- Publish Date
- Sunday, 12 May 2019, 11:16AM
"Mothers have become insatiable," said one expert who refused to be named. Another was quoted as saying that "mothers use Mother's Day as an excuse to go crazy and through emotional blackmail get exactly what they want".
Most reasonable people wouldn't argue with these comments, but those of us who are not mothers have to shoulder some of the blame.
"We are taught not to spoil our children but we forget sometimes that mothers can also be spoilt.
Nobody likes a spoilt child, and nobody likes a spoilt mother," said another expert who also preferred not to be named, at least until the other two came forward.
As a father of young children, it is my job to facilitate the smooth running of Mother's Day on my children's behalf.
Remember Mother's Day is a celebration of motherhood, so don't make the mistake of keeping the kids away from Mum on this special day.
I make a point of bringing them to Mum between 5 and 6 in the morning for a breakfast-in-bed type scenario. The kids are used to eating breakfast at the table, so eating breakfast with Mum in a bouncy bed will be a treat for everyone.
But remember, it's not your day! It's a special day of bonding - a celebration, if you like, of that nine-month period pre-birth, when mother and child were one. Hard as it may be to do, it is best to extract yourself from the situation and give them some overdue space.
Perhaps you could pop down the road to a café for breakfast and a coffee with the Sunday papers. Of course the kids would want "fun Dad" there, but they need to understand that it's Mum's day. Imagine if mum hijacked Father's Day ... whenever that is.
No matter how unmaterialistic a Mum might try and appear, the gene for materialism is in the female genetic makeup. Even lesbians have it.
A new biography of Mother Teresa reveals that even she suffered from it, but her PR people managed to hide it from the worldwide media.
Don't think that you can get away with not giving any gift at all. But remember it is supposed to be from the kids, so it should appear that way.
An obvious mistake would be buying her a nice weekend away at a lodge that the kids couldn't even pronounce let alone book online. She will see right through it.
A simple handwritten card and something that represents life - an acorn perhaps, wrapped in toilet paper - or some cheap perfume that only a child would choose would suffice.
Or you could send her out with your own mother for a special Mother's Day lunch. This might give them a chance to sort out their obvious differences. But be sure to choose a location that is child-friendly.
Last year I gave my wife a bound collection of recipes and child-rearing tips compiled by my mother. The main thing is that wisdom from one mother to another is getting passed down through the generations and at the end of the day that is the best gift you can give any Mum.
In the afternoon you could send the kids and Mum to the movies. But again, don't be tempted to join them. Keep your distance.
Instead, try meeting up for a beer with other fathers making the Mother's Day sacrifice. It will give you all a chance to talk about how much you love your families.
I always find that a game of Texas hold 'em is great for getting this sort of conversation going.
This doesn't have to be a male-dominated option. Why not ask some of her friends who don't have kids down to join you? It will give you a chance to get to know those friends a little better. These friends are often quite fun as they don't have the obvious restrictions and limitations that can come from having children.
By now Mother's Day will be coming to an end and - thanks to you - the bonds between mother and children will have been further strengthened. What next?
Having had to spend most of the day with friends at the pub you are likely to be a little tired, but this is no time to rest on your laurels. Once she has put the kids to bed you might want to treat her to some sex.
It will take just a few minutes of your time, but for your partner it will be the cherry on the top of a near perfect Mother's Day.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission