Caregiver, cook, chauffeur, referee, finder of lost socks — is there any role that mom can’t play?
But for some moms on Mother’s Day, those special macaroni necklaces and glitter-filled cards they receive from their kids, however adorable, might not express the kind of gratitude they deserve.
That’s why dads and husbands have their own special role to play in making mom feel appreciated, according to Danny Huerta, vice president of parenting at Focus on the Family.
Huerta said that for dads, it’s all about being intentional with your spouse and leading by example.
“As the husband, you get to bring some life-giving words to your spouse by letting her know what specifically you’re thankful for, what she does, what you appreciate about who she is,” he told The Christian Post.
And it’s not all about flowers and jewelry, Huerta added, but rather using a little creativity.
Dads can put handwritten notes, for example, on their wife’s vanity mirror, expressing some of the things they love about her, which Huerta said can go a long way in helping moms deal with their own struggles.
“Just put some things we love about her, truths about her,” said Huerta. “This is a win for [dads] because … your wife probably deals with insecurities, different things that she sees in the mirror, the limitations rather than the possibilities of who she is.”
Using chalk or a dry erase marker, simply write a memorable quote or Bible verse about who she is, he suggested.
And it’s not just dad’s job: Huerta said it’s all about creating a culture of celebrating mom along with their children.
“You can gather them up and help them write some notes on the mirror as well, or you guys can write a card together, make a homemade card,” he said. “Moms tend to treasure those more than the store-bought cards.”
Huerta also suggested creating a scavenger hunt with homemade coupons — a commitment by dads to moments of service in the future — which let mom know “it’s not just about serving in the home, but we value doing fun things with you and enjoying life with you.”
If you’re feeling comfortable in the kitchen — and maybe a little hungry — Huerta said dads could help their children make a meal for mom, with the kids serving as the wait staff and maybe even the cooks as well, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three.
“You’re letting her know, ‘Hey, we wanna serve you with some good food,' and taking some time to know what it is that she loves,” he said. “And you as a dad get to guide this and get to lead this, so that it shows you care deeply about her.”
In fact, Huerta said that getting the children involved doesn’t have to stop with Mother’s Day.
Simply by consistently saying things like “thank you” and being specific about the source of that gratitude, or by using encouraging rather than critical words, Huerta said dads can set the tone for how their kids see their home life.
Also, Huerta suggested encouraging younger children to take part in that gratitude process and become more curious about their mom.
“Have them ask the question, ‘Hey mom, if we could do something special to show you that we love you or appreciate you, what would that be?’” said Huerta. “That challenges moms to know themselves and to articulate specifically what it is that means a lot to them, so people aren’t left guessing in their house.”
Dads can also create a list on the refrigerator door or in another high-traffic area in the home and start writing down ways that their wife “appreciates being appreciated” and then, throughout the year, choosing from that list various ways to express gratitude as a family.
It’s a refreshing change from what Huerta says tends to be a mother’s routine in the house, namely dealing with guilt, stress, and other emotional baggage.
“They tend to carry most of the worries of the house; I mean, they just pile it on,” he said. “The kids throughout the year showing appreciation helps affirm to her, ‘Hey, you’re not failing.’
“Moms many times carry the load of wanting to try to be perfect as a mom, and ‘if my kids fail or I don’t look as good as another mom, then I must be a bad person.’ That’s a lot to carry. Just reassure them, imperfections and all, you love your wife, the mom in your home. She’s been called to be the person she is in your home.”
Huerta said moms are so essential to the family that it’s confirmed in both Scripture and science. He noted that researchers have found that the melodic voice of a mom — someone whose calm and at peace — helps regulate the nervous system of a child.
“So if a mom feels at peace and is in a good spot emotionally, it helps with regulating the emotional world of the home,” he added. “So let’s pour into them so that can happen and a mom can be in a place to be able to be very well connected with the kids.”