When Mother’s Day gifting time rolled around every year, I used to dread it. Not because I didn’t like my mom or my wife, but because I felt stuck between what I should do for my mom, what was best for my wife, and how could I get the kids involved. Being caught in the middle of that triangle was confusing. I wished there was some magic Mother’s Day Kit to save me.
For my wife, I did breakfast in bed one year when the kids were small. We got up early and put together a nice breakfast, at least I thought. And I’m a good cook, so it wasn’t even about the food tasting good. It just turned out a little disappointing for me because I could see the look on my wife’s face that it was more of a “When can we eat dad?” or a competition for who could get the closest to mom as she was just waking up. It wasn’t a disaster, but I felt like it started the day in the wrong way.
One year, I even tried to celebrate my mom and my wife on the same day. It was weird because I realized I had very different relationships with each of them. Bringing them both together on this particular day was not a good idea. My mom birthed and raised me, but my wife is my best friend and the mother of my children. I felt pulled in two different directions.
For me, eliminating that tension meant setting aside a different day for my mom, usually the day right before Mother’s Day. That meant I didn’t have to split my attention between my mom and my wife, and on Mother’s Day itself, I could invest all my energy into finding ways to show my appreciation for my wife.
SOME MOTHER’S DAY HISTORY
So let’s get to the root of Mother’s Day. Wilderdad did an excellent job sharing the day’s history in the post, “The Day Moms Were Nearly Tasked with Saving the World.” It reminds us that the goal of Mother’s Day is to “celebrate … mothers around the world and all that they do.” Taking that a little deeper, it is a day where you and the kids should find ways to celebrate and show appreciation for everything the mom in your family does, especially the smaller, everyday things that often go unnoticed.
Below are a few examples of how to show appreciation in a DIY way. When you read the list of Mother’s Day kit ideas, don’t think, “Oh I can’t do that.” Instead, think of what your wife would appreciate the most. Think of how she would feel. Then go put in a little work to make it happen.
- Write a short note about what she means to you and the family. Put it on a really nice piece of stationery you buy at a stationery store, something high quality.
- Gather the kids, and have them create handmade cards. The goal isn’t to get the kids to just draw and color a nice card. Have an area where they can write something about why they love her. The meaning behind the card is the most important thing.
- Get 10 to 15 pieces of red colored paper and cut out a heart from each of them. Ask the kids to write one thing they love about mom on each one. Hang them around the house where she can find them throughout the day and read the messages.
- Write a poem, like a “roses are red” kind of poem, with your own words. Who cares if you’re not a writer? You may be surprised at how easy it is to write an 8-line version of “roses are red” speaking from your heart.
- Do one of the suggestions listed above and print off two or three coupons for a day off, giving mom a full day of freedom from her mom duties.
There are a lot of creative ways to celebrate your wife this year that don’t involve pulling your hair out brainstorming the perfect Mother’s Day gifting ideas. You can still buy her a gift or some flowers, but keep it small. Make the focus about appreciation, and then the pressure to find the right gift or do the right thing will vanish. When you focus on appreciating and loving her, the meaning of Mother’s Day shines through. And when you model this behavior in front of the kids, they’ll learn how to show their appreciation to others.
ABOUT MOTHER’S DAY KIT FOUNDER
Jeff is the founder of MothersDayKit.com. He is a dad of two kids, Jack (20) and Evie (15), and husband for 26 years. He loves to explore different business ideas, including his most recent product called Mother’s Day Kit. It is a kit of DIY paper crafts for dads to work on with their kids to help celebrate moms on their special day. You can learn more at MothersDayKit.com. In addition to helping dads make Mother’s Day special, Jeff loves to run trails, is a coffee snob, lives for car/SUV camping, and enjoys the outdoors in Colorado where he and his family live.