Mothers have a pretty thankless job. They are the backbone of the family—the glue that holds it together so to speak. Single moms especially are generally overworked and underappreciated. The truth is without mom; most kids would suffer mightily and fail to thrive to their full potential. Therefore, it’s vitally important that mom know how much everyone appreciates her and all the things she does. Here are five ways for dads to show mom how thankful you are she’s around.
Give her some time alone—take the kids
Most moms dream about having some quiet time around the house. Offer to take care of the kids so mom has some quiet time in the house to take a hot bath or read a good book. Offer to look after the kids so she can go out for a pedicure, happy hour with friends, or even go shopping without a gaggle of kids hanging on her. Do this often—maybe once a week? Maybe every other week as time permits.
A hand written note
A note from you goes a long way toward making mom feel special and appreciated. In addition, any time you can prompt the kids to write her notes of gratitude and thankfulness it makes mom feel especially loved. Words are important to people. For women, especially, kind words or words of appreciation mean a lot to them. Written and spoken words of gratitude are especially close to their hearts. This works just as well even if you are no longer married to your children’s mom, and may be even more important in that circumstance.
When was the last time you gave your wife a good 20 second kiss—or even a 10 second kiss for that matter? Want your wife to know she’s appreciated? Give her a passionate, extended kiss from time to time. Then tell her that’s because she is such a good wife and mother. Of course if you are no longer married to her this probably isn’t such a good idea. Try bringing her a cake or a box of chocolates instead.
Breakfast in bed
This is an old standby but a good one nonetheless. Let mom sleep in while you and the kids prepare her breakfast in bed. Do it ‘just because,’ not just on special occasions (like her birthday or Mother’s Day). An important part to this expression of thankfulness is to make sure you clean up your mess afterwards—don’t expect mom to do the dishes.
Jewelry with the children birth stones
All mothers love sentimental gifts, even ones that were made at school, during arts and crafts classes, or while at daycare. If you purchase something, they are very well received especially if they know the children were involved in helping pick it out. It shows her you all think of her when she is out of sight and appreciate her enough to make an effort to find something special to tell her so.
Best of all, use your words. Women need to hear words in order to believe and internalize the meaning behind them. Tell her she matters and how thankful you are she is the mother of your children. Tell her that often.
Rick Johnson is a sought-after speaker and bestselling author of 11 books on parenting and marriage. He is also the founder and director of Better Dads Ministries.