A few years ago I heard about the sweetest Mother’s Day idea. Really it can work for birthdays and Father’s Day, too! Instead of buying a card each year for your kids to give their mother (or father), you purchase an unruled journal. Give your kids a few pages to express how they feel about their mom. When they are toddlers, let them scribble a bit.
Perhaps help them to create a fingerprint flower with paint or an ink pad. During the early years, it is especially important for dads to write in the journal, affirming his wife for all of the work and effort she has poured into the children. As the kids get older, it is fun to ask them questions about their mother. Record the interview in the journal, and still give them an opportunity to color a page for her. Their answers can be a little egocentric!
As the kids get even older, carve out time for each of them to write letters of thanks to their mom. Consider making a rough draft, and modeling the process with your own thank you letter. You may even have them create a list, “My 5 Favorite Things About Mom,” or create an acrostic poem for “Mother.” Perhaps they could include a Bible verse that she embodies. I would recommend that no matter how old the kids are, the father should still write in the book. It’s just nice to have it written, even if you affirm your wife all the time.
Imagine after 18 years of parenting, instead of having a box of store-bought cards that you aren’t sure if you can part with or a box of crinkled art projects, you have one concise, thoughtful book of thanks. How fun to look back and see how you’ve impacted your children!
Celebrating mothers is not a Hallmark creation; it’s a biblical standard. Proverbs 31:28, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” We are repeatedly called to encourage one another in Scripture. The Lord knows mothers need this spurring on as well!
I think it would be fun to create this for birthdays for your children as well. Each year people write to the birthday boy or girl, and you get to look back and see how their personality and character has developed! If grandparents or other family members write meaningful words, consider copying it into the book, or putting the card inside.
A word of advice to fathers: I would not recommend this be your only token of affection to your wives. The following are some ideas, grouped by love language, she may appreciate as well:
- Physical Touch: A back rub, foot massage, or time to cuddle on the couch together, maybe even a professional massage
- Quality Time: Get a babysitter and have a date night that involves lots of conversation, OR maybe she needs quality all by herself this year. :)
- Gifts: Give her a gift card to her favorite store, or flowers--fresh cut or to plant in the yard (paying attention to the color and type of flower may be helpful)
- Words of Affirmation: The card journal idea listed above
- Acts of Service: Breakfast in bed, no dishes for a day, make her (and the kids) dinner, let her sleep in
Side note for moms reading this: It’s okay to tell your husband, “Honey, I like this idea. Will you please start this?” about this or anything else that really strikes you. Most husbands want to love you well, they just don’t always know how. It’s okay to give them some kind, well-intentioned guidance! Remember, we are not only helping our husbands to love us well, we are training the next generation!