Why Moms need more credit.

A while back, the parenting world was bombarded by a movement that poked fun at Dads everywhere. Commercials, jokes, ads, blogs, etc. Everyone was talking about what a “doofus” the bumbling, well-meaning but clueless Dad was.

Then there was a movement against it. The truth came to light. Dads are involved now. They’re hands-on. They do everything and are good at it, too. Dads go above and beyond these days. And while this is so very true… It’s also not true.

I agree whole-heartedly that you are wonderful, Dads. You really, truly are.

But where’s Mom’s credit?

Here’s what I mean. When my husband rolls around on the floor with our kids, takes them to skating or ballet lessons, gets up early with them and puts them to bed (all things he does very, very well) – he’s an awesome, amazing, hands-on Dad. (And he is).

But when I do these things, I’m just a Mom. I’m doing what I’m supposed to.

When I’m making lunches, taking them to doctor and dentist appointments, keeping track of show & share days and school slips and birthday parties, taking them to get new shoes, making sure they have Valentine’s Day cards, or a green outfit for St. Paddy’s Day – I’m being a Mom. It’s normal for me to get up with them in the night, start my day at 6am and never stop until they’re fast asleep, play on the floor, wipe bums, colour, do their laundry, make up games, get them lunch and dinner and water and more cheese.

And please don’t get me wrong – I love to do this. I really do. (As long as I can have my morning coffee first). My husband does his fair share. But sometimes there’s a difference in how this is perceived. To some, my husband is seen as going above and beyond. To some, I’m just doing my job.

Do we really have to wait until our kids are adults to be truly, truly appreciated? To have someone tell us we’re doing a great job? Maybe I’m just tired and run down (darn cold) and feeling sensitive. But I think it would be nice to hear someone tell my husband “Wow, she’s really an involved, hands-on Mom, isn’t she? And she changes diapers, too!?”

Again, I think my husband is amazing. He really is a great Dad and I love the kind of father my daughters have. They’re incredibly lucky. Dads are so important and there’s no denying their involvement. It’s pretty much the norm for my generation to see Dad’s as engaged in almost everything when it comes to kids.

It just wouldn’t hurt to hear Moms get some love, too.

About the Author:

Heather Dixon is a copywriter at Mabel’s Labels, a smoothie aficionado, a runner and a Mom to three highly advanced little girls (according to her husband and her).

7 Tips for Successful Birthday Parties

1. Do not make kids’ birthday parties too long. Kids only have a limited amount of energy and attention span before they start to misbehave and things start to fall apart.
2. Be very clear in the invitation as to whether this is a ‘drop-off’ or a ‘parents-stay-behind’ party. If you aren’t prepared to host 7 or 8 extra adults for the duration of the party, be clear up front.
3. Make sure you have enough eyeballs on hand to help you supervise the party. Extra support can come from your partner or a couple of your friends, but you will need help – especially with younger children.
4. Plan some activities. Don’t over-plan and be disappointed when kids aren’t following all of the instructions. Kids need some freedom and free-play. On the same hand, don’t under-plan and give them too much free time where they can get bored.
5. It won’t go perfectly. Just remember, it’s not so much about the game at hand, it is about everyone being together, smiling and having a fun time. So if they don’t want to play Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey or they decide the magician is boring – move it along and go with the energy of the children.
6. Decide in advance if you are going to open presents in front of everyone or if they are going to be put on a table and opened after the guests leave. If you opt to open presents, be sure your child takes the time to personally thank each guest for the gift. If you have decided to open the gifts later, it is important for your child to call or send a thank you note after to acknowledge the gift that they received.

7. For the uninitiated, you might find it easier to host a party outside the home such as at the movie theatre, a gymnastics club or bowling alley. You won’t have to worry about the clean-up and there are extra staff members on hand that are accustomed to the noise and activity level.

Happy Birthday!

About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com

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