The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Kids

In The Second Mountain, David Brooks shares a poignant observation from a friend. “I don’t really know of many happy marriages,” the friend said. “I know a lot of marriages where parents love their kids.”

Yes, ​love your kids without end​, as we’ve said before. But in this kind of marriage, your son or your daughter miss out on a powerful example.

“One of the greatest things a father can do for his children,” Howard W. Hunter once said, “is to love their mother.” Sure, our notion of what a family is has expanded since he made that remark. We have single families, divorced families, trans families. We have blended families and coparenting families. Gay families and even poly families. To each their own.

But the truth of the sentiment doesn’t change—in fact, it only expands. The best thing you can do for your kids is love the person who brought them into this world, who you are parenting them and raising them with.

Even if you are no longer with that person, or if that person has deeply hurt or even betrayed you, you must love the person responsible for a good chunk of your kid’s DNA or identity. You must love—that’s how they’ll know that they are loved.

With Mother’s Day coming up, the Dads on the Daily Dad team have been struggling with a perennial Dad problem: finding a good gift for the Moms in our lives.

So with the help of the Moms on the Daily Dad team, we put together a list of gifts to make it easy for you to look good this Mother’s Day.


Horizontal Parenting by Michelle Woo

The premise of this book should appeal to even the most energetic of parents—50 ways to entertain your kid while lying down. Because as every mother knows, children are exhausting! And in the marathon of modern parenting, everyone could use a break—just 10 precious minutes to rest your body and tune out the chaos.

This is a really fun and lighthearted book filled with smart and creative ideas for bonding with your children, while maximizing your own downtime and relaxation.

The Boy Who Would Be King and The Girl Who Would Be Free by Ryan Holiday

It’s a common question we get over at Daily Stoic: How can I teach my child about Stoicism? First, you have to understand the topic so well that you can explain it to a child. That’s why we first created The Boy Who Would Be King. It’s an illustrated and timeless fable parents can share about the journey of a young Marcus Aurelius and how he became one of the wisest and most virtuous leaders in history.

Second, you have to live it, speak it, write it, act it. That’s what parenting is all about—modeling the traits and beliefs we want our kids to embody. So we followed up with The Girl Who Would Be Free, an all-ages fable about the upbringing that helped Epictetus survive slavery and go on to become one of the great philosophers of all time. We tell the story of Epictetus through the lens of a female character in hopes of making the fable slightly more accessible to young girls and women, whose relationship to Stoicism is often ignored.

Stories of Motherhood edited by Diana Secker Tesdell

This gorgeous book gathers the very best short stories of mothers from some of the century’s greatest writers—Lydia Davis, Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan, and Alice Munro to name a few. The tales range from lyrical to satirical, heartbreaking to hilarious, and celebrate the many complex, beautiful, strange, and incredible facets of motherhood that every mom is sure to recognize.


The Daily Dad by Ryan Holiday

It was Leo Tolstoy who once wrote, “There is nothing more important than an example.” An example, he says, leads “us to do good deeds which would be impossible without this example.” When it comes to parenting, who is providing that example? Who are your teachers? Who do you look up to? Who do you keep in mind to guide you?

The Daily Dad, which has officially been out for a year (how crazy!), was designed to provide some answers to those questions. With a few manageable paragraphs per day, it’s full of inspiring quotes and advice useful for even the most sleep-deprived parents who want to raise great kids and love and parent a little better.

​Tiffany’s Seascape Window Bookmark​

We’ve had a lot of books in this list so far, so our Daily Dad team decided it would be good to add a bookmark. ​This Tiffany’s Seascape bookmark​ is our personal favorite but we’ve got ​plenty of other great ones​ to choose from at the Painted Porch.

​Speks Gump Stress Balls​

Look, every mom has moments when the stress and exhaustion pile up and it all seems like too much. On those days, a memory stress ball that you can squeeze, stretch, and pinch apart is a good way to release some tension before it boils over on the wrong person.

​Floral Book (Fully Booked) Sweatshirt​

Because what book-loving Mom doesn’t love a cozy sweatshirt to wear while curled up with her favorite book for the evening?

