My current condition as I write this post is that I have been married to Dana for 18 1/2 years and we have 4 kids, age 8 to 15. This makes Mother’s Day an important event in our home.
Mother’s Day is a perfect opportunity to show your wife how much you love her by helping the kids to express how much they love her. Men, this will require some creativity, some courage, some patience, and some humor! It probably also means that you need to start planning today! Remember that you only have a few days to get this done. Here is the game plan:
Get the kids in a room without mom around and brainstorm some ideas. Don’t forget to pray with them first. Please don’t rain on their parade! They will come up with some crazy, outlandish, impractical ideas. Write them down (or better yet, let a school-aged kid write the list) as the ideas come. Who knows, they may think of something brilliant. And regardless, your wife might enjoy hearing about their ideas later! The main objective of this exercise is to get the kids excited about the idea of doing something special for mommy. As they come up with a list you can also make gentle suggestions of affordable things that she will actually like. Things like flowers, candles, lotion, or gift cards to Home Depot, depending on your wife’s preferences! The best way to be prepared for this day is to spend the rest of the year listening and taking notes. When she mentions something she thinks is nice, write it down in a Note on your smart phone. If you keep track during the year, you will have a good list to start with. But if you didn’t start 6 months ago, today is a good time to start! Guide your kids to think about ideas beyond gifts, such as ways that they can serve mom, spend time with her, or share words of encouragement. You are modeling to them how to bless others.
2-Acquire the Card
Take them to buy her a card. It is fun to turn them loose and let them pick something out, but of course you will steer them to better ideas and maybe veto really bad ideas. The kids love to pick things out for mom. (Don’t forget to buy her a separate card from you. It is convenient but usually considered a Mother’s Day foul to try to consolidate it all into one card to save money.) Homemade cards are just as special, see #4.
After paying the annual Hallmark tax, take them to pick something out for her from the list that you created. This could literally be a $3 tube of lotion from Walmart or a fine-tipped Sharpie from OfficeMax. The idea again is to spend time working as a team to find something that your wife will appreciate. Make sure that you don’t just get some little trinkets. Put some thought into the gift and really think of ways to bless her. The other side benefit here is that you have taken the kids for an hour or two, leaving your wife to relax or get something done. This is a little present to her also, and she will enjoy it all the more, knowing that her man and her little flock are scheming together about ways to bless her for Mother’s Day. The main gift that Dana wants each year is pretty flowers for her front porch planters. Maybe your wife is the same way and has a tradition she likes. Or maybe she isn’t much of a gift person, and she would prefer that you and the kids clean and vacuum the house from top to bottom. Acts of service speak love well! Or maybe a coupon book from the kids, or an appointment for a Saturday massage so she is nice and relaxed for Sunday.
When you are home you can attempt some type of craft. Luckily for me, my oldest girls are at the stage where they can take it from here. Where are the glue sticks? I don’t know, but they do! A simple activity for young kids is the classic ‘make mommy a nice picture’ routine. As they get older, you can get more sophisticated, suggesting that they make her a card or some artwork to put somewhere. An even nicer idea is to help them come up with things that they like about their mom and write them out. Words of affirmation can be a wonderful gift idea that she will treasure forever.
For some a wonderful Mother’s Day gift is to not cook or do dishes for the whole day. Some moms would prefer that you leave her kitchen alone; others would welcome a day off. If you or your children like to cook, plan the menu and shop for the ingredients. Even taking one meal off her plate will be a blessing. If you aren’t a cook, order take out or take her to her favorite restaurant.
6-Plan the Day
Plan out your Sunday. After church, will you take her out for lunch? (If so, you may need reservations.) What would SHE really like to do after lunch? Take a nap? Play games? Go on a walk? Even if your plans end up changing, she will appreciate that you put time into the planning. Remember today is about honoring your wife, the mother of your children. Pausing and doing this well will speak life and love into the heart and soul of your wife.
Purposeful, not Perfect
There is nothing earth-shattering or intensely creative about my list, but your wife is probably not looking for that. She is probably a good-hearted woman who deep down wants to be cherished and loved by her husband and kids. If you purposefully spend some time and effort, you will be able to bond with your children, strengthen your kids’ love for their momma, and honor your wife. Sounds like a good day to me!