But what if Mother’s Day was Lent?
Mother’s Day was a great one this year. I got to spend it with my mom and my wife, celebrating them both while taking a lead on the chores and the kids. In other words, I spent it like a decent son and husband should.
Truth be told, I had fun doing it. Cheesy as it sounds, I’m at my best when I’m firing on all cylinders as a husband and father. If I get to spend the day joking about how much better Father’s Day is going to be, then so much the better.
If you’re like me, then throughout the day, you spotted plenty of Mother’s Day tweets and thinkpieces. “Hey, let’s celebrate mothers every day of the year!” It’s a great sentiment, and surely one that any decent man can get behind. But inevitably, as Mother’s Day gives way to a busy week, we return to our routines and our complacency.
I’m not saying that’s a terrible thing. Mother’s Day wouldn’t be special, after all, if we did it every day. Plus, after only a few gifts, I’m sure my wife would insist I go back to paying into groceries and the mortgage. She’s a practical woman, and that’s one of the great many reasons why I look up to her.
But isn’t the spirit of Mother’s Day worth nourishing on a daily basis? And if I get that much out of going the extra mile as a husband, son and father, shouldn’t I try to keep at it?
Working to meet that standard every day of the year is a fool’s game. Some days you blow it as a man, and doing your best means accepting those failures and forgiving yourself.
But you know what? I’ll bet that if I really put my back into it, I could stay in the zone until Father’s Day.
I’m serious, my friends! I did the math, and there are thirty-five days between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. That’s only a few days short of Lent.
What if we all, as loving and supportive family men, tried to keep Mother’s Day going until Father’s Day? If our Catholic friends can spend that time without chocolate, or whatever, then surely we can spend it being good men.
It wouldn’t even take much, you know? Just a little effort, presence and reflection. If you already consider it a priority to be a good family man, then all you’re really doing here is walking the walk.
Yes, much like Lent, you’re going to have to sacrifice some things for the sake of humility. You’re going to have to spend more time running the show at home, and less time dicking around in public. But isn’t that the idea anyway?
And hell, if all goes well, a sustained effort to do better might take you to a whole new level. They say it takes twenty-one days to build a new habit. Imagine what a great dad you’d be after thirty-five days of Mother’s Day!
Join me in this campaign, my fellow men! You all know you’re going to spend Father’s Day bellowing about how great and terrific you are, just to bug your kids. How cool would it be to really mean it?