Dads, Mother's Day Is Coming. Prepare Or Be Square.

by Sara Farrell Baker
Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock

Hush. Do you hear that? It’s from the future, but there’s so much bliss that if you listen closely, you can just barely hear the joyful noise that is to come.

It’s the sound of moms the world over not lifting a damn finger.

Dads, Mother’s Day is coming. Otherwise known as National Mom’s Day Off. So start. Planning. Now.

Do not snooze on this, because some effort on your part for one day can pay out dividends for months. It is an investment in your future and in your overall quality of life to be sufficiently prepared for this Day of Days.

Every single day, the mother of your children is keeping shit running in ways you aren’t even aware of. She is scheduling appointments, planning playdates, refereeing siblings, searching for new recipes, coordinating transportation and activities, wiping butts, playing trains, preparing breakfast, packing lunches, cooking dinner, listening to Minecraft speeches, folding laundry, corresponding with teachers, buying groceries, running errands, checking homework, and figuring out what the hell that smell is and where it’s coming from.

So for one day, you are in charge of not letting her do any of that. You are in charge of keeping your children alive and out of urgent care. You are in charge of making her feel special and appreciated and taken care of.

First of all, breakfast in bed is a beautiful idea. It should not be served until Mom has woken up of her own free will and had ample time to lay in bed thinking about whether or not she should commit to actually waking up. Do not let your children cook any part of this breakfast unless they are properly trained. Pancakes that are somehow burnt on the outside but raw on the inside are cute for about three seconds when your child makes them for you. They cease being cute the moment you are forced to take a bite and pretend you like them, and also when you are still hungry because your family brought you inedible garbage/child art to break your fast.

If you want to really do this right, take the kids out of the house as soon as they wake. Moms have hypersensitive hearing when it comes to their kids. Any chance she has of sleeping late will be out the window if they remain at home.

Feed them breakfast out. Experience what it is like being the lone adult with your children in a restaurant so you can appreciate their mother even more. Do not make a brunch reservation for the whole family. That is a rookie mistake. Going out to eat with her children is not a break no matter how nice the restaurant or how bottomless the mimosas. She will still feel the need to parent and cut food and share her delicious French toast with your greedy kids.

Order some chocolate croissants and a double side of bacon to go. Swing through the Starbucks drive-thru on the way home and pick up her favorite coffee. Not the non-fat BS she drinks throughout the week. Get her something with whole milk and foam and drizzles and more calories than a breastfeeding bison would need in a day. Go home and arrange everything on a tray. Throw some fresh fruit in there and a flower if you are committed to making this breakfast count. Gather your children to greet their mom, wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day and presenting her with homemade cards. Set down the tray. Give her a kiss. Get the hell out of there before one of the kids asks for some of her bacon.

My instructions for the next portion of the day are more of a Choose Her Own Adventure. You know her. You know what she likes. Plan accordingly. Does she want to soak in a hot bath? Fill up the tub, set out some magazines or a book, light a few candles, buy some fancy bath bombs, and then hightail it back out with the kids. Go to a park or something. Make them run stairs in a parking garage if you need to deplete their energy.

Is she longing for a spa day? Book it now. Honestly, book it weeks ago. I hope you can find her an appointment somewhere that isn’t located in a strip mall between an exotic fish store and optometry chain. While you’re booking it, book next year’s appointments, too, and save yourself some grief.

Maybe shopping and lunch with a friend or sister or her own mom would make her day? Coordinate schedules. Call the lunch spot ahead of time and leave your credit card on file. Send her on her way and tell her to treat herself. Tell whomever she is going with to encourage some splurging.

If the most important woman in your life is out of the house for the day, put your time to good use. Have your kids clean their rooms. Do not leave dishes in the sink. If there are clothes in the hamper, wash them. If the bathrooms are looking a little iffy, get scrubbin’. If there is a grocery list started on the fridge, go shopping. Look around and think of what you can do to make it better than when she left. She will have an easier week ahead and can continue to relax when she gets home instead of making a list in her head of all the crap she has to do come Monday.

In the evening, make a judgment call. Order her favorite takeout. Cook her favorite meal. Leave her with a bottle of wine, a full DVR, and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos while you and the kids go out for pizza. Just make sure you are ending the day on a good note and with plenty of carbs.

Birthdays can fall on inconvenient weekdays and are pesky reminders that death is coming for us all. Mother’s Day is the one day a year when there is really no excuse for it to not be all about her. Indulge her. Pamper her. And when you collapse in an exhausted heap on your bed at the end of the day, thank her.