​The Stoic Parent: 10 Commandments For Becoming A Better Parent​

It seems crazy now, but amongst the Stoics in the ancient world there was once intense disagreement over whether philosophers should have “precepts” or sayings to remind them of their teachings. Stoics like Aristo, who lived around the time of Zeno, believed that this was cheating. A wise man, properly trained, should just know what to do in any and every situation. Later Stoics, like Seneca, thought this was ridiculous. “All study of philosophy and reading should be for the purpose of living a happy life,” Seneca would say. “We should seek precepts to help us, noble and courageous words that can become facts… we should learn them in a way that words become works.” Which is why we built The Stoic Parent course around 10 core principles—rooted in Stoicism, tested over millenniums, backed by experts, and trusted by millions—for becoming a better parent.


​Luctor et Emergo​ and ​Tempus Fugit​ Medallions

Our medallions are powerful parenting reminders for you to carry around in your pocket and remember the important things that really matter as a parent.

Our ​Luctor et Emergo​ (“I struggle and emerge”) coin reminds you that your child comes with unlimited potential. The key to unlocking it isn’t removing all the hardship. It’s understanding that a child’s life should be good, not easy. And the ​Tempus Fugit coin​ reminds us that “All time is quality time.” Even the ordinary moments. Especially the ordinary moments.

​Floral Book (Fully Booked) Sweatshirt​

Because what book-loving Mom doesn’t love a cozy sweatshirt to wear while curled up with her favorite book for the evening?

Daily Rituals: Women at Work by Mason Currrey and Slow Productivity by Cal Newport

These books provide great strategies and tools for any parent who wants to pursue and complete meaningful projects without suffering overload and burnout. Daily Rituals: Women at Work share the routines and habits that have helped some of history’s most accomplished and creative women find the time to get stuff that matters done each day. And Slow Productivity is a roadmap for balancing it all so we still have time for those moments we all cherish as parents—taking our kids to school, eating dinner together as a family, and reading stories at bedtime.

The Baby on the Fire Escape by Julie Phillips

What does a great artist who is also a mother look like? What does it mean to create, not in “a room of one’s own,” but in a domestic space? Sharing the stories and wisdoms from brilliants artists and women like Susan Sontag, Doris Lessing, and Audre Lorde, this book is a fierce testament to creative motherhood in all its forms.

​Travel Tech-Tidy​

Who among us hasn’t been two hours into the road trip only to realize…we’ve forgotten the tablet charger. We’ve all been there. And we’ve all suffered the consequences. That’s why this is an absolute essential for any type of travel with your kids. We’ve got multiple colors and styles available so your family can keep the chargers organized with style.


Mom’s One Line A Day Journal​ and ​Care & Feeding of Feral Children Journal​

Journaling does not need to produce Nobel Prize-worthy prose. It doesn’t need to be a practice that takes up your entire morning (because what parent has time for that). That’s why the ​Mom’s One Line A Day journal​ is perfect (and why my journaling routine starts with the One Line a Day Journal). Or if you’re looking for a blank journal to spill out your thoughts, we’re fans of the ​Care & Feeding of Feral Children Journal​, too.

​Harper Muse Painted Edition Classics​

Winnie the Pooh. Anne of Green Gables. The Wizard of Oz. These are just a couple of the classic stories Harper Muse turned into beautiful painted editions great to display around the house or to cherish as you fall asleep at night.

​The Sarah J. Maas collection​

My wife Samantha says that every Mom juggling work, life, and raising kids could use a book where they can leave their troubles awhile and escape into another world. If the Mom in your life is looking for a new fantasy series to explore, this is the one!

Sign Up to get our FREE email.
One piece of timeless parenting advice, delivered daily.

Sign Up to get our eBook

“20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday”



Recent Posts



We’re going to tackle all the big themes of our time and of all time: Grit. Resilience. Curiosity. Compassion. Character. Unconditional love. Finding purpose. Dealing with stress. Masculinity. Female empowerment. Loss. Stillness. Truthfulness. Initiative. Creativity. Passion. Family. Fun.

Join Daily Dad now and tap into a community of dads all over the world dedicated to becoming the very best dad they can be. you’ll get a daily meditation on the above themes and more.