The arrival of May means that spring is in full swing, with time spent outside in the green grass and warm sunshine. May also means that Mother's Day is coming soon (May 11).

Mother's Day is an opportunity for us to thank our moms for all they do for us. Whether they're minding the home front, going to work to earn a paycheck, volunteering their time, or just being a loving parent and wife, they always have their family's best interest in mind.

So it goes without saying that we should recognize their efforts. However, it's also important for fathers to remember that the mother of our children is also our life-partner and soul mate. She may even be our best friend. While chocolates, flowers, and breakfast in bed are wonderful ways to celebrate Mother's Day, and will no doubt be appreciated, there are also simple ways for men to let our wives know how much they mean to us, and not just for one day of the year.

Here are 8 ways to accomplish this:

1. Do something out of the ordinary.

In our busy lives we often operate on autopilot, going through life with blinders on. Why not break that routine and surprise your wife? Spontaneously offer to meet her for lunch, or whisk her off to a movie. It could be as simple as calling her while you're at work. The key is that it's a thoughtful and a pleasant surprise.

2. Remember quality of time, not quantity.

When we're locked into our smartphones or watching TV, we are basically ignoring the person that is with us. Put away the gadgets, turn off the TV, and spend some quality time together. Remember to give your undivided attention and that listening doesn't always mean giving advice.

3. Spend more time with your kids.

Every mom wants what's best for their children, and spending quality time with their fathers is high up on that list. This means being involved and engaged, with no distractions (i.e., phones, TV). Keep in mind that you may start to sweat or get dirty, but you'll be enriching your kids' lives and you may even have fun.

4. Let her know she's on your mind.

Send your wife random texts or tweets for no reason other than to let her know you're thinking of her. Take time during your lunch break for an impromptu get-together, or call during the day just to say hi. Bringing home a treat that you can share with the family is always a pleasant surprise.

5. Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself.

Men are proud creatures, but sometimes pride prevents us from being ourselves, especially when it comes to displaying affection. So do it when you're away from the excessive scrutiny. During private moments, be as sappy and affectionate as you'd like, as long as your wife is into it (I'm guessing she will be).

6. Make time to have time.

It's easy to forsake time together to take care of practical matters like mowing the lawn or spending time with friends over a cold beer, but just remember that if your spouse is at home with the kids, they've had just as hard a day as you (if not harder than you), so make time to be together. They've earned it.

7. Make physical contact.

Physical contact is an important part of any relationship, so hold hands and hug frequently. Kiss each other in the morning and before going to bed, as well as when you say "hi" and "goodbye," and pretty much whenever you feel like it. 

8. Say it like you mean it.

There are countless occasions throughout the day to tell your wife you love her, so say it often, and say it like you mean it. An empty declaration of love is worse than being silent, so put your heart into it, or don't say it at all.

From all of us at Parenting Squad, we wish you a happy, safe, and enjoyable Mother's Day.