Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day: To the Dads

It happens every year on the day after Mother's Day.

Many moms get up and go back to the trenches of parenthood, feeling just a little extra inadequate. Yesterday passed, and they watched most or all of their friends get honored, and recognized and spoiled all. day. long. Facebook and Instagram are jammed with photos of roses and candy, designer bags, giftcards to the spa, handmade cards in cute childish script. And they received nothing at all.

I always hear about it from more than one of them -- usually several of them. It was awkward. It was disappointing. They tried not to expect anything, but they couldn't help it. They did. The day is, after all, called Mother's Day, and they are, after all, a mother.

The friends who were honored and lauded can offer little comfort. They don't know what to do other than attempt to be sympathetic. And slowly, these forgotten moms start to dread this huge, unavoidable holiday every single year.

Don't let it be the woman in your life who is forgotten, Dads. It hurts. Probably  more than she will ever tell you. Honor and appreciation can be shown without cash or a debit card. Do something. Do anything.

Write her a letter, sing her a song, put candy in her sock drawer for her to find. Have breakfast cooking when she wakes up, print photos of the children and have them write letters to her on the back with crayons. Or the ultimate gift -- clean the house for her! I promise you, she would love any of these things. It doesn't matter if it's an awkward gift, and it doesn't matter if it's made out of a paper grocery bag and fingerpaint. Believe me when I tell you, your words of affirmation are the ones she wants to hear more than anyone else's.

And please -- please, please, please do not offer the excuse that "mothers should be honored every day of the year." She will agree with you because she doesn't want to seem selfish, but deep down she will feel that you are offering a well-worded excuse to do nothing. Don't do nothing.

Maybe I'm not qualified to write this post, because my husband never forgets Mother's Day. Or maybe I'm exactly qualified, because we know what it's like to have to get really creative because you have very little some years. I promise you can do it. And it isn't as hard as you think.

It's not enough to expect society to appreciate her today with sappy commercials and a discount at the buffet. Society doesn't appreciate her, and that is the problem. Monday she will probably go grocery shopping with a toddler, who may or may not have a complete meltdown in the cereal aisle. Or a baby who may or not have a poo-splosion all over her shirt. Or maybe it's a teen who is about to roll her eyes one too many times. Let her know that you see that!

The worst gift she can receive is nothing at all. And you can totally give her more than that. You're awesome -- that's why she married you. Show her this Sunday that you think she is awesome too.

Happy gifting, Dads.

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