Doing something nice for the woman who made you a dad should be an everyday affair, especially when you’re a new parent. Still, it’s easy when caught in the hustle of life with kids to forget sometimes to say thanks, or I love you, or you make a delicious casserole. Mother’s Day gives you a chance to refocus on the woman with whom you share your life. So, if you’re celebrating your wife’s first Mother’s Day, there are a few small things to keep in mind to make her feel special and, most of all, needed. Some advice: Especially when you have a new baby, small, heartfelt gestures are the way to go. Wishful thinking won’t get you anywhere. Here’s what to know.
Prioritize Her Sleep
Chances are she’d love to sleep in for another hour or three. So, prep a bottle and take the kid out for a walk or to breakfast so she can sleep in without interruption. Leave a thermos full of coffee on her nightstand. Maybe a nice plate of breakfast, too, with a handwritten card placed near it. Does she want to take a nap later instead of going out? Of course she can. It’s her day.
Write Her a Card
Speaking of card: write her a nice one. Renowned couple’s therapist Esther Perel offered this sage advice in regards to Valentine’s Day card writing: “It changes the whole thing; you took time for me, you thought about me, you’re telling me.” This is even better advice for Mother’s Day, because this time around it’s a lot easier to come up with specific. So take some time and write something heartfelt.
Don’t Go Big
Those plans you have for booking a babysitter and a dream suite at the Park Plaza? A nice fantasy. Even if you can/want to book it, don’t. Mother’s Day is not a day for babysitters; it’s a day to be together as a family. Some better options: a nice family walk around the neighborhood; the senior citizens’ shift at that hot new restaurant you would have already gone to if you weren’t new parents. Or…
Start a New Tradition
Family traditions are important. Maybe you decide to spend the day being a tourist in your own town. Or maybe you buy a bunch of board games so you guys can play together like you used to. Just make it something you can repeat every year. You can’t go wrong with the old standbys of breakfast in bed or a nice picnic. If it’s a picnic, get a baguette, some nice cheeses (you can never go wrong with an aged Gouda), maybe some olives. Definitely wine. Make it all about her. If it’s breakfast, do the same. Just sub baguette, cheeses, olives, and wine for French Toast, coffee, fresh fruit, and a mimosa.
Dress Up the Baby
Special occasions call for special attire. This means it’s time to dress the baby in his or her dandiest outfit as a surprise. Find a location and take pictures together. And when the time comes time to remove said nice clothes when they’re inevitably covered in food, poop, or both, you’re on duty.
Do Better Than Carnations
Carnations are the official flower of Mother’s Day. Carnations are also lame. If you know her favorite flowers, just get those; if you don’t, you can’t really go wrong with orchids, lilies, or poppies. For more information, check out our Mother’s Day guide to buying flowers.
Make it About Family
Do your in-laws live close by? Does your wife want to see her mom? Invite your mother and father-in-law over to enjoy brunch or for some baby time. Don’t make your mother-in-law be the de-facto babysitter. Celebrate her. Get her flowers. Write her a card, too. Even if your relationship is rocky, grit your teeth. Remember: You wouldn’t be a dad if she wasn’t a mom first. Besides, if your wife wants to see her, you’ll make it happen.
Make Sure She Has as Little to Do as Possible
Well, she won’t have nothing to do because she has to feed the baby. But you can make sure everything else is prepared. So get everything you can squared away for Monday so she doesn’t have to go back into mom-mode on Sunday night. This means bottle cleaning, diaper bag prep, meals. It also means you’re on diaper duty for the day so she can chill out. Bonus points if you take it upon yourself to vacuum all the Cheerios and other random crap in her car.
Just Find Small, Simple Ways to Express How Lucky You Are to Have Her
Mother’s Day is a time to reflect on all the great things your wife has done for you and your family. Leave her a love note that says how lucky you are to have her as the mother of your children. Tell her she’s a wonderful mom and that your family wouldn’t be anything without her. Even better: Think of a random time she blew you away as a mother. Could be how she calmed the kid down during an epic tantrum. Could be about how she did all the packing, for the whole family, before your vacation. Find a moment during the day to recount this. Mother’s Day is a great excuse to make the unspoken no longer so.