In Which I am Bossy About Mother’s Day

(Back by popular demand: here’s what I wrote to my newsletter subscribers in May of 2022.)

Hi Guys.

Maybe this email has been politely forwarded to you by your wife or one of her friends. Welcome, I’m glad you’re here. I’ll try not to take up too much of your time.

I’m going to fully lean into my position as a mid-40s woman to get bossy about some things. You can choose to ignore me as you would a bossy older sister, or you can choose to listen to me and make this year a lovely one for your wife.

This is it: the very practical stuff that you might need help with. I get that everyone has different plans, different people, different needs, and different budgets.

This should not be read as condemning what you’ve done thus far for Mother’s Day. You’re doing great. We’re not dwelling on the past. Let’s huddle up, team.

First off, you need a plan. If you haven’t thought about Mother’s Day yet, today’s the day. Get a plan. Make some decisions. I think guys get tangled up in knots about what to do, feeling like they’re never going to get it right. Repeat after me: something is better than nothing. Decide to decide. Think it over, make a plan, execute the plan. You do this every day in other areas of your life. Apply that same method here. Make some decisions.

Here are some things you can do TODAY: call the florist and order flowers to be delivered Friday or Saturday of next week (she gets to enjoy them all weekend!). If she’s the breakfast-in-bed type, locate a pancake recipe to shepherd your children through next weekend. Make a grocery list to shop for next weekend, so you have a nice breakfast for her. Buy a few tiny gift cards for the tiny children to put in their cards for Mom (She will be so happy! They will feel so proud!). Cards can be store bought, or if your kids are little, handmade. Go on Groupon and buy a voucher for a housecleaner or a spa day, which mom can arrange at her convenience.

Do you have tiny children who cling to your wife like their very lives depend on her? I’m willing to bet that she wants some time alone for Mother’s Day. She wants to think a complete thought.

If you have older children who are capable of pitching in around the house, consider rallying them to do all those household chores that she nags them about every day of her life.

BUT ALSO: I will tell you a secret. Mom may instead desire time ALONE IN HER HOME. This is so weird, you guys. SHE IS NEVER IN YOUR HOUSE BY HERSELF. I am going on twenty-two years of motherhood and it’s still very rare that this happens for me. It’s so rare, in fact, that my brain melts a little bit when it happens. I’m not sure what to do when I’m home alone. Perhaps she would like the people to GO AWAY FROM HOME FOR A WHILE.

BE CAREFUL: if it is her usual job to feed people, she would like to not think about feeding people today. If you choose to take the children away from her for a day, DO NOT BRING THOSE CHILDREN HOME HUNGRY. Feed them. Bring them home happy, fed, drunk on Dad Attention. Have. A. Plan. And Chick-fil-a is not open on Sundays, so that’s a bad plan.

(How are we doing, team? Still here? OK, we’re almost done.)

Lastly, she wants to know that she’s doing OK. Tell her. She might feel a little guilty that she’d like some time away from the kids. This is ridiculous. Tell her so. Children are wonderful and also exhausting. We all understand this.

Fist bump, you guys. I’m in your corner. You can do this. Report back here with how it goes.


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