Mom’s Day offers bonding experience

By Brittany Abeijon

Craft fairs at the Illini Union, musicals at Assembly Hall and fashion shows at the Illini Union Ballroom do not always appeal to many of the male students with arriving mothers this Mom’s Day Weekend. Many are left wondering what activities to do that both moms and sons will enjoy.

Kevin Toomey, junior in Engineering, wrinkled up his nose and laughed when recalling the usual Mom’s weekend activities.

“My mom makes me go to the craft fair at the Union every year,” Toomey said. “And all I want to do is head to a bar and watch the Cubs.”

Dr. John Powell, a licensed psychologist and clinical counselor at the University Counseling Center, said that sons and moms don’t connect as naturally as daughters and moms, so Mom’s weekend is a great opportunity for moms and sons to learn more about each other.

“Sons and moms are people from two different cultures,” Powell said. “And the cultures are based on gender.”

When a mom comes to the University, they are entering their child’s turf, a very different situation from when a child visits their parents at home.

“The mothers get to learn more about who their son is while he is away at college,” Powell said. “It’s like seeing an animal in its natural habitat.”

Becki Galardy, a program manager at the University’s parent programs, worked with the Mothers Association to plan workshops that focus on the changes college students go through.

“Every relationship between a child and their parent is individualized, but we try to organize workshops that are useful and helpful to all,” Galardy said.

One workshop, “Empowering Your Student,” held from noon to 12:45 p.m. at 404 Illini Union, helps parents learn how to be more of an adviser and mentor to their college student, in order to help them learn to make appropriate life choices.

Organizations on campus that are entirely male, such as various fraternities, participate in special events specifically geared towards fun for both the moms and sons.

The Phi Delta Theta fraternity serves their moms brunch followed by an auction, the Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity auctions off gift-filled baskets to their moms and the Delta Tau Delta fraternity holds a silent auction.

Jeffery Villalobos, junior in Business and member of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, said items in the auction geared towards moms, such as restaurant gift certificates, match items the guys will like, such as sports tickets and beer, making everyone happy.

Although some male students and their moms do not agree on craft fairs and musicals, some female students find themselves in similar situations as well.

Amanda Sanchez, junior in Business, invited her dad to attend Mom’s Weekend this year because her mom had prior engagements.

“I can’t bring him to a fashion show,” Sanchez said. “Since most of the activities are geared towards moms, my dad and I will just spend the time going out for a nice lunch. I don’t see him very often and it’s just nice to spend quality time together.”

Activities for everyone for Mom’s Day Weekend

“Spring Prairie Skies”

A live-narrated tour of the wonders of the night’s sky held Friday at 7 p.m. at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College, 2400 W. Bradley Ave.

Volunteer Illini projects clean up Allerton Park, Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

“A good idea for moms to join sons as they enjoy nature and participate together in this active event,” Powell said.

Campus Rec free for all moms

CRCE and the IMPE East Wing will be free for all moms this weekend