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A Dad's Guide to Mastering Mother's Day

First off, I can't in good conscious write a blog post about Mother's day without wishing my mom and the moms in my life a very happy Mother's Day! My mom is an absolute hero of mine who is as generous and compassionate as she is fun and witty! All who know her love her; and for good reason. So happy happy Mother's Day Momma!

Now let's - get down - to biz - ness <cue Mulan soundtrack>. Mother's Day is one of the few days a year that us dads really need to step up our game and prove that we are not just guys who wear socks with sandals and can't remember our kids' birthdays or how a dishwasher is unloaded. This is our time to really make the moms in our lives feel like they are special and loved and appreciated. Also, this is our chance to try to cook breakfast in bed and thereby guarantee that we won't be asked to make breakfast again for another 364 days. #milkandcereal.

To help all dads really master the holiday and score some major points with your mommas, I present my Tips for Dads to Succeed on Mother's Day:

1. Give Mom a Break!

Listen, this holiday isn't about the most expensive gifts or even about getting them a gift at all (but we'll cover that later) it's about celebrating mom and giving her a break! Holidays generally take a lot of work. Those who have been up all night Christmas Eve putting together a dollhouse can attest to that! The truth is that this holiday is no different, except with one major difference: Momma shouldn't have to work at all! This is one holiday that she gets to take off. She is, as they say, queen for a day! Be prepared to spend the holiday doing some WORK fellas! We can do it.

How many times have we heard a mom say, "I just want five minutes to myself!" or "I never even get to go to the bathroom alone these days!" Give her those five, ten, or one hundred minutes to just relax and destress. Kids are gnarly gremlin-like creatures a lot of the time. Moms do more than their fair share of taking care of them, so let's be sure to give momma the day off (also, don't get your kids wet- have you seen what happens to them?!). So get the kids dressed for the day, plan a meal or two or three and get them fed, help them with their homework, give them their baths, etc. Give mom a break during the day and let her relax and enjoy some quiet time! I know some moms want to spend time in solitary confinement while others want to spend the day with their family, so gauge what the mom in your life wants, but be prepared to do most of the heavy lifting. This will really mean a lot to moms, and hey, it's some one-on-one time with the kiddos that us dads don't always get!

2. ASK Mom What She Wants!

Remember that Mel Gibson movie "What Women Want"? While it highlights to me the pre-crazy talent of Mel Gibson, it also accurately represents that most dudes don't know what dudettes are thinking! This isn't to say that we don't know ANYTHING, but the truth of the matter is that we need to ASK momma how she wants to spend her day; it is what SHE wants for the day. Let her decide how she wants to be celebrated, or at least have some input! It is her day after all!! Does she WANT breakfast in bed? Does she WANT to have a big fancy dinner? Does she WANT do disappear for twenty-four hours? (If she does want to disappear for twenty-four hours, make sure she's going to come back). Let momma decide what momma wants! Us dudes can spend FOREVER trying to GUESS what we should do, but instead we should This not only takes the stress off you to figure out what you gotta do, but it's also a great way to make sure tell you how

What do we do when we ask our lady what she wants and she says, "Anything" or "Surprise me" or "You know what I want!"? You run for the hills because you are being set up and you will fail! Jk. Kinda. So if you're stranded and left trying to figure out how to make momma feel special, here are some suggestions:

- Wake up early and make sure the house is clean.

- Do some laundry.

- Make breakfast, for her and your kiddos.

- Go on a walk together.

- Prepare a picnic in the park.

- Date night without the kids.

- Send her to a spa.

- Give her a gift certificate to her favorite store.

- Bake her a cake, cookies, etc. AND clean up afterward.

- Back rub/shoulder rub.

- Plan a family dance party.

- Watch HER favorite movie together.

- Make dinner with the kiddos.

- Clean out her car, give it a wash.

- Iron. If you don't know how to, then watch youtube.

- Let her take a nap. * THIS ONE IS A GUARANTEED WINNER * She won't know how to do it at first, but just help her get into bed, turn the lights off, and tell her to enjoy an hour or two where she gets uninterrupted sleep!

3. Say Thank You! No matter how the mom in your life wants to celebrate the day, BE SURE TO SAY THANK YOU! This is THE most important part of Mother's Day. Do not forget this. Do not. No. Don't. The two most important words in the human language are "Thank You!" Don't forget to get a card, write a note on a piece of paper, or say thank her to her face! This is really what we're celebrating, we're celebrating how grateful we are for the work and the sacrifice that momma's make on behalf of our kiddos. Make sure SHE knows YOU appreciate what's she's done. This is also important because she'll be able to keep the card and on days when perhaps she's feeling a bit overwhelmed with being a mom (which everyone is entitled to feel) she'll be able to revisit the card and get an extra boost of confidence! Go the extra mile and LIST a few things that you're appreciative for. Really spend some time thinking about why you're grateful for her, using SPECIFIC EXAMPLES! It doesn't cost a dime to say thank you and to mean it! Get your kids involved too! Have them write cards or ask them what they love about their mom and then put that in a card for her! You can never say enough nice things about mommas!

*Quick thought about cards: Don't just say "Happy Mother's Day [INSERT NAME]!" Give yourself some time to get your thoughts together before you write it. I know the local pharmacy is going to be filled on Saturday night with panic-stricken dads who will spend a great deal of time reading what Hallmark wants to say for Mother's Day hoping to find the perfect message inside. Don't fall into this trap! Don't waste your time reading through all the cards, write your OWN message in the card instead of relying on someone else to do it for you!

Check out my interview with Fresh Living by clicking HERE!

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