It can be a very special, even profound, moment when Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cease to be just about your parents—when they also become about you and your partner, as parents. Those early months of parenthood are totally unique. It may even take you a while to adjust to the idea of yourselves as full-blown parents, in charge of raising and shaping your little bundle of joy. That’s why it’s so important to recognize and celebrate your first Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and mark the occasion with something special.
The only hitch is that your new baby, not yet a year old, is unlikely to be organize anything to show their appreciation; those early celebrations are more about you and your partner recognizing one another. So how do you show your partner how much you appreciate and cherish them as a co-parent when the first Father’s Day of parenthood rolls around? There are a lot of different ways you can mark the occasion that incorporates both you and your baby. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Make Something
One way to show you care is to make something yourself. A homemade touch really shows it comes from the heart. If you’re not naturally artistic or craftsy, don’t worry. There are lots of easy Father’s Day gifts you can make yourself, the simplest of which can involve your baby’s footprints and handprints. Just framing them is great, or you can get a little more creative: Make a print of your baby’s hand on a baseball to play with when they’re older. Or put footprints alongside your partner’s shoe prints to symbolize how you hope that your child will follow in his footsteps.
2. Plan a Day Off
There’s a good chance your partner has had a hectic start to parenthood (everyone does). So sometimes there’s no better way to mark Father's day than giving them the day off. But rather than just giving them take a break from parenting duties, take care of all the details. Many people underestimate how much a dad can love a little pampering, so book them in for a massage or a spa day. If that's not their thing, organize a trip to the movies on their own, a dinner with their friends, or just a place to nap—whatever you think they’ll need most.
3. Create a Photo Album
Parenthood marks a new chapter of life, but it’s still an extension of your life before. One nice way to commemorate it can be to remember where you've been, and how it’s led you to this exciting new phase of life. Print out photographs—yes, the old fashioned way—and fill up a photo album, halfway. Include pictures from the beginning of your relationship through the pregnancy and early days of parenthood, as well as any significant life events. Then leave the rest blank to fill with the memories you're going to make with your children; a nod to the past, while looking at the future.
4. Arrange Something With Their Dad
One way to really recognize the significance of their first Father’s Day is to combine the celebration with one for your partner's dad or both of your dads. One of the amazing things about your first Father’s Day is recognizing that you’ve helped create the next generation. Hosting a party that brings those different generations together can feel incredibly special.
5. Plan a Trip Away
If life has been really overwhelming during the early months of parenthood—which it almost always is—it might be that the best thing you can do is go away. Take Father’s Day weekend as a chance for an overnight trip, just the three of you, and have some space to really recognize how far you’ve come and what your family means to you.
6. Make Handprint Molds
If you want to spend the day doing an activity as a family, making handprint molds can be a great way to mark the occasion. If you have a garden, you can get a kit to imprint your hands into a stone or right into a patio. If not, it’s easy to find plaster that will allow you to make molds to display indoors—you, your partner, and your baby making a permanent memory together.
7. Write Letters to Your Child
Your partner may want to focus this day on your child and your role as parents, but your child isn't old enough to appreciate that now. So instead write letters together for your child to open when they're 13 or 16 or 18—any point you choose in the future. Talk about what these first months have meant to both of you and all you're looking forward to. It will be something so special for them to look at years later.
Your first Mother's Day and Father's Day can feel like such a huge event, so it's important to commemorate it. But you also want to have fun. Keep the focus on family, memories, and giving Dad a little bit of a treat. If it's about the three of you and how much you mean to each other, you can't go wrong.