What do you get for a working mother on Mother’s Day? The answer to this question has baffled husbands for… well, at least a decade or two. There was a time when dad could pick up flowers on his way home from work or buy a piece of jewelry to make momma happy on Mother’s Day. Now that more and more women are working, and a larger percentage than ever have become their household’s primary breadwinner, dads can’t rely on the same old conventional wisdom when it comes to Mother’s Day gifts.
Since becoming a father, I have developed a growing appreciation for moms and everything that they do for their kids. The process of carrying a child and giving birth is totally amazing. The physical strength alone is beyond my capability. Since becoming an at-home dad, I have grown to appreciate what it takes to raise a child. It is mentally exhausting to try to reason with a toddler about why nap time is a good idea. It is intellectually frustrating to comment on the state of the economy during the news at noon and only hear your daughter asking for more Cheerios.
I also have a whole new appreciation for working moms. Working mothers are incredibly brave. It’s not easy to face the criticism that they face for not staying at home. It is difficult to balance work demands and the demands of home life. It is impossible to be super-employee and super-mommy, but thousands of women do it every day. These women are amazing, and I am lucky enough to be married to one of them.
The love that I have for my wife is incredibly strong, and that love has grown exponentially since we decided to reverse roles and have me stay at home while she went back to work. I appreciate that she was brave enough to tell me about her desire to return to work. I appreciate her flexibility to let me be at home with our child. I appreciate the effort that she makes to be great at her job and be a great mother to our daughter. She is a super-hero to our family, and she doesn’t need flowers or jewelry to know that she is appreciated. What she needs is a break.
That’s right, give the working mother in your life some time off. What she tries to do for your family every day is nearly impossible, and yet she does it. Make sure she knows how much you really appreciate her. Send her to the spa for the weekend. Let her take the day to go to the beach. Make her breakfast in bed and then take the kids out of the house for a few hours after you’ve cleaned up. Do something that says, “Mom, you work really hard to keep this family going. You deserve a break. You deserve a chance to take care of yourself. Thank you for all you do. Enjoy your day.” I guarantee it will go over well.