Creative Ways to Spend Mother’s Day for the Sandwich Generation


If you’re a member of the sandwich generation, torn between caring for children and an aging parent, you already feel torn in half most of the year.

Mother’s Day can be even worse when you’re trying to find an activity everyone will enjoy. And isn’t this day supposed to be, just a little bit, about you? You might be the daughter of a senior parent, but you’re also a mom. It’s your holiday, too.

Why not take a course or get a group of other moms, their parents, and their children of all ages together and try one of these fun-for-all-ages activities? It might even develop into a hobby that your senior parent and your own children can do together throughout the year.

Check out painting tutorials on YouTube or look up PBS’ re-runs of Bob Ross’ famous painting shows. You can pick up painting sets for beginners at nearly any big box or local craft store. Buy canvases or get creative and paint on materials you have around the house, from cardboard to old white sheets to wood, mirrors, drywall, glass or any other flat surface.

Scrapbooking became popular in the 1990s and continues to be popular for all ages. A scrapbook created by multiple generations can become a family heirloom. Even very young children can help choose paper, stickers and photos and have a say in how to place them.

Knitting or Crocheting
Knitting circles experienced something of a revival in recent decades, with the younger generation busting stereotypes of little old ladies with knitting needles.

Knitting and crocheting also let you stretch your creative muscles. Sweaters and afghans are so 20th century. Today, you can knit amigurumi animals (like stuffed animals, but knitted), create a unique mermaid tail sleepsack for a newborn, or even knit a sack to take to the park or beach.

Learn Some Magic Tricks
Remember when an older relative would pull change from behind your ear? There are many websites devoted to teaching magic skills. Use them to learn how to entertain children or friends. Make your own child or grandchild feel special as you show them the magical secrets. provides an informative magic archive with information on classic tricks from the 1500s, on which all tricks today are based.

Sewing is easier to learn than most people think, and children as young as six or seven can sew with guidance. Craft and fabric stores, as well as local libraries, often offer sewing classes.

Cooking or Baking
Anyone can learn to cook. As with sewing, local stores usually offer cooking classes. Check with higher end grocery stores; their classes may be free of charge and cover everything from the basics of cooking to gourmet practices. You might want to take a class where you learn to cook dishes of your heritage, such as Italian, German or Japanese foods, or learn something entirely new.

If your children are very young or your senior parent suffers from Alzheimer’s, a simpler baking class might be more their speed.

Celebrate Mother’s Day With the Gift of Learning
All of the activities listed above will help you, your children and their grandparents form life-long memories, while you all learn a skill that you can enjoy and share for years to come. Your children may even carry on the tradition with their children, turning a fun Mother’s Day event into a legacy.