It was my wife's idea and it's genius.
So it’s almost Mother’s Day and the pressure is on. It’s time to make the mother of your children feel as awesome as she should on her special day.
We’re talking cards, choccies, flowers and possibly even brekky in bed. All on the one day!
There’s work to be done, but for me organising all of these nice things pales in comparison to the pressure I feel trying to find the perfect Mother’s Day present for my wife each and every year.
I’m the kind of guy who tries to raise the bar each year when it comes to gift giving. All good in theory, but the ideas start wearing thin after a few years of trying.
Our oldest is 11 years old, so that’s 11 years of said pressure. Well, that was until my wife approached me with an idea that injected new life into our Mother’s (and Father’s) Day activities.
For a few years now, my wife and I have left the purchasing of these presents to, wait for it… THE KIDS!
Like I said, it was my wife’s idea and it’s genius.
What happens now is, in the week leading up to the big day, the kids get given $20 each. They’re then tasked with coming along to the shops to spend it in whatever way they think suitable to show their appreciation for their Mum.
So, off to the shops we go and we usually end up in one of the department stores, mainly because with three kids, I can traverse a whole range of present options with them quickly, easily and relatively stress free.
We can switch from the bath oils option to a new kettle in just a few short steps! Bloody great!
If nothing else, this idea is smart because, as my wife says, I shouldn’t really be buying pressies for my wife for Mother’s Day, mainly because she’s not my Mum.
For my kids, on the other hand… my wife IS their Mum, so they get to live with the pressure of the present giving, and subsequently get me off the hook.
“I’m the kind of guy who tries to raise the bar each year when it comes to gift giving. All good in theory, but the ideas start wearing thin after a few years of trying.”
We tried this first time up when it was leading into Father’s Day… so I was the guinea pig, and man I got some wild presents.
My oldest, who was nine at the time, bought me a cool jacket that I still wear to this day in the winter months.
My middle one, she gave me socks and chocolates (the chocolates she likes, in the obvious hope I’d share them – I did of course).
My youngest, well, he was about as subtle as a sledgehammer. He gave me a cheap $2 plastic whisk (you know, because I love to cook and make them pancakes every weekend) and a tube of bubble mixture, complete with wand to make lots of big bubbles.
Smart move, son! Smart smart smart! Guess who was making bubbles about an hour later (hint: it wasn’t me).
Don’t get me wrong, Dads, it’s still a stressful experience to take three kids armed with $20 each and a wild imagination to a department store. I can 100 per cent guarantee that within the hour, you’ll all be slightly over it.
But, the anticipation around what weird and wonderful presents you’ll receive is palpable and, in my mind, makes it all the more fun.
And who knows? Your kids might actually surprise you with their thoughtfulness and consideration when picking their presents.
Then again, maybe not, but that’s the fun of it. I still look at that cheapo plastic whisk my son bought me every time I make pancakes for the kids and have a quiet chuckle to myself.
Meanwhile, he sits there waiting for said pancakes and still plays with that bubble mixture.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there. And dads, let’s hope this little idea brings you a little bit of fun to the big day.
READ MORE FROM DAN VAN DER MEER:
- Is it time to drop the ‘dad guilt’ when you get time for yourself?
- For every first, there’s a last (and it can break your heart)
- Are boys trips the secret to your sanity as a dad?