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Dear dads: Here’s why Mother’s Day matters

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Dear Fathers,

Mother’s Day matters. Yes, it may be a cliched, Hallmark-esque opportunity for price gouging by florists and confectioners, but it matters. It matters because it is an opportunity for you to be a role model for your children. Here you can show them what it means to be grateful, to demonstrate thoughtfulness- and you can show your children you value the contribution their mother makes to both their lives and your own. It may not matter to you, but it matters to the mother of your child and it matters to your child too.

A first Mother's Day is special.

A first Mother’s Day is special.

Parenting is a tough but rewarding gig and I’m not suggesting that the role of the father is any less important or challenging than that of the mother. It’s different. I think that most people would acknowledge and even statistics go to show, that on average women devote more hours to child rearing per week than men do. Therefore, Mother’s Day should be in recognition of all that mums do. For most women of my acquaintance, a home made card, some flowers from the garden and a sleep in would make for a wonderful Mother’s Day.This is a day that is for acknowledging the supreme awesomeness of mothers. And really, at the moment, isn’t everything awesome?

Present buying should really be a no-brainer for Dads. If your child is at daycare, pre-school or school, then they’ll probably be making what could loosely be described as ‘cards’ and ‘gifts’. If your child is at school, in all likelihood there’s a Mother’s Day stall – so hand over a few dollars for your child to buy something they’ve chosen themselves. For those of you with the mental and physical fortitude to brave the shops on the Saturday before the Big Day (and really most Dads aren’t known for their planning) so in all likelihood it’ll be the day before, do not do what my husband did one year and buy a vacuum cleaner. I was not amused. Small appliances (unless requested) should be off your list.

296634_10150794256240311_922214477_nFor those of you with very small children, perhaps this is the first Mother’s Day.This matters, in my view, even more. When you’re a new mum it can be an overwhelming time. And exhausting, emotional, frustrating and confusing. Did I mention exhausting? It is not always a Hallmark experience. This first Mother’s Day will be the Mother’s Day to which all others will be compared. No pressure. Flowers, a sleep in, maybe brunch at a cafe or even breakfast in bed are standard Mother’s Day fare. How about a picnic for lunch? A voucher for a manicure, massage or trip to her favourite hairdresser? A photo collage of images of her with bub? You could go old school with a ‘mixed tape’ aka playlist of songs.

Mother’s Day is about showing appreciation, even if its just a day, to the woman who probably holds it all together even when she’s flat out exhausted, grumpy, has who knows what smeared on her shirt, greasy hair and mismatched socks. Of course it should be more than one day, but let’s crawl before we walk. Don’t worry Dads, your time will come in September.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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