Men Take Note: What We Really Want for Mother’s Day

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Mother’s Day is a special time of the year: spring is finally in full bloom after a long winter, it is near my birthday (although turning a year older has lost its appeal in recent years), and it is a day to not only celebrate our wonderful moms but women in general. However, what I have found most on my mind this past week prior to Mother’s Day 2015 is the tragic loss of Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg. His death no doubt has shocked the world, given his young age, the manner in which he died, and the fact that he left behind two young children and a powerhouse wife, Sheryl Sandberg, who has spoken often about his steadfast support of her career. What I didn’t realize prior to this week was Dave’s strong commitment to advocating for and encouraging women in general to reach their top potential. It is devastating to have lost such a staunch supporter for women; we definitely need more “male feminists” like him in our world today. So, men, this Mother’s Day, take a note from Dave and honor the moms, daughters, and other women in your life by giving them one of these unique and special gifts that will last a lifetime:

Special Mother’s Day Gifts

1. Support her work: Find ways you can support your partner’s career, whether that is giving her extra time, a boost of confidence, or even advice. For instance, reports say Dave encouraged Sheryl to push for a higher salary when she joined Facebook, made sure he would be home for their children when she had business travel, and provided feedback and support for her book, Lean In.

2. Do your chores: Liz O’Donnell of HelloLadies and writer Estelle Erasmus advocate that husbands should be doing their fair share of chores at home and for good reason. Not only does it give mom a break and some much-needed “me” time, but research has also shown that “girls whose fathers play a part in housework and laundry—no matter what their income levels—directly contribute to their daughter’s health, happiness, ability to do well in school and broader career prospects.” How’s that for impacting both your wife and daughters?

3. Start a women’s initiative: Look around at work. Are there initiatives that support women? If so, get involved or even start one. I was very proud of my husband, who works in a male-dominated field, when he formed a Women in Technology group to help retain female employees. Or follow the example of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who is reviewing the salaries of 16,000 employees to ensure that women are being paid fairly. Supporting these initiatives encourages others to do the same and begins to chip away at antiquated workplace cultures.

4. Take advantage of workplace policies: Does your company offer paternity leave? Flexible work schedules? Can you leave early to make it to your child’s baseball game or work-from-home to attend your daughter’s school event at 1pm? Take advantage of these formal and informal policies and advocate for such offerings if they do not exist. Participating in workplace initiatives helps destigmatize policies and reminds employers that everyone needs flexibility and support, not just moms.

5. Change your job: Men’s career choices impact their partners’ careers as well. If your job is all consuming, leaving your wife to take care of nearly every aspect on the home front, consider seeking a more family-friendly employer. In a recent survey, 67% percent of male respondents reported “they have changed jobs or would be willing to do so to better serve their family needs.” Having flexibility in your work schedule will allow you to be around more not only for your children but to also help support your partner’s career. Another win-win for all!

Which gifts will you be giving this Mother’s Day?

2 Thoughts on “Men Take Note: What We Really Want for Mother’s Day

  1. Great post Emily! Hopefully we’ll keep making progress in all of these areas.

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