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How to be a Hero (Not a Zero) on Mom's Birthday

Hey dads and kids: Have you ever let your wife/mom down on her special day because you weren’t sure what to do?

Last year, a friend of Cozi told us about a pretty bad birthday she had just had. When the day came, she found herself at the stove warming up leftovers for dinner, the kids never bothered to wish her a happy birthday that morning, and her husband ran out right before dinner to pick up a cake at the grocery store (and he picked the one he likes, not the one she likes). She told her husband the day wasn't exactly ideal, he agreed, and admitted it was his fault.

To avoid the same letdown the next year, she decided to do something about it. The result was a complete project plan her husband and kids could follow to a tee, thereby ensuring her next birthday was planned at least a little in advance, and included the things (even if they're small things) that are really important to her. 

Ready to be a hero? Use the complete plan (including deliverables and bonus deliverables) for making Mom’s birthday a success. 

TIMELINE: Three Weeks

  • Morning Acknowledgement from children and spouse (email, text, and phone calls are perfectly acceptable, hugs and singing are even better) without having to be reminded that it’s her birthday.
  • Wrapped, actual gifts (one from everyone is fine, if people would like to select individual gifts, that’s fine too!)
  • Cake or some other treat of her liking (not yours or the kids), bonus for including a nice bottle of wine.
  • Family dinner plans for the day of her birthday (hint: she shouldn't have to decide what's for dinner)
  • Dinner plans on the weekend with spouse without kids
  • Double bonus for really planning something and including friends
  • Generate list of ideas for birthday gifts. Methods for idea generation can include asking her, keeping notes throughout the year of ideas you get or things you see her admiring, asking the children, asking her friends.
  • Determine whether the kids will give their own presents and if so, whether they will be made or bought, and if bought, who will pay for them.
  • Determine where you need to go to get these presents.
  • If shopping needs to be done online, determine which website to use. Order gifts if possible.
  • Confirm wife’s favorite type of birthday cake/treat if you don’t already know.
  • Order gift(s) online, if necessary.
  • Schedule time with kids when they will make their presents or when you will take them to complete their purchases.
  • Schedule time to go shopping for your gift.
  • BONUS: Ask wife where she would like to go for grown-up birthday celebration, determine whether there are childcare options available for that night. Ask her for contact information for babysitters or parents of kids’ friends.
  • BONUS: Contact potential babysitters/friends for childcare.
  • BONUS BONUS: Ask wife which friends she’d like to celebrate her birthday with.
  • BONUS BONUS: Invite those friends to join you. Give them these two weeks to see if they can get sitters too.
  • Complete purchases.
  • Plan dinner for the birthday night. If planning to eat out, ask wife where she would like to go with the family.
  • Determine where cake/treat will come from, order it if you need to.
  • Wrap presents, sign cards.
  • Remind kids that it will be Mom’s birthday in the morning.
  • Remind wife that she doesn’t need to plan or cook dinner tomorrow night.
  • If you’re making the cake, make it this day. Get kids to help you - that will help them get excited.
  • Tell, text, call, or email wife in the morning to tell her happy birthday.
  • If buying a cake/treat go pick it up, take kids with you - that will help them get excited.
  • Implement plan of dinner, cake and giving of actual presents (verbal promises are not acceptable).
  • Sit back and watch your wife feel happy, loved, and appreciated.
  • Sit back and watch your children be excited about their mom’s birthday and feel good that they’re learning how to honor the women they love.
  • Take wife out for a nice dinner to enjoy her birthday without kids.
  • BONUS BONUS: Enjoy dinner with the company of friends.
  • Watch your friends think that you are a great guy for planning all this for your wife.

See more shopping and to do lists in the Cozi List Library.

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