In The Second Mountain, David Brooks relates a conversation he had with 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.”
In such a marriage, your son or daughter misses 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.” Our notion of what a family is has expanded since he made that remark. We have single families. We have divorced families. We have trans families. We have blended families and coparenting families. We have 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. The best thing you can do for your kids is love the person you are parenting 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
As every mother knows, children are exhausting! In the marathon of modern parenting, everyone needs 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
Over at Daily Stoic, one of the most common questions we get is: 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, an illustrated and timeless fable 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 Stoicism is often ignored.
There Are Mom’s Way Worse Than You by Glenn Boozan
This book is a rhyming illustrated humor book for moms who feel they’re not doing a good job. It is a funny, relatable, and refreshing take on the pressures of modern parenting. It is sure to resonate with many mothers who are juggling the demands of work, family, and personal life.
The Daily Dad by Ryan Holiday
The Daily Dad just hit bookshelves yesterday, and as Emily Oster said, it’s not just for dads! We have signed first editions available here and if you purchase by Sunday May 7, you can get The Stoic Parent course (details further down this list) for FREE.
Leo Tolstoy 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?
Ryan Holiday was so desperate for an answer to these questions—for a book of timeless advice for parents to exist—that in early 2019, when his first child was barely three years old and he and his wife Samantha were preparing for their second, he started creating a Tolstoy-like book just to read it. With a few manageable paragraphs per day, it’s useful for even the most sleep-deprived parents.
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. We’ve got plenty of great ones to choose from at the Painted Porch, but it was a unanimous decision: all the Moms on Team Daily Dad agreed that every book lover with a sweet tooth needs a chocolate bar bookmark.
Fidget toys have become popular to give to kids. It keeps their hands busy and ideally pacifies them. But maybe on those tough days when the kids are melting down in the school pickup line, maybe it’s you who needs pacifying. Behavior is the language of children. They can feel the tension you bring into the room. They know what your angry face looks like, even if you never say a word. Working that tension out on a piece of plastic is always better than on the ones you love.
Luctor et Emergo and Tempus Fugit Medallions
Want something to fidget with but don’t want a kid’s toy? Try our medallions! They provide a great stress reliever that fits in your pocket, but also come with a great parenting reminder.
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 (which Ryan keeps on his desk) reminds us that “All time is quality time.” Even the ordinary moments. Especially the ordinary moments.
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.
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.
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 Ryan’s journaling routine starts with the One Line a Day Journal).
And Yet by Kate Baer
Kate Baer poems are characterized by their simplicity and accessibility, yet—through her exploration of themes like motherhood, marriage, and friendship—they also offer deep insights into the human experience.
Stories of Motherhood edited by Diana Secker Tesdell
This anthology of short stories edited by Diana Secker Tesdell gathers more than a century of literary celebrations of mothers of all ages. These short stories by a wide range of great writers illuminate the many facets of our most elemental human relationship, from birth to death and everything in between, ranging from humorous and lighthearted to poignant and deeply moving.
Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
In what is widely considered Hardy’s masterpiece, Tess is as famous for its heroine as it is for its notoriously tragic plot. When it was originally published in 1891, it was shunned by critics due to its alleged “immorality.” It is simply a masterpiece.
A response to the attack against women’s reproductive rights, RAYGUN’s design is a nod to the historical symbol of American independence and resistance to tyranny.
To make things easy, we’ve got all the Painted Porch items in one place. Please place your order by Monday May 8 to ensure enough shipping time.