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Taking the Kids: Let's hear it for Moms

Eileen Ogintz, Tribune Content Agency on

Let’s hear it for moms! Not just on Mother’s Day either. It’s been widely reported that moms have had the roughest time during the pandemic.

Millions lost jobs and were forced to shutter businesses; working moms left the labor force in huge numbers when schools and daycare centers shut down. The number of women in the labor force has dropped to levels not seen in more than 30 years, the National Women’s Law Center reports.

Many others spent the year juggling Zoom work, childcare, home schooling, as well as regular chores without respite.

That’s not to say dads didn’t help, of course, they did. But with Mother’s Day this month, there’s no better time to thank moms, and not incidentally, and see grandmas again now that the CDC has said that those who have been fully vaccinated can safely visit unvaccinated family members, as long as no one is at high risk.

Budgets are tight for many of us and showing mom your appreciation doesn’t mean busting the budget. Rather than the (overpriced) Mother’s Day brunch, support local restaurants by ordering mom’s favorite takeout, complete with her favorite beverage of choice.

Rather than ordering flowers, plant some of her favorites in the garden or in pots the kids decorate so she can enjoy them longer.

 

And speaking of gardens, there’s no better time to present mom with reservations and (affordable) tickets for a botanical park in the coming weeks. If she’s a big gardener, get her a membership!

We love the Denver Botanic Gardens with its Rocky Mountain plants, the 14-acre Japanese garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis with one of the world’s largest collections of rare orchids (free entrance for St. Louis residents Wednesday and Saturday mornings!), the focus on desert plants at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, especially in spring when the wildflowers bloom (moms get free admission on Mom’s Day with a paid child! MOM21 is the code) and the San Francisco Botanical Garden with its Redwood Grove in Golden Gate Park that is also home to the famous Japanese Garden and flower conservatory. Buy her a plant to take home afterward.

How does the mom in your life most like to relax? If she’s a big reader, a gift certificate to Amazon, a new e-reader would be a welcome gift. If she prefers to have a book in hand, how about a new offering from a favorite author? The kids could also go to the library, choose a book for mom (the librarian would help!) and give it to her with a promise that they’ll give her time to read!

For UK moms-to-be, l give high marks to the MUTU System for pregnancy and postpartum exercise approved by the UK National Health Service (NHS) Digital Apps library that includes a private online community, demonstration videos, food guide and more. ($99 for a year.)

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