How to Do Mother’s Day: A Guide for Dads Helping Their Kids
Once a year, well for me it’s twice a year, the British Mother’s Day and the International Mother’s Day, there is a special day designated to celebrate Mothers. And each year it’s a bit of a mess. It’s true that a majority of kids and dads are on it now - such is the commercialisation of the event, it’s hard to miss. And we have many teachers to thank for helping kids get crafty in the classroom making sweet cards to stuff our bedside tables with. But us lucky mums would find the day a whole lot sweeter if our sister mums who get overlooked and forgotten were taken care of too. And here’s the big spoiler alert: it’s easier and we don’t want as much as you think!
Somewhere along the way in the history of Mother’s Day, this day of acknowledgement has turned into needing to book champagne brunches, buy sleepwear, stock up on skincare, and go on some family adventure in nature where the sun shines and we all laugh while we play Uno on a picnic blanket. While we won’t say no to any of this (maybe the last one), it is not the case. You are being sold a story for companies to cash in on.
In actual fact our expectations are actually quite low and simple to top. That doesn’t mean they’re easy mind you, because it does take some effort - mainly in the areas of a grocery shop, a painful craft session (DO NOT USE GLITTER) and child minding – but it’s all totally doable.
Here are some easy wins to get Mother’s Day off to a good start and by all means there is absolutely no need to do all of them:
- Get the date right
This one seems obvious but you’d be surprised just how many people get it wrong. And to give the benefit of the doubt, it can be confusing, because Mother’s Day is celebrated at different times of the year depending on where you are from. For instance, The UK and Ireland celebrate Mothering Sunday on the 4th Sunday of Lent or 3 weeks before Easter. In Singapore, Australia and the US, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday in May (head up - very soon). So just work out where the mother of children is from and then do a spot of Googling. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day
- Don’t leave things to the last minute
We really hate this. It means, you don’t really care that much about Mother’s Day. And it ruins things before you even get started. Avoid this.
- Sleep in
This is a no brainer. If we look after children most days, we would really like not to have to do so for a tiny bit longer on this special day. So your job is to barricade that door like a Stormtrooper and prevent those small and excited people holding the cards from running into the bedroom and launching her.
- Cup of tea in bed
It’s lovely that you want to make a cooked breakfast but just give her the tea. That’s all she really wants. See, most of the time, she has to make her own tea. And then, she doesn’t get to drink it. Later in the day she will find a cold cup on a bookshelf or where everyone puts on their shoes. And yes, she will probably drink it. So give her the tea while it’s hot, leave the room and let her drink it in peace. Besides, the cooked breakfast is really for the kids - watch as they stare ravenously at the tray until basically every food scrap has been handed out.
- Get the kids ready
It doesn’t matter if you’re going out or not. Just take care of all the routine stuff that needs to happen: hair brushing, dressing, bedmaking, teeth brushing, dishwasher emptying, dishwasher stacking, bag packing, sunscreen slathering etc. A break from trying to bend small humans to your will for the same thing day in day out is a valuable gift.
- Make something
We love anything homemade by the hands of our own kids. It’s in our DNA. It shows that time and effort have been conjured. So provide the environment for these funny messages, objects and artworks to be created. Yes, there will be much whispering shh! Covering up work as she walks past the art class in full progress right under her nose, but it’s part of the fun. And you Dads get to spend some fun quality time with the little ones in the process.
- Make the kids disappear (well just for an hour or two)
It’s lovely being smothered by your kids on Mother’s Day. It’s also nice to get away from your kids on Mother’s Day. There is this misconception that Mother’s Day means spending even MORE time with your kids. This might be true for some. But I reckon if you gave the Mum in your life a chance to spend part of the day hitting the gym, having a foot massage or going for a hike (I repeat, no walking with kids and picnic blankets because it’s just tedious!), she’d really appreciate it.
And that’s it. Seven simple steps to making Mum feel good. That being said, If you ask a mum, all they really want is time.