June 10, 2013

5 Reasons Dads are Hard to Buy For & 5 Simple Solutions.

I’m about to give up on my husband’s Father’s Day gift.

I feel so frustrated.

Let’s face it, women are easier to shop for. For one, we’re often more verbal about what we want (I think most men out there have a things-to-get-her list that’s too long.)

Men, on the other hand, are notoriously difficult to buy for—and here’s why.

1. They’re not as interested in clothes. (Generally speaking, of course.) My husband has stellar taste—he actually helps pick out both my clothes and my daughter’s. I’ll tell anyone that he’s the one in our family with an eye for what looks great. Still, there are plenty of other things that he would rather spend his money on than a new t-shirt. Which leads me to…

2. They like expensive things. I think this is true for many men out there: the things they want are things that are expensive. I’d love to buy my husband that new bike he’s been lusting after, for example, but even if I could easily drop the dough, he needs to be the one that picks out something this important. That new car, a relaxing vacation—you get the idea—these are all things that I wish I could get him, but, alas, cannot.

3. What Dad really wants got a lot harder after kids. I don’t want to get too graphic with this one, but I think you can probably imagine where I’m heading. I would love to have a sexy night out—or in, for that matter—with my husband, but that’s not exactly the point of Father’s Day, now is it?

4. Men like to shop for us. I know that I’m extremely lucky because my husband is always getting me beautiful gifts—and I know I’m not alone either. I sincerely think that in relationships men are often the less selfish partners. (Sorry, ladies.) They genuinely enjoy buying you that gorgeous necklace—and that watery-eyed smile of delight you sent him upon opening it was gift enough for him.

5. You can’t (easily) buy time. I think the thing that my husband would appreciate the most is more time with his family. I’m absolutely the fortunate one in that I have the opportunity to stay home and parent our child. Yes, I’m aware that men can do this too and, also, that many families need a two-person income. Regardless, my husband has a great job—that happens to take considerable time each day away from his most prized possession—his baby girl.

What, then, are we supposed to do? I’m not actually going to give up. (I’m a little Type-A, so I’ll most likely try harder to acquire that beyond perfect gift.)

Here are a few thoughts that I came up with for those of you in a similar situation:

1. Spend time. I don’t, unfortunately, have the necessary super powers to add more hours into our upcoming weekend, but I can try to fully embrace the ones that we do have. Put effort into really being present with him this weekend. (i.e. put your phone down, hug him, and say “thank you for being a great dad.”)

2. Ask him what he wants. If you’re a little stressed out about creating the ideal weekend, like I am, then try asking him what he wants to do. (Shocking, I know.) Okay, okay, he is a guy, so his answer will probably go something like this, “I don’t care. Whatever.” In this case, give him choices. Do you want to go to “x” restaurant or “y?” Do you want to sleep in or have a special breakfast? You get the picture.

3. Think small. For women, it’s absolutely true that good gifts come in small boxes. However, maybe that can be true for him too. Consider not going overboard on insanely expensive cologne that he might not want to wear or a tie that you know will look good on him, but that you’re pretty sure he might hate. Small things he’ll probably enjoy are as follows: a growler of his favorite micro-brewed beer, cozy socks (awesome socks are underrated!) or an interesting novel.

4. Let the kids choose. Okay, obviously my daughter is too tiny to put in a lot of info, but if your children are able to get dad a gift, even if it’s not what you would get or at all what you have in mind, consider letting them get it anyway. It’s their day to shine too, you know.

5. Make a card. Another underrated gift is a handmade card. Sit down with your kids and scribble away. It’ll most definitely be one of the highlights of his day. 

I think the main reason that dads are often hard to buy for is deceptively simple—if they have a happy family, then what else is there to want?

Because the other thing that happens to be true is that the best things in life are free—no credit card receipt required.

Keep that in mind if you’re still puzzling away on that extra-special, stand-out gift for him.

Come to think about it, I don’t think I’ll try harder to get my husband the perfect gift after all. He much prefers when I chill out and let my hair down anyways.

Hmm, that gives me an idea…


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Ed: Bryonie Wise


{Photo: via Cora on Pinterest}

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