It’s the age old question many a dad has asked; should I buy my wife a Mother’s Day gift? Google Search confirms this…
Now before I go on, let’s not assume that every new mum and dad are married because my wife and I certainly weren’t when our first was born. From this point on I’m going to refer to the person being the recipient of additional love on Mother’s Day as “significant other,” or the “mother of your child.”
Of course, the question of whether to buy the mother of your child a gift after she’s had the baby seems to be the more popular question according to Google Search, but I’m not getting into that debate right now. But there’s plenty of other Dad Bloggers who have written about that topic. So then, back to the question at hand; should the father buy the mother of his child/ren and his significant other a Mother’s Day gift? Before I answer that let me tell you about the Mother’s Days that my own dear wife has had and what I did for her on those days.
Mother’s Day 2009
The first Mother’s Day that my wife got to celebrate was Sunday, 10th May 2009. As our first born was six months old I am sure that I went out and bought her the Mother’s Day card and knowing me, I would have gotten her flowers at the very least. I suspect that I bought her a gift as well, but in the absence of either of us posting about it on Facebook, I can’t state this as fact.
Mother’s Day 2010
On her second Mother’s Day, we spent the morning walking around Parramatta Park as a participant in the Mother’s Day Classic 2010. The Mother’s Day Classic is a national fun run and walk that raises funds for breast cancer research, held annually on Mother’s Day in over 50 locations around Australia. Our participation in this event was suggested by my brother as our own mother had died at the end of 2009. Our first born was 18 months old so once again I am sure that I bought her a card on his behalf and again I’m sure that flowers and/or a gift was purchased for her on his behalf.
Mother’s Day 2011
On her third Mother’s Day in 2011 we spent five hours going around furniture stores looking for the new lounge suite for the house we were moving into at the end of the month. My wife was seven months pregnant with our second child. Our first born was attending Family Day Care and he made Mummy a gift there.
Mother’s Day 2012
Her fourth Mother’s Day in 2012, and her first as the mother of two kids was celebrated at her aunt’s property two hours west of Sydney with her own mother, her aunt and uncle, a few cousins and partners, her sister and her family and her brother. This was the last Mother’s Day that we spent with my wife’s mother as she died exactly a month to the day after this family gathering. I guess in hindsight, having spent that day together with family and seeing her mum enjoying herself and smiling in all the photos could be considered a gift in itself, but I’m sure that our first born made a gift at preschool at the very least.
Mother’s Day 2013
Her fifth Mother’s Day in 2013 was spent halfway between our home in Sydney and her sister’s home in Newcastle. We spent the day in the sun running around a place called Mt Penang Gardens. That morning, before she was awake, and well before we headed up the coast for the day, I went up to our local shopping centre at 7am and bought her a bunch of flowers. Our first born was a preschool and our youngest was at Family Day Care and again I am fairly certain that both made something for Mummy at their respective childcare venues.
Mother’s Day 2014
Her sixth Mother’s Day in 2014 was spent just her and the boys as I was in Germany for three weeks for work. Before I left I purchased a fluffy pink woollen jumper from Epirit which she wasn’t supposed to open until the day, but she ended up opening the day before I left which was almost two weeks before Mother’s Day. Our first born was in his first year at big school (kindergarten) and he bought her a trinket (read: random item) from the Mother’s Day stall that our P&C organised. And I am sure that once again the youngest made something random for Mummy at preschool.
And that brings us to this year. So what will she be getting from me? Now I have had discussions in a few groups on Facebook over the last week or so and the general consensus is (and this was mostly from mothers) that seeing that both of our boys are at school or preschool, the gifts that they make or buy at Mother’s Day stall should be enough, and maybe something small from me. Other mothers mentioned that they would really love the day off, or even the weekend for that matter. I guess for them this Mother’s Day meme rings true…
But it’s not like that in our household as I’ve mentioned many times before. I cook dinner every night. I pack the dishwasher afterwards. I do breakfast for the boys each morning, and some mornings for my wife too now that it’s heading into those cooler mornings where only a hot bowl of porridge will do. So in our house, there’s not need for those advertisements from KFC and various pizza joints that each and every year run a Mother’s Day campaign stating that you can “give mum the night off.” Why, just like this tweet from KFC I have embedded below…
Give mom the night off. Enjoy a FREE CAKE with any 10 pc meal or larger. pic.twitter.com/zV4ntxU9Pm
— KFC (@kfc) April 22, 2014
But as she’s the mother of my children, and I guess because us dads really owe the mothers BIG TIME for that whole “extreme pain during childbirth that you’ll never understand” episode, surely I have to do something for her.
My wife decided a few months back that instead of buying expensive birthday cards for everyone, she would get the boys to make cards. At first she was taking a piece of A4 paper from the printer in our home office and folding it in half, but to me, that seems a little too cheap. So I went to our local craft store that specialises in card making materials and I bought a 10 pack of A5 white card which is strong enough to be worthy to make a card from, but flexible enough to run through the printer.
So this year, I’m really organised. I jumped on the computer and picked out a photo of the boys where both of them are smiling and looking at the camera (that’s rare). Then I opened up Microsoft Word (you don’t need an expensive graphic design programme to do this) and I made this design.
Then I folded it ready for the boys to write in it (well, the six year old at least) and draw Mummy a picture (or a scribble in the case of our three year old).
And the end result is, I get to do my fatherly duty of encouraging the boys to do some art and craft, or simply just write on the card, and seeing that’s something my wife treasures dearly, then my work here is done.
But have I answered your question? Should the dad buy the mum a Mother’s Day gift? During one of the discussions, one of the mothers I was talking to asked me this;
“What do you get for father’s day Darrell? My husband normally gets socks and jocks. And something made by the kids.”
And that’s about the most that I get for Father’s Day. And that’s really all I need. But I have been thinking about this long and hard because I really want this to be a useful resource, and this is what I came up with.
Although I am cynical about using hyperbole in certain areas of my life, I firmly believe that there’s nothing worse than having high hopes for what you would like to receive and then having those dreams quashed by the disappointment of receiving much less than expected. So here’s my advice to all the mothers of the world, and fathers can take heed of this too; discuss your expectations with your significant other.
- If you’re the type of person who expects breakfast in bed followed by the morning to laze around catching up on some reading, or taking a long hot bath.
- If you’re also the type of person who wants to be pampered throughout the day, and taken to lunch.
- If you are the type of person who hopes to receive a big bunch of flowers and a gift off of your children’s father, not just them.
- And if you’re the type of person who want to end the day with dinner cooked by someone else, be taken out for dinner as well, or simply have some takeaway food…
Then. Just. Say. So.
Don’t leave your partner guessing. Don’t put expectations on a guy who you otherwise wouldn’t have great expectations from.
And guys, it would not hurt to ask the mother of your children what her expectations are.
It. Is. That. Simple.
And remember, whether it’s Father’s Day the following month (as it is in most of the world), or later in the year as it is in Australia, (why is that? We really need to fix that as I wrote about last year) whatever the expectations that your significant other put on you to buy a gift, you can expect that same in return. And maybe something else a little bit special that’s not from the kids…
So what do you expect your partner to get you for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day? Do you just do something from the kids, or is their an expectation that a bigger gift is given from the other parent?