Mother’s Day: Tips for Dads to Honor Moms

Dad: you have some remarkable women in your life—your mother and your kids’ mom. And you can play a big role in making Mother’s Day truly memorable for them.

Ideally, you would already have some plans in place by now. Maybe you have thought through what she appreciates and enjoys, her interests and hobbies. What would she like most on Mother’s Day?

It’s probably different for each one. Maybe it’s a day off from all mom duties. Maybe a family outing or a few gifts to make her life easier or just to make her feel special. (Maybe all of the above!) To help you think this through for the moms in your life (if you haven’t already), here are some suggestions:

Give from the heart.

Grand gestures are fine sometimes, but whatever you do, whether simple or extravagant, make it about expressing your love and appreciation. Include a handwritten note letting her know what a difference she has made.

Help the kids create something.

Give them time and encouragement to make a card, draw a picture, or write a poem for their mom. These may not be the only gifts she receives, but they can be the most meaningful for her. Twenty years from now, which do you think she will see as more valuable—a homemade Mother’s Day card from a child that she has kept as a keepsake, or the kitchen gadget that she replaced a few years later?

Consider a gift of time.

This could mean some valuable “me” time for her, where she gets to relax or enjoy some activity that she doesn’t get to do very often. It could be an activity that she will enjoy with the whole family—a picnic in the park, a museum excursion, or a shopping day. It might be a celebration that includes extended family members, with a meal or dessert. This could also be a gift from a child for one-on-one time doing something special.

Capture the memories.

In some families, Dad is the one who’s carrying a camera around or always pulling out his phone to snap a photo or record some video. For those dads, it’s natural to capture lots of family-time moments from your Mother’s Day celebration. Of course, sometimes it’s Mom who handles most of the photos and videos, and dads in those situations need to step up and cheerfully take over the memory-saving activities. All moms will appreciate having those keepsakes and that record of the time with her kids, which she’ll get to enjoy again and again.

Do your best, dad. Even if you get caught in an activity that isn’t really your thing, keep serving your family—and especially the moms who are nearby—with a smile. Yes, a big smile. This day isn’t about you, although you can play a key role in making it a meaningful one.

How do you help your kids honor their mom? What’s your best tip? Share your insights and connect with other dads at our Facebook page.

More Action Points & Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  • Ask each of your kids, “What would make Mom feel special for Mother’s Day?” Find ways to carry out the best ideas, if they’re doable.
  • Devote some time to thinking about reasons why you appreciate the moms in your life, to help you write and/or speak a meaningful tribute.
  • Do a household or cleaning task that your kids’ mom usually handles.
  • Wake up early Sunday and make a run for coffee or another breakfast treat for your kids’ mom. (And one for your mom, if you live close enough.)
  • Is there a time of the week that’s often stressful for your kids’ mom? If it’s feasible, start a regular activity with the kids—out of the house—to give her a chance to recover and recharge.

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