My family loves watching ‘the Middle’. If you haven’t caught this show it’s been running for years in the States and I think is in its 7th or 8th season. The Middle is brilliant observational comedy, a bit like Seinfeld but instead of New York yuppies, think suburban family in the middle of life, in the middle of America. Yep parents and kids can all laugh and relate, this time of life is full of comedic value. I love the way they script a scenario for each character in the family and tie it all together into a funny, observation of family life.

The show reminds us that if we stop and look at our sucky, middle of life, mediocre lives they’re actually pretty good and full of healing, comic relief if we are prepared to stop and choose to see it in a funny light.

Take Father’s Day for example…

What’s to laugh about?

Not much.

Dad gets a card. Dad gets breakfast made for him. Dad gets the day off to do what the wants. Dad gets a gift from his kids.

Sounds tame.

The show is peppered with narration from the vantage point of the mother, Frankie. In fact, I’d say the show really is about motherhood. So, if you’re battling it…watch the Middle and you’ll find yourself in there soon enough.

The point is Father’s Day works because the mum has prompted, marshalled and organized the kids to make the day work so nicely for dad. Without her, the day would be a flop. Kids would sleep in. Dad would get his own breakfast; the day would pass just like any other.

Now compare that with Mother’s Day...

Everyone including dad has forgotten it’s tomorrow.

They rush off to the store to buy some lame, sucky present mum doesn’t need or want.

In the morning, there’s no sleep in for mom. Instead she wakes up to is the sound of the kids fighting over who’s going to make what for mum’s breakfast. When the breakfast arrives the eldest jumps on the bed and knocks the pancake syrup all over mum’s pajamas. Dad arrives and observes the ‘happy scene’ of all the kids around mum on the bed, oblivious to the stress its causing and says, ‘here’s your day, just you and the kids’ as he heads out to play golf.

Why the disparity?

Why is Father’s Day so good and Mother’s Day a bit sucky?

It’s because Frankie, the mom, organizes Father’s Day, like she does everything else that is child related. But the husband, or dad doesn’t step up, thinking it’s the kid’s day to step up and look after mom. It’s a lot easier for a dad to excuse himself, especially if he’s normally out working during the week. For mum, it’s just another chore

It may not describe exactly your situation, but it does highlight why Father’s Day beats Mother’s Day.

If you think that’s the end of the comedic value…think again, I’ve seen at least 3 episodes just on Mother’s Day…which shows its reasonably big irritant…for mother’s! who would have thought that mothers don’t necessarily like or look forward to Mother’s Day?

One year, I think Frankie ‘called it’. She called off Mother’s Day. She’d had enough off all the crap presents, lame kids cards, trinkets from school Mother’s Day stalls, all the forgetfulness and fighting that she called it off. Only her husband wouldn’t let her…he saw it as a decoy…a ploy that would backfire if nothing really happened.

Another episode he came up with the best Mother’s Day of all…nailing the perfect gift…a day by herself without the family.

Yep, who would have thought that the best Mother’s Day was kid free. Hilarious. Ok trolls without kids, time to come out and eat mom alive for wanting kid free time. The dad took the kids out, they had a great day together which only made mom feel she’d missed out. Plus, she stayed home and couldn’t decide what to do with all the time. Then she got stuck fixing things that had bugged her for months, only to find more things until she had 5 minutes left before they all returned home. Grumpy mom. The family thought they’d nailed it for her and couldn’t understand what went wrong.

Mom can’t keep still.

Mom can’t just switch off and do nothing.

Mom wants the kids around but not too close and without responsibility.

Wow, it’s exhausting being a mom!…that’s the husband talking.

Godly origins of father's day

Father’s Day started in church when a girl heard a Mother’s Day sermon sitting next to her widowed father who was raising the kids solo.

Another great Christian idea, celebrating God’s good order and valuing what a father can bring to a family...plus did you notice, started by a woman. Go girl power.

The Middle however, highlights in a satirical way the fall of men. We’ve been absolving ourselves from responsibility since the fall of Genesis 3. But sometimes we just need prompting. Sometimes we’re not aware there’s even a problem.

Here’s a tip: Gently give us the reality straight up in a way that asks us for our help. We love solving problems.

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