Amy Downes gives working dads a heads up on the Christmas presents that their other halves will really appreciate next week.
Six days until Christmas and you’re all done with your shopping, right? Course not! I mean, rushing round on Christmas Eve trying to decide what to buy the wife is half the fun of the festive period.
Somehow, in the little time that’s left, you’ve got to find the perfect gift for your significant other. She’s made 2019 easier and happier for you, so now is the time to say ‘thank you’ and ‘I appreciate you, even if I don’t have the time to tell you between feeding and nappy changing.’
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a lot going on at work too. Colleagues, clients and the boss are about to stick the out-of-office on for a week and you need to make sure you’ve got all tasks completed and signed off in the next 24 hours.
So, when are you supposed to fit in time to nip to the shops and pick up the last-minute treats that will add sparkle to the stockings next week? That’s where I’m hoping to help you out, listed below are the things us Mums are really hoping Santa will put under the tree.
Me-time When the big day rolls round, take the baby from her arms and the toddler who’s clinging to her ankles. Give her an hour on her own, let her pop on her favourite TV show or perhaps run her a bath. It’s amazing the difference it will make to her day.
Couple-time For years now, life has been focused on those little humans you created together. Between them and work there’s very little time to be the couple you were before they came along, so book a date night! You might even get time for some ‘you-know-what’ (sleep, I clearly mean sleep).
A Cleaner It’s something that will have popped into her head so many times, but she’s never had the guts to ask. She’s worried her Mum will disapprove, other Mums will judge and you will tell her it costs too much. So why not arrange one, even if it’s for just a couple of hours a week?
That thing she asked for It’s incredibly touching when the love of your life buys you little surprises to make you smile, so don’t stop doing that! But buying that necklace she told you about a few months ago will show her you were listening and make her feel special. Plus earn you major brownie points.
A Day Off You’ll have seen the memes going around: the ‘mental load’ of motherhood is heavy and we would give anything to have that disappear for a day. So, when you’re getting everything ready for Christmas – take the lead. There’s nothing sexier than a man who does what needs doing without having to be asked!
Night Out For years now she’s done a great job of being Mum, but some days she really misses being ‘not-Mum’. Speak to her best mates and sort out a night out. Pop a tab behind the bar, or order a bottle of sparkling to surprise her on the Wetherspoons app. Don’t forget hangover provisions too.
You-time On top of all that, make sure you sort something for yourself as well. Yes, we love to have time to ourselves, but we want you to do that too because we know that your mental health is just as important as ours.
Because this is basically a list of things that I would like to find under the tree, I consulted with some parent bloggers for their ideas too:
‘A full night’s sleep in a hotel room!’ Anna Miller, Twins and Travels
‘I want the remote control for 24 hours. And NO Paw Patrol!’ Erica Knight, The Incidental Parent
‘I want to go to toilet on my own!’, Lianne Freeman, Ankle Biters Adventures
‘A warm cup of tea, a bath without someone banging on the door and a meal being cooked for me!’ Rebecca Powell, The Grey Home
‘I want to leave my house on my own for something other than work or an errand! A cup of tea and a cake in a coffee shop by myself… heaven!’ Abi Jones, Something About Baby
‘Last year my husband took our 3 sons away for the weekend leaving me with the house to myself. I met friends for dinner, went to the theatre and had long lie-ins, I’d love him to do it again in 2020!’ Claire Winlow, Red Kite Days
You can read more of Amy’s thoughts on flexible working and parenthood on her blog www.mumfullofdreams.com