3 Minute Read
Pediatrician, mother and best-selling author of six books, she is one of the country’s leading experts on parenting, teens and children’s health.
By Dr. Meg Meeker
As an employed-outside-of-the-home mother of four, I can tell you exactly what the mother in your life needs. I know that you’re trying hard to get her something special because you want to make her happy. The trick is that it needs to come from you—her husband, her son or her daughter.
So what is this thing?
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It’s more of you.
I know you men are rolling your eyes, but hold on and let me explain. Her heart functions differently than yours. She thinks differently and worries about things that you don’t. Mentally and physically, most mothers feel as though we’re just barely holding life together and when our heads hit the pillow at the end of the day—bam! We’re out. At least for a few hours until our worries awaken us, and we prowl quietly through the house to make sure everyone’s sleeping well.
Back to my answer: She needs more of you. How exactly do you give her that? It’s simple. She needs you for one whole day to listen to her. Ask kind questions like, “How are you doing with work and the kids?“ Or, “I know that we think so differently. I can’t understand what you need a lot of the time, so what can I do for you?” Pay attention to the expression on her face. Her mouth will drop—not because you’re a buffoon and never think about her needs. But you could be a bit shy on the verbal end of expressing your feelings.
But don’t just ask her how she is. That’s easy. Here’s the tougher part: Pay attention when she talks. Look her in the eye. Don’t interrupt her (duct tape comes in many different colors). Even if you’re bored, fake it. We don’t care; we just want to be heard. There’s something incredibly freeing and mood-altering when we mothers talk and the ones we love the most listen. It makes us feel loved. And when we feel loved—guess what? Everyone else will too. Because we like to give back.
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Let’s keep going with this “give her more of you” thing. Second, offer her physical help. Come on, you’re stronger than we are. Husbands are physically stronger and kids have more energy. We love the scrambled eggs in bed, but pleeeeaaase don’t forget to clean up the kitchen. We’re physically exhausted most of the time. Mom-life does this to us.
If you’re still skeptical about this gift, let me remind you of something. We want you. We want you to be crazy about us. We want to get this parenting thing right and underneath the frustration, we want our husbands back. That’s it in a nutshell—we just want more of you.
Give it a try. Then wait and see what happens on your birthday or Father’s Day.
Pediatrician, mother and best-selling author of six books, Dr. Meg Meeker is one of the country’s leading experts on parenting, teens and children’s health.