As a stay-at-home dad, married to a working wife, it’s clear to me that Mother’s Day is not all things to all mothers. In the past, it’s been seen as a ‘day off for mums’. This break is also reflected in the way many businesses theme their Mother’s Day offerings – meals out, spa days – even ready meal supermarket deals!
In rather old fashioned thinking, it’s still assumed mums need time off from their normal domestic routine traditionally associated with mothers – childcare, cooking, cleaning, and general household admin. Well, seeing as I am a stay-at-home dad, those are the things that I usually do!
This is not to say that I feel like a day off from the family, or am even trying to co-opt the day itself. The simple fact that my wife was the one who pushed out a small human (probably not small enough for my wife’s liking) is clearly worth celebrating from both my daughter and I. So she definitely gets her day.
What do modern mothers want for mother’s day?
My wife likes it to be about being indulged, but that takes many forms. She is of course inset expected to do any household chores, but there is also no expectation for the responsibilities of being a parent – such as bath & bedtime, which are her activities as default. My wife likes to have a meal of her choice, whether at home or out – but this could even include a meal made by her, as she loves cooking but rarely gets the chance to do so as I tend to do that while she is taking care of bedtime.
Beyond home responsibilities, my wife would also prefer to not have to work on that weekend. It’s her job that supports us, and she works very hard at it. However, that can often mean her workload spilling over into evenings and weekends – hopefully not on Mother’s Day weekend though. But at its heart, for my wife it’s a day about her being a mother, and that means spending time with her daughter and the other person who did his part to help make her a mother (me!).
In terms of gifts, this can make things trickier than in the past. What do modern mothers really want for mother’s day? Paperchase invited me to check out their range. My wife’s love of cooking could certainly be encouraged with one of their special recipe journals. I know she treasures the time she spends doing crafts with our daughter, and Paperchase have a great range of art & craft supplies. And the right card is important – they have a diverse range to choose from, spanning the traditional to the irreverent.
As it is, we are kind of missing Mother’s Day this year, as we will be in New Zealand on the actual day – for some inexplicable reason their Mother’s (and Father’s) Day fall on a different date than ours. I have already said that she will have her very own Mother’s Day when we return to the UK – just for her. On the actual UK date while we are NZ, we already have arranged to spend tine with old Kiwi friends, so at least that’s a day of fun for her.
And I shall also make sure her day is free of chores, work, and the childcare aspects of parenting – apart from what she wants to do.
This is a collaborative post with Paperchase. To see their suggested range of Mother’s Day gifts, please check out the selection on their website.