With Mother's Day fast approaching, it is important for fathers to take the time to acknowledge the important role that our spouses play in our lives as our best friends and loving companions. In addition to their hard work at their jobs and around house, mothers usually (but not always) do much of the work when it involves what is the most difficult and yet most important job in the world: raising our children.

Though we live in a culture that often fails to give child rearing the credit it deserves, mainly because it doesn't earn much in the way of income, anyone who has spent a significant amount of time alone with their children knows how difficult it can be. If anything, being the primary caregiver to your children can sometimes make going to your day job seem like a vacation.

The Gift of Time

So it is really important for fathers can take this opportunity to let the mothers in their lives know that their efforts are valued and celebrated. While candy or jewelry are always a good bet, I'd like to propose another way to express your love and appreciation: the gift of time.

I don't mean to imply that you should give your wife or mother a Rolex watch, though they might be happy to receive one. Instead, I would encourage fathers to take time out of their day to help out and to be a presence in their family's lives. Better yet, rather than just on Mother's Day, make it your goal to be there for your wife and kids every day.

The Challenge

It may sound simple enough in theory, but from a practical perspective, it is not. We live busy lives, and in the continual quest to earn a living while attending to our own personal needs, it is often time with our families that ultimately gets compromised.

Why not, in the spirit of Mother's Day, make the effort to change that? It doesn't require a lot of time, and in most cases, it won't cost you a dime. However, the positive impact that it will have not only on your wife and kids, but yourself, will be immeasurable.

After all, who can argue with the fact that children benefit from our involvement? Kids want to spend time with their fathers, and our involvement cannot be replaced with money or material possessions. And I don't know too many mothers who wouldn't, on a number of levels, welcome our participation and help.

Quality, Not Quantity

Keep in mind, it doesn't have to be painful or entail too much sacrifice. To be an involved father doesn't mean that you have to quit your job and become a stay-at-home-father, but it does require that you pay attention and be emotionally engaged, not just a physical presence. In other words, it's all about quality and not quantity.

With this mind, put away your cell phone, turn off the TV, and stop obsessing about work. Instead, be prepared to get into the trenches and get your hands dirty. Your kids will cherish the memories of their time with you, you wife will no doubt appreciate it and may even reward you for your efforts, and who knows, you might even have fun.

Stranger things have happened.

From all of us at Parenting Squad, Happy Mother's Day to all.

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