I’ve been reading a lot of posts lately about easy, upcycled, DIY Father’s Day gifts, written by some very creative and inspiring wives and mothers. I have actually dedicated a lot of time to reading these posts, admiring their beautiful ideas and photos.
I do this every year. And every year I feel like I wouldn’t be able to replicate these ideas if my life depended on it. And so every year the kids and I make cards, and I pick up some little trinket that I hand over with a sheepish expression, and we go about our day.
This year, I decided to ask my husband what he wants for Father’s Day. This is what he told me.
1. Sleeping in. If you’ve been around kids for any length of time, you know that sleep is as unpredictable as it is coveted. Their sleep. Your sleep. Deep sleep. REM sleep. It could all be snatched away at any given moment, for almost any reason. So, sleeping in? I get it. Consider it done! (Unless one of the sprouts gets to the bedroom door before I can stop them, to ‘check if daddy is awake yet.’ There’s nothing I can do about that!)
2. ‘Breakfast in bed’. (Except, not in bed!) One of the ways to keep said sprouts from barging in on daddy while he’s sleeping is to keep them occupied with something fun. Like making breakfast together. Setting the table, pouring the juice, buttering the toast – kids love getting in on the action!
If I need to buy myself a little more time before daddy wakes up, I’ll have them make cards too. In fact, I will probably set out all of the card-making supplies the night before with instructions to work on them as soon as they wake up. I just might get to sleep in a little too!
3. A special outing with the family. Last year our family went to a natural hot-spring pool. We had a great time together, playing, laughing, relaxing. I’m not exactly sure what we will do yet, as it will probably be determined, at least in part, by the weather. (The only thing less predictable than a parent’s sleep!)
4. A favorite meal together at home. Steak seems to signify a special occasion in our home. So it will probably be steak. With lots of sides. And dessert. (Molten chocolate lava cakes, to be exact.) When the sprouts were really little, we could put them to bed early and then enjoy a date-night in. The sprouts don’t go down quite as early anymore, so this year it will be a meal we enjoy together.
5. A movie (of his choosing!) and a beer, after the kids have gone to bed. I’m not much of a movie lover, and when I do want to see something, it tends not to be what my husband wants to watch. So I can understand why he would want to choose the occasional movie. And this time I will go along with it, despite what I might be thinking about his movie of choice.
The list he gave me isn’t surprising. Like myself, my husband shows and receives love primarily through time spent together with those he cares for. But the bottom line is this: my husband wants a day to feel loved and appreciated for all of the hard work he does for us.
However, not all men are the same. For some, a gift expresses love in a meaningful way; for others, a gentle touch, an encouraging word, or task done spontaneously are how they best feel and convey love.*
Think about the fathers in your life. How do they express love to their family? Their children?
Chances are, how they treat those closest to them is how they would like to be pampered this Father’s Day! Can’t decide which expression of love would be the most meaningful? It wouldn’t hurt to pick two or three from the list and bless the dad(s) in your life in a special way – or just ask! I am so glad I asked my husband what he wants for Father’s Day this year! I know what I am going to do, and (any spontaneous child meltdowns aside) I know he is going to have a special day!
And in case you needed a few ideas to get you started…
Spending Time Together
Pack a picnic to enjoy at a park or the beach, including a frisbee, kite, soccer ball, etc.
Pick up a coffee, and go on a scenic walk.
Take the family swimming, and out for ice cream afterward.
Write a love letter, poem, or list of reasons why the dad(s) in your life are so great.
Have the kids make cards and write what they love about their dad.
Make a video of the kids telling their dad or grandpa how much they love him.
Have a six pack chilling in the fridge and a download of a movie he’s been wanting to see.
Give him a gift card to his favorite sport/ tool/ manly type store.
Make a ‘coupon book’ including activities that he enjoys, to be redeemed at his choosing.
Actions of Love
Surprise him by vacuuming out his vehicle.
Cook him his favorite meal, including dessert.
Put the kids to bed while he has a chance to put his feet up and relax.
Break out the coconut oil and give him a shoulder massage or a foot rub.
Intentionally give him hugs and kisses throughout the day.
Cuddle up on the couch while watching a movie, instead of sitting on opposite ends of the couch.
*To find out more about the five expressions of love, pick up a copy of Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages.