Don't Blow It on Mother's Day: a Guide for Dads

Make sure you're prepared to make the new mommy in your house feel special on her day.
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profile picture of Erin van Vuuren
Updated May 1, 2017
bouquet flowers labeled mom
Image: Kelly Knox

(Author’s note: My husband’s reaction to the title of this article: “What? Mother’s Day is for your mom, right? Not your wife.” I’m currently five months pregnant, and I hereby dedicate this article to him.)

Calling all daddies: Yes, once your wife becomes a mother (meaning from the time you’ve impregnated her until forever), you’re responsible for making her feel special on Mother’s Day. In fact, as long as baby is still gestating or otherwise unable to hold a glue stick, it’s entirely up to you. Once junior starts getting crafty (say, age 3) or starts earning his own dough, you get to take it down a notch, but you’ll still be obligated to make sure the kid follows through (and to at least buy a card, if not some flowers). No, she isn’t your mother. But she’s a mother and the holiday is for her—don’t screw it up.

If this holiday is totally new to you, never fear. Take the following tips to heart and your honey is sure to be a happy lady come May 12.

Be sweet
Lucky for you, Mother’s Day isn’t really about expensive presents. It’s about making a woman feel appreciated for her job as “mommy.” Similar to Valentine’s Day, simple gestures like flowers, candies or even a card with a handwritten message can mean the world. Don’t forget to let baby sign the card too! (A couple of crayon scribbles are fine. Really.) Extra points if you have baby put her own little hand stamp on the card.

Make a plan
Like my husband said, Mother’s Day is for moms. So when it’s your partner that you’re honoring, think of what activities would best celebrate her mom-ness. Offer to clean the house or run errands so she can have an afternoon of stress-free playtime with the little one, or plan a fun family outing to a park or local festival. Or if she’s had an overload of mommy time lately? Heck, take over baby duty and send her out for a pedicure and a cocktail.

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*_Use the baby
*_Traditionally, the best Mother’s Day gifts are sweet mementos. Consider preserving baby’s handprints or footprints with a wall hanging like this one from Red Envelope ($59), or stick a cute mommy-baby photo in a personalized frame like the silver-beaded engravable frame at Things Remembered ($25). Want to go above and beyond? Book a family (or maternity) photo shoot with a local artist. Another goody that’s sure to melt her heart: Surprise her with a modern “mom necklace” like the gold tag necklace at Pottery Barn Kids ($124). Get more ideas in our mother’s day gift guide.

No matter what, do something
Just like any other holiday, if she says, “Oh, it’s no big deal; you don’t have to get me anything,” don’t buy it! Sure, she’ll probably love you anyway. But chances are, she’ll also be pretty disappointed. Whether it’s breakfast in bed, a fancy mom-focused gift, helping baby make a handcrafted “#1 Mom” sign for the fridge or just giving her a little break, this is your chance to show her you appreciate her for being a great mom. Take it. (And just think…Father’s Day is right around the corner.)

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