Father’s Day is right around the corner and the kids couldn’t be more excited. My 4-year-old daughter was really into Mother’s Day this year — making it not suck, like my first Mother’s Day — and she’s equally enthusiastic to celebrate her dad come June 15th. In my effort to establish a fun and meaningful family legacy, I’ve come up with five Father’s Day traditions that moms can start to make Dad’s day awesome!
In addition to the beloved breakfast in bed, handmade cards and grilling accessories, here are some inspired ideas that are simple enough — and you can cherish for years to come:
1. Take the Same Photo Every Year
Pick a picture, any picture you love of each of your babies with their daddy — and recreate it each year. It doesn’t matter if your kids are no longer babies — just start where you are. This tradition is one that will be a gift to everyone in the family. Since we tend to view dads from a linear perspective — strict providers and not as affectionate as moms — my photo tradition is of my husband kissing his babies. Each year it looks a little different as the kids get older, but I love showing my husband how his love as a father impacts his children.
2. Measure Your Child’s Height
Another photo tradition I keep that’s easy to remember to capture on Father’s Day is documenting each child’s height in relation to their father. Have your child stand up straight next to dad, get down to your child’s level (so that your camera is shooting at a completely straight angle) and shoot, with your husband cropped out of the picture. Each year, as your child grows, more of his dad will come into the frame. It’s a simple, fun Father’s Day tradition that takes only moments to capture, but you can treasure forever.
3. Let Him Spend Individual Quality Time with Each Child
Sure, Father’s Day is a family affair, often celebrated with generations of fathers. But if your kids have a dad that goes to work all day like mine do, scheduling individual quality time with each child would create a Father’s Day tradition as unique as each kid. It can be as simple as a one-on-one lunch date for father and son, a shopping trip for daddy and his little girl to pick out a new Father’s Day dinner shirt, or a quick bowling game for dad with his toddler. Helping to facilitate great memories for your kids and their dads — and thus building a family legacy — is what we moms do. I can’t wait to one day send my son and husband off for a round of Father’s Day golf!
4. Change Up the Daily Routine
My husband is a hands-on father. He provides for his family and comes home every night to give baths and read bedtime stories. Evenings are my time to unwind, check emails and decompress. But on Father’s Day (and on other days too), I make it a point to break from this routine — to change up the monotony of life. While his usual Sunday pancake breakfast is great, the kids and I take over on Father’s Day and serve him breakfast in bed. He gets to decompress while I tend to bedtime routines. And at the end of Father’s Day, we watch ESPN without a peep from the peanut gallery. A few simple acts of acknowledgment go a long way — and don’t cost a dime.
5. Freshen Up Their Car or Office
This is a new tradition I’m starting on Father’s Day. It’s certainly not one my husband would ask for on his own, but it’ll make a huge impact on his day-to-day life. After nearly three years in his current office, the kids and I are going to freshen it up a bit! The Friday before Father’s Day, we’re bringing lunch, new picture frames filled with family memories, other decor and cleaning supplies — nothing heavy duty, but enough to freshen up the space where he spends so much time when he’s outside the home. His car is also getting a big cleaning, too!
The traditions of Father’s Day impact our memories. From photo traditions that tell the story of your family legacy, to cheering up dad’s environment and breaking free of the mundane, creating Father’s Day traditions that hold meaning and are focused on your family values will go a long way to filling his day with moments that will make him proud.