How do I help my husband make Mother’s Day special for me?
I hear your confusion. Something about this question feels wrong…. “What? Isn’t it his job to figure it out? For goodness sake, are you saying I have to plan my own Mother’s Day?”
My answer to both of these questions is: Yes.
I have been married for almost 19 years. For ten years of our marriage, I was not a mother. My husband knew what his mother would like for Mother’s day, but he had no clue what his wife would want.
A card was not sufficient for this new mom.
I discovered that my love language had changed after becoming a mom. Where gifts used to be at the bottom of my love language, suddenly, it shot up to the top as a new mom.
It was not the gift itself that I was seeking, but all the things that go with gift giving. In receiving a thoughtful gift from my husband meant that he had taken the time to think about me, my wants, and my needs.
As mothers, we understand this feeling. We spend so much of our time caring for our family and meeting their needs that we want to know that our husbands are thinking about us and that we matter much to them.
To my husband’s surprise, he had no idea that my love language had changed. He only knew that he found a very unhappy and disappointed wife on some of her special days. We spent some of our early years after kids having fights on Mother’s Day.
I argued, “Other husbands figure out what their wives want, why can’t you?”
He would respond, “I tried!”
Maybe I’m the only person in this boat, but my guess is that I am not the only one.
My husband shared with me that he felt defeated when, after trying he could never hit the bull’s eye on what I wanted. When this happened over and over again, he felt unmotivated to keep trying. He tried and felt like a failure. I felt like his failure was indicative of his lack of effort. No one was winning.
It took some time for me to figure out that what I valued was not the effort he was putting into trying. I really valued the sense of being understood when he got me just the right gift or did something that spoke to my heart. I cared about what he planned or what he got for me because I saw it as a reflection of how much he really thought about me! (But, we all know that no matter how much we think about what the other might love, we don’t always nail it perfectly.)
I have learned that when I answer his questions, “What do you want for Mother’s Day or What do you want to do?” with an “I don’t know or I don’t really care. I want you to plan something,” I have to mean that….
What I am saying is that I am okay with what he plans and that what I want is his initiative, not necessarily the specific activity or gift itself. I was giving him the reigns to plan and to thoughtfully choose how we spend Mother’s Day because I asked him to do just that.
I learned after many heartaches that I actually did care about what we did or what he got for me!
What is important to you? Do you want him to take the initiative and plan? Or do you want him to plan but you want to give your input? Undecided? The more you know about your preference, you will help your husband succeed in giving you the Mother’s Day you want!
Give parameters that your husband can use to make Mother’s Day special. Life happens, we change, and what would have felt special one year, the following year it might not be what you want or even doable. So, give him some parameters to work within if you decide that it matters how his appreciation is expressed.
This year, I shared with my husband that I want our kids to be involved in making the day special for their mom. What they decide to do, it is up to him and them, but I wanted involvement beyond making cards for mom.
Give your spouse some parameters to work within. He will feel empowered to give you the kind of Mother’s Day you want.
Be Specific about your Wants: It is Okay.
Do you have particular ideas of what you want and need for Mother’s Day? Share them with your husband. Sometimes we get into this place where we feel like the people who are closest to us “should just get it.” But, I have come to realize that this expectation gets us into a lot of trouble. It is unrealistic, and we put unnecessary pressure on the ones we love. If you’re honest, how often do you “just get” what your husband wants? I sure don’t.
Do you want a bouquet of flowers? Tell him what kind you like. Do you want a nice dinner without your kids? Ask him to find babysitters and take you out to a candlelight dinner at one of your favorite restaurants. Do you want him to write you a poem like he used to? Ask him to write you one.
Finally, don’t look to Instagram and Facebook to rate your Mother’s Day experience. Enjoy the day that your husband and kids create for you.
Take some time to count all your blessings that God has given you. I have decided this year to share with each of my kids why I love being their mom and how each one has brought something beautiful to my life.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Know that you are loved, treasure, and valued.