As a new mother, I was unbelievably excited for my first Mother’s Day. After nearly a year of sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and leaking ladies, a day to revel in my superhero status was just what the doctor ordered.
Unfortunately, my husband didn’t get the memo. There was no parade or statues erected in my honor. I didn’t even get a key to the city. Instead, I got a blender.
It wasn’t exactly his fault. His father had always handled Mother’s Day, buying gifts from the kids and sending his mom to the spa. Even as an adult, the extent of his Mother’s Day experience was signing a card and staying out of the way.
But still. A blender.
Luckily, he has since improved his Mother’s Day game–and your partner can do the same. Before Mother’s Day dawns this year, slip him this helpful list of Dos and Don’ts to guarantee yourself the royal treatment. Because I know it’s hard to step out of your mom shoes, I’ve also included some tips for you!
Do let her sleep in. Your first act of the day should be to sneak out, quietly feed the family, and threaten everyone in the house with dish duty if they so much as sneeze loudly. When she wakes, present her with offerings of fresh coffee and a breakfast she didn’t have to cook (or clean–I guess they get dish duty after all).
Moms: Even if you’re an early riser, savor waking slowly. Scroll through social media, watch a morning talk show, or sip an entire cup of coffee without a single stupid question. It’s much sweeter that way.
Do corral the kids. Take them to the park, go out for ice cream, or spend some time with the grandparents. Whatever you choose, be sure it gives mom some extended kid-free time that doesn’t include the children yelling at her through the bathroom door.
Moms: Don’t call, text, or otherwise check-in during your alone time. Even if he’s completely inept, let them bond together while you bond with a large glass of wine.
Do take care of the house. For this one day, take on all the household chores she normally handles–clean the kitchen, pick up after the kids, and tackle the laundry (wash and fold). Under no circumstances should you ask how to fold a fitted sheet or where to find the broom. How long have you lived here?
Moms: You’ll now have plenty of free time. Spend it binging your favorite show, reading a new book, or solving world hunger. And don’t worry–nobody knows how to fold a fitted sheet.
Do help the kids give their own gifts. She’ll feel the love and it will prepare your kids for nailing future Mother’s Day gifts of their own.
Moms: One week. That’s how long those cheesy projects must hang on the fridge before they can be quietly shifted to the attic memory box.
Don’t give her any type of appliance. A new vacuum, washing machine, or clothes iron are never acceptable Mother’s Day gifts, even if she’s mentioned needing one. This is not how you say “I love and appreciate you.” This is how you get sent to the dog house, and it’s definitely not clean there.
Moms: Be direct. “Honey, I’d like a year-long maid service for Mother’s Day” is a lot harder to misunderstand than “Gosh, I sure wish these floors would vacuum themselves.”
Don’t take her to brunch. Every forgetful father will be taking their family to a last-minute brunch, so dining rooms will be full of kids and chaos–and she can get that at home. Instead, order in her favorite meal or plan a cocktail date with her fellow mom friends.
Moms: Feel free to plan your own Mother’s Day Out with your friends. This will take the pressure off the men and guarantee you get a Happy Hour you’ll actually enjoy rather than one at your local sports bar.
Don’t leave the toilet seat up. This one needs no explanation.
Moms: There’s no advice here. They’re going to do it anyway. ■