A lot of attention has been paid recently to the wide gap in stress and responsibility division between parents. Even in households where fathers insist that they share the workload, studies have shown that women are still responsible for the vast majority of the home’s labor. This is especially true of emotional and mental labor. And if you’ve ever felt steam coming out of your ears after hearing a man refer to taking care of his own kids as “babysitting,” you know what we’re talking about.
The fact is that most of the work done by Moms goes unnoticed and only comes to our attention if she stops doing that work or tries to take a break. This is a travesty and it’s time that we start paying attention to and rewarding the Moms among us for all of the hard work they do. Remember: there is no rule that says you can only show appreciation for a Mom on Mother’s Day! Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Fancy Things Up
One of the best ways to show your favorite Mom that you care is by treating her to something luxurious. For many people, this means sending flowers. Flowers are a fantastic gift because they aren’t meant to pull double duty (yes, we’re looking at you, the people who “give” Mom the “gift” of a new dishwasher). Instead, flowers are simply meant to be enjoyed. If you do decide to send flowers, you’ll want to take some extra care in choosing them. Don’t just go with whatever is on sale at the grocery store (especially if your favorite Mom is already well versed in the offerings of the local grocery store, seriously). Instead, opt to send roses that have been bred in special/different colors and an exquisite arrangement that caters to her specific taste and style. Go over the top, mom does.
There was a recent article that took a look at the different reasons men and kids tend to not pitch in and help out with the chores around the house. The article said that, basically, they expect to be thanked every time they do a chore–in spite of the fact that they rarely think to thank the women in their lives who do those same chores often multiple times per day.
Men: Don’t be that guy. Kids: don’t be those kids.
Start pitching in at home. Instead of waiting to be asked, look around for ways that you can help keep the house running smoothly. Do a load of laundry. Mow the lawn. Start cooking meals. Send your favorite Mom to the couch to relax while you take over for at least a while.
Advertising insists that a “spa day” or weekend is the ultimate gift that someone can give to a woman. For the Mom in your life, this might be true. But don’t assume! You know what your favorite Mom loves most and what activities she enjoys when she has time to indulge in them. Give her a solid weekend of her favorite hobbies, a favorite location, a favorite activity. It might mean tickets to her favorite team’s next away game. It might be a trip to the city without the kids. It might be a weekend at the beach with nothing to do but read or binge watch her favorite horror movies.
It’s Your Treat
When we think about showing appreciation for Moms, we tend to focus on tips that spouses and kids can offer. It is important, however, to remember that Moms have friends, too. And those of you who are friends with a Mom? You should remember to show your appreciation for her as well. Take her out to lunch or dinner. Sponsor her next date night. Take the kids for an afternoon or overnight so she can have the house to herself for a while. Remember her kids’ details: their favorites, their birthdays, etc. Make sure her kids feel welcome in your home even if you have no kids of your own.
Like we said earlier: there is no rule that says you have to limit your appreciation of Moms to Mother’s Day. Use these tips to treat the Moms in your life right all year round!