Husbands, Here's a Mother's Day Present Idea


This post is for the husbands/fathers out there still looking for a Mother's Day gift. Or maybe, for the ones who bought something that doesn't seem like quite enough. The beauty of this idea is that it won't cost you a dollar. It also isn't specific to Mother's Day. This would be a great present for a birthday, anniversary, Valentine's Day, Sweetest Day (whatever that is), or "just because."

The first part of the gift is to read the articles Women Aren't Nags - We're Just Fed Up and Men Everywhere Finally Understand Emotional Labor by Gemma Hartley. (If you want a deeper dive, her book is called Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward.) If you have any hesitation, there are two things you should know:

  1. Don't be afraid or put off, these are not man-bashing articles.

  2. You don't have to set aside a lot of time, neither article is very long.

The first article beautifully sums up what so many wives/mothers have been saying to one another for years, but have had difficulty articulating to their partners for reasons Hartley explains. Hearing these sentiments from someone other than your wife may make it easier for you to listen without feeling defensive.

The second article highlights responses Hartley received from husbands who read the first article and saw themselves in her discussion of emotional labor.

Hopefully, after reading these articles you will also see yourself. Now for the gift. Think of something you can take on that your wife currently does. It must be something you can do without her input. (A chore you do but have to ask five questions about still feels like a chore to her.) Once you know what you'll do, write it down. A nice notecard would be great, but a Post-it note will do in a pinch. 

Take your note and put it with a print out of Women Aren't Nags - We're Just Fed Up, put it in an envelope and leave it for your wife. Then, get to work doing the job you wrote down. Again, you must do it without input, and without looking for fanfare that you did it. (If you really read the article, you'll know why looking for fanfare is a no-no.)

If the overwhelming response Gemma Hartley got after writing these articles (and the subsequent book deal she received) is any indication, this gift will go over very well.


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