Q1: How do you make Mother’s Day a celebration with the children who made your wife a mom without making her do “mom” work all day by taking care of clingy kids?
Q2: I think there is sometimes a lot of debate about how to celebrate that day. Should you causing a big commotion with a day of events, give her the day off or do a mixture of both?
Q3: Why do you let the littles bring burnt toast offering to her as breakfast in bed?
That’s right. I’m answering three questions this month. Prepare to witness something really special.
Let’s start with an audio transcription of your standard Saturday morning at the Hagen house.
The first child (yelling for her mother’s attention): “MOM!!”
The last child (responding to her mom paying attention to the first one): “MOM!!”
Me (yelling at the dog): GIVE ME BACK MY PANTS!!
The dog is always stealing my clothes. He thinks it’s funny, I guess. But, anyway, the kids are rather clingy to their mom. That’s the point I’m trying to make. And I am left to my own devices, retrieving garments from a conniving corgi.
Mother’s Day ought to be about a balance. Removing some of that daily pressure and responsibility of being a mom, but leaving just enough to be enjoyable. Moms still want to be moms to their kids on Mother’s Day. They just want to be able to blink or sit down for a second.
Enter: Captain Dad.
Sit your kids down before the big day, and tell them that for this one day (at a minimum; you should be able to do this a lot more than once), Captain Dad is their first option
The kids get up at 5:30 a.m.? You get up with them, Captain! The children require sustenance? You feed them, CD! The dog has your pants again, Cappy D? I don’t know, spray them with tabasco sauce or vinegar. That might help.
We’re always telling moms, “Take care of yourself; don’t forget to take care of yourself, too!” We ought to be making more of an effort to take care of them. They’re taking care of little, tiny human being-like creatures, who can’t really fend for themselves. That’s a lot! Mother’s Day is about helping out. So, do that. And you know what would make a great Mother’s Day gift to your special someone, dads? Committing to help do the “mom” work more often than just that one day.
Onto question two. I don’t think my wife, Annette, sweet as she can be, really likes big commotions or days of events. Usually, she just wants to sit down for a hot minute. Again, my intention is to “disrupt” the children’s compulsions to yell for their mom and demand all the things right now. And I’ll probably get her a coffee mug that says “#1 Mom” or something like that.
Finally, question three. Just mess with the setting on the toaster that determines how dark it toasts the toast. A process of trial and error can help you make the perfect toast, and just throw away the burnt slices. Or give them to the dog! Maybe then he’ll give you back your socks.