Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day?

To all my mom readers out there, I wish you a belated, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

And I hope I’m not the first man to wish that to you.

I was alarmed to discover from my wife yesterday that five of her friends/acquaintances got nothing—I repeat—nothing from their husbands (or their kids via their husbands) on Mother’s day. I know of one dad who didn’t even let his wife sleep in; he snoozed while his wife got up with the kids! And lest these dads want to use the lame excuse, “Well, you’re not my mother” their kids are either in pre-school or diapers and not likely to come up with a mother’s day present without a little help.

I’ve met all of the dads in question, and think they are all good guys and great dads. I am beyond wordless that these men would be so utterly unconscious as to do nothing for the mother of their children on her special day.

I am far from the perfect husband. I forget things, I’m easily preoccupied, I can be selfish and I’m not as good at acknowledging everything my wife does to keep our family together as I should be. My wife is patient with my shortcomings as I try to be with hers. That said, if I didn’t do anything for her on mother’s day, I might as well walk into the nearest open sewer and die.

The point, as much as I want to, is not to berate these fathers for their utter cluelessness. The point is to express what has to be fathering (if not parenting) tip number one: be good to your spouse and put your marriage first.

A healthy marriage will benefit your kids in countless ways. You are modeling a strong adult relationship; you are demonstrating to your son how he should behave to his future wife; you are setting a positive example for your daughter of what she should seek in a husband. A healthy marriage will result in a happier home where your children will have an opportunity to thrive. Take your spouse for granted too many times, however, and it is a recipe for disaster.

I sure hope these guys aren’t expecting anything for Father’s Day.

1 comment:

  1. The greatest gift a man can give his children is to love their mother! I'm sure someone wise said that before I did, but it doesn't matter if the parents are married, divorced, whatever. My partner let me sleep in, made me brunch and then kept the boys occupied so I could just relax for an afternoon, and I got some lovely cards the boys made themselves.

    We even invited his ex (mother of his oldest son) to attend brunch. He always includes her on Mother's Day. Some people ask me, "Doesn't that bother you? Aren't you jealous?" My answer? No, it doesn't bother me that he treats his baby-momma with respect! It would bother me if he didn't.