Moms Should Come First Everyday — Even On Father's Day

Feeling bitter toward your husband on Father's Day? Here's why you should make the day about you instead.

mom looking annoyed with husband - Yuri A | Shutterstock

Yes, I know what's written on the calendar and I most certainly do understand the assignment. We celebrate Father's Day to honor the fathers and father figures in our lives.

And I'll be doing just that: recognizing and thanking my husband, father, father-in-law, and all the other dads I know and love. 

But I still think moms need to come first. Even on Father's Day.

Historically, it’s been the moms who have done the majority of the heavy lifting in parenthood. The childcare, doctor appointments, school runs, and carrying the mental load for their entire family.


While we receive compliments and hear about our wonderful multi-tasking skills, rarely do we have anyone step forward and actually help us.

It's up to us to change that narrative, and the only way we will get those around us to take stock of all we do (and begin to share more of the load) is by demanding it through our actions. Yes, even on Father's Day. 

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I'm not suggesting moms launch a passive-aggressive attack on dads, or ignore them on their special day. They can and should be honored.

What I am saying is that we need to stop being the silent martyrs society expects us to be, doing it all while running ourselves into the ground.


Rarely will we be asked if our needs are being met, which is why we need to be the ones to ensure that they are. And yes, that means putting ourselves first instead of waiting around for someone else to recognize our true worth. Because that is likely not going to happen.

Look at Mother's Day as an example. Of course, it’s lovely to receive breakfast or handmade cards and gifts from our children. But beyond that, most moms spend the day as they always do: being a mom.

Yes, we love our children. But what we want is a break from the parts of motherhood that exhaust us, not to clean the mess our family made while cooking us breakfast. 

If we’re not getting what we want and need on Mother's Day, there isn’t much hope for it happening on any of the other 364 days of the year. 


In my house, my husband helps and is an involved and active parent. But even with that, I’ve always silently carried more than I could handle.

One day, I was adding yet another entry to the family calendar and I felt like I couldn’t contain one more piece of information. I told him that I needed him to be responsible for the schedule, emails, and texts pertaining to our son’s baseball team. 

"But you usually do that and just tell me, or put it in the calendar," he said. "Why would we change that?" 

I stifled my urge to laugh or yell and instead answered him calmly. "Because my brain needs to not be the only one carrying our entire family's mental load," I explained. He shrugged, said "Okay," and just like that, one item was deleted from my to-do list.


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He never stepped forward because I didn't ask.

In an ideal world, I wouldn't have to do that, but we somehow slipped into these roles years ago and habits are hard to break. But I'm slowly chipping away at the old way of doing things, finding my voice, and setting limits with my time.

For starters, I told him exactly how I wanted to spend Mother's Day. And that included having my nails done with my friends in the morning, away from my family for a few hours.

I’m starting to pass off items on my to-do list instead of staying up way too late–and waking far too early–because there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to get it all done myself. 


Of course, I still do too much and have my moments of silence and passive-aggressive behavior, but they are becoming less frequent.

I feel less exhausted, bitter, and underappreciated. I am standing up for what I want and not backing down or saying "Never mind" when my needs cause a slight inconvenience for others. 

It took me far too long to realize that no one was sitting around and thinking, "Gee, moms don’t get nearly as much help and support as they need."

Society sits back and lets it happen because it's easier for everyone if we keep our heads down and continue carrying the bulk of the load. If you expect that to change organically, you are in for disappointment. It's a shift that has to begin with us.


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I will happily celebrate Father's Day, but it will be different this year.

It won’t be a free pass for my husband to sit back and do whatever he wants. Because he's still a partner and dad and those roles don’t come with days off.

Of course, I'll encourage him to take time for himself, and we can also do something as a family that he enjoys — if that’s what he wants. But he won’t be put upon a pedestal and I'm not going to put off the things I need to do that day either.


We will find a balance that works for both of us.

Moms, I encourage you to ask for help, be specific, and don't feel guilty.

Celebrate yourself, even for the little things. And take credit for your hard work.

Your child successfully completed their first week of summer camp? Don't forget what you did to make that happen. Packing lunches, doing laundry, roundtrip rides in the car twice a day for drop-off and pickup, and all the other things. Include yourself in the narrative and remember your worth.

It matters. You matter.

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Becky Vieira is the author of Enough About the Baby and the voice behind the popular Instagram mom account Witty Otter.