I want to share a little bit of insight with my friends and clients who are husbands and fathers, and more pointedly, those who love women who are mothers.
Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that are slightly awkward because of the uncertainty of who exactly we are celebrating. Mothers, of course. But WHO should be celebrating WHOM? Obviously, children celebrating their moms is the first thing that comes to mind and was the original intent. But then it gets kinda sticky, because the marketing and advertising machines have latched onto Mother’s Day with a vengeance.
Like prom-posals and gender-reveal parties, the expectations of Mother’s Day have been spiraling ever upward. It used to be that a simple handmade card scribbled in crayon from a child would do. Often grown children got together and took Mom out to brunch. But somehow, expectations started shifting to husbands to provide a gift or dinner or a day out for their wives. I remember when my husband started to realize this, and he was a little dazed and confused…”What? I thought I was supposed to send a card to my mother?” Sigh.
But instead of being confused, and maybe feeling like an unsuspecting victim of a Hallmark holiday, you could use this day in a way that would really mean the world to your wife, and it’s very simple. Think of the three Rs.
RECOGNIZE that the job of motherhood is her top priority; REALIZE how much of herself that she pours into this role because it is so important to her; and REINFORCE that she is doing a superb job, because she questions herself every day if she is doing it right.
There is nothing better than being told what a great job you are doing – especially when the job is simultaneously your greatest challenge, your greatest joy, and your greatest source of self doubt.
You are probably very good at telling her that she’s beautiful, or that she looks hot in that dress when you go out. You are probably good at telling her that she’s a good cook. She loves to hear those things, of course, but she knows that looks or outfits are relatively easy to pull together with a good stylist and a credit card. What she really needs to hear is how she’s doing at the thing that matters MOST to her – raising her children to reach their full potential as happy, productive adults.
So this Mother’s Day, remember the three Rs and tell her how much you love what a great mom she is. It will mean more to her than anything, and she will LOVE you for understanding!