Some dads I know have confided (not very confidentially) that they think the expectations for Mother’s Day are confusing, hard, and guaranteed to make sure they are always wrong. And a whole lot of moms of my acquaintance have confided (fairly confidentially, as the “insult to injury” part of the program is the need to pretend we are delighted with whatever happens) that their husbands DO get it wrong, year after year. Dudes, let me tell you where you are going wrong. You are listening to the advertising industry instead of to your wives. No foolies. There is the retailers’ idea of what constitutes an ideal Mothers’ Day (you- spending lots of money. her- mad, and spending revenge money next week) and then there is OUR idea of an ideal Mothers’ Day. (A nice day where we are free not to be mad at anyone at all, nobody cries, and we spend all of Monday overjoyed that our husband was so THOUGHTFUL AND SWEET this year.)
And uh, guys? If you’re thinking this doesn’t apply to you? Please see the note about “insult to injury,” above, and then, skip down to “blow it out of the water.” If you have been hitting it out the park all along, you can give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back and carry on. Either way, you will get serious “awesome” points this year.
With these facts in mind, I have created your Mother’s Day Gift Guide. YOU’RE WELCOME. Please keep in mind that the secret that makes these the perfect gift is choosing things that fit the situation. If you don’t know how your partner would feel about any of these, skip to the end. The last item on the list is a 100% foolproof idea.
First, complete this required item:
- Remember your own mother. Pick something from the list below to do for her, or send her a sweet video of the kids talking about how much they love her, or mail her a card and a gift. Tell the mother of your children that it’s taken care of, so she can check it off her list.
Now, for your wife/girlfriend/permanent rommate. Pick anything off this list. Choose as many as you’d like, but pick AT LEAST ONE:
- The remote, 24 hours alone, and a new season of Doctor Who. (<—insert equivalent if she doesn’t love the Doctor. We can talk about what’s wrong with her later.)
- A day off diaper duty.
- Precious hand-print crafts from the children that she is not in charge of making.
- Do any one (or ten, if you get a babysitter) of the 200 house upkeep tasks that have been on the back burner since she originally got pregnant.
- Give her a day to spend with her own mom that doesn’t include taking care of the kids.
- If your wife’s mother is deceased, this item is an AND not an or. Just trust me, and ask her, right this minute, how she would like to remember her mom on Mothers’ Day this year. She’ll probably cry. Just go with it.
- Do not. Ask her. What is for dinner. DO NOT DO IT. Just make sure that something she likes appears in front of her at dinner time. If you don’t know how to order carry out, you can Google it. And, by “dinner time,” I mean whatever time she usually expects the family to eat, not two hours after your children’s bed time and three hours after her patience gives out.
- At least half of the 200 times the kids ask for something on Sunday, take care of it without waiting for her to ask you to do it.
- Bring her coffee in bed. Then leave her there to enjoy it until she is ready to come join the morning mayhem.
- Take some nice photos of her with the children. Ones that don’t prominently feature her thighs or make her nose look enormous, and where no one is crying. This is probably harder than it sounds, and won’t go unappreciated. It’s ok to get professional help with this one.
- Write her a note that says she’s a great mom. Have each of your children write one, as well.
- Get her a gift card to a store she really loves to shop at and then ask her when she wants to go there ALL ALONE.
- Teach the kids to yell “MOMMY IS AWESOME!” on cue. Get a video of them doing it.
If you really want to blow it out of the water, try this one. I’m saving the best for last. I promise! Here it is:
- Ask what she wants and then DO THAT. But- and this is crucial- Do not wait until Sunday Morning. Ask NOW. Let go of what you think she should want. Even if you don’t pull it off perfectly, the fact that you listened and tried to give her the day she asked for will mean you have hit it out of the park.
On behalf of all the moms I know, let me say THANKS IN ADVANCE, guys. I know you are all going to rock Mother’s Day this year! (I’m sorry, were you expecting a buying guide? Can’t help you there, bud. I’m sure there are moms who want an extravagant, material gift, but- even if I knew them, any “buying guide” could only manage to be woefully inadequate. Try going with “fool proof” if you think your lady may be in this category.)
Psst! Moms! Have you got an insider tip that’s not on the list? Put it in the comments down there! Thanks! You’re the best!