Ok, so Mother's Day is here and you've got absolutely no time to take time out? Give yourself a raincheck but make this day yours, too. Just light a scented candle, put on some of your favorite music, and tend to matters at hand, YOUR way. Happy Mother's Day!

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