As a Global Executive Coach and recognized expert on relationships, I get to clean up the wreckage made by busy guys year after year. “What happened? I told her I loved her for being such a great mom for our kids.” What happened? You missed the target big time.
Let’s not miss it this year, eh fellas?
Here’s what women don’t want:
They don’t want a one-day a year to be made a fuss of and then have to clean the kitchen after you showed them that you cared. They don’t want to be given household items that serve to remind them that they’re in charge of the housework (or finances, or whatever it is) the rest of the year (unless they specifically ask for a vacuum or a new washer). They don’t want snow tires or a .38 to keep them safe – yes, you’re showing them how much you love them in your language, but you’re missing their language!
So what do moms really want?
They want to know they matter other days of the year besides one single Sunday in May.
They want to know that you’ve taught the kids to think about who they are as a human with wants and needs and aspirations beyond the role of MoooouuuuhhhhmmmmM – a multi-syllable word that is overused and signals a demand for something else not related to her.
Quick clues for how to make Mothers’ Day count:
- Make cards that acknowledge that not only is she a great mom, but she’s a wonderful woman/ person
- In one of the several cards you’ll give her on Mothers’ Day, be sure to write a special note that says that you appreciate her 365 and that you’ll be teaching the kids that EVERY day is mothers’ day and how to appreciate her beyond her role.
- Ask her if she wants time at a spa alone instead of time with the kids. It’s a paradox, but mothers’ day for some means time away from the kids. (Most dudes like to show that they’re a good father by being around the kids on Father’s Day. Hint: She’s not a dude and she’s around the kids every day so time off or time to relax might be the best gift.)
- Get out your calendar – every six to 10 weeks, put a reminder in to do something special for her. Send a note, do something with the kids to acknowledge “happy no-special-reason day.”
- Focus on her. Don’t do breakfast in bed if you’ve left the kitchen a mess. Clean up after yourself. Leave the place a little better than you found it. Get her a gift that she wants, not one that makes your life easier.
- Pay attention. Here’s a gross generalization and yet, it really can’t hurt you if you pay attention: Most women (not all) will process their day out loud if you let them. They don’t need you to DO anything with it. They just need you to show that you’re paying attention to the people and the emotions associated with the story.
- That’s exciting!
- You must’ve been frustrated with that.
- What happened next?
- I have a suggestion for you if you want my perspective. And if it doesn’t need fixing, that’s cool. (Let her respond, don’t impose.)
If you want to make this Mothers’ Day different, you’ve got to focus on her as a whole woman beyond the single day where she’s acknowledged for having kids. For more tips and tricks to get closer to your partner, get your free seven-step guide at www.RelationshipRecharge.com.
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Dr. Wayne Pernell is a global executive coach and seasoned leadership advisor, helping entrepreneurs, executives, and their teams to break through to great new levels of success. He is also a noted relationship expert. Focusing his new vision on a refined strategy, “Dr. P” helps his clients engage more authentically and powerfully at work, at home, and in the world. Having helped thousands of clients across the country and beyond, Dr. P is sought for his speaking and consulting, as well as his wisdom that can be found in any of his bestselling books. For his weekly blog, books, online courses, retreats and 1:1 advising, visit www.waynepernell.com.