It’s no surprise that being a Mama is one of the toughest jobs out there. We talk about that a lot on our website and we sincerely hope that after you click over to us for either a brief moment or hours of reading pleasure that you walk away encouraged and refreshed and quite possibly with a new nugget of truth to help you in your parenting journey. I know I am so thankful for the community- to know that I am not alone, other Moms struggle too, and we really are in this together! Wow, that just feels refreshing writing it! But, this website is called Scottsdale MOMS Blog…of course we would never turn a male reader away, but we don’t write exclusively for them.
So, what about the Dads? Where do they find encouragement and support? Where do they get refreshed and motivated to be the best at their daily tasks? Ladies, I am going to venture to guess that YOU are their biggest source of strength and encouragement as they figure out what Daddy duty looks like. So I want to ask you: How’s it going in the cheerleader/life coach/motivator department with your spouse?
I understand how tempting is it to begin the Daddy-arrival countdown at 4:30 p.m. on most days and immediately upon his return home hand over your precious (albeit potentially inconsolable) bundle of joy and start giving your spouse the run down of what your day looked like. You want to tell him how many times you had to put your toddler in time out, clean up the spilled apple juice, changed your clothes because of some sort of bodily fluid…you need to let him know how exhausted you are and you need to let him know NOW. You are tired and relief just walked in the door. Sound familiar? Of course it probably isn’t like this everyday, but I know the temptation and we, as wives and partners in this parenting journey, need to guard against the days play by play until later in the evening. Of course you need to vent/unload and I encourage you guys to do that together, but he needs the chance to unload too not to mention see and reconnect with you and your children! You have the unique opportunity to set the pace for what the evening will look like when he arrives home and I want to challenge you to think for him before yourself.
Whether we like it or not, as Mamas, we are the emotional barometer in our homes so let’s keep it calm and cool when others enter in, literally or figuratively. Before your spouse comes home think about things you can ask him about his day. Did he have a crucial meeting that you knew he was preparing hard for? Did he have to interact with that colleague that is always frustrating for him to be around? You could even take it to a deeper level and ask him what it is like for him to be gone all day, how can you help him stay connected to what you are doing with your children?
After you conquer the arrival-home-zone you can move on to other and more broader areas of emotional connectedness with your spouse. Where else can you think for him before you think for yourself? Start this weekend. Every time you want to unload your emotional baggage begin by asking yourself if you have asked him about his. When you read an encouraging article online (ahem, like maybe this one, wink wink, nudge nudge) before you go to him with all the things you want him to do differently think of at least one thing you want to work on yourself and start the conversation by telling him what you are going to be working on…this will break the ice and might just lead the way to a conversation about things he can work on.
Finally, remember that as women we are more naturally inclined for vulnerability and community. Help your spouse to see the benefit of getting together with other Dad’s so he can experience the encouragement that you do as you read this blog, go on play dates, and chat with other Mom’s after you drop your kids off at school. Dad’s may not always verbalize it but they need community too, count it a privilege as his spouse to model (read: not tell him what to do) the benefit to him. This is a wonderful way that you can think for him in the long term. In the immediate future, just make sure he knows that you are his biggest fan…everyone needs a supporter who calls out all the wonderful things they do…true for the ballgame and the game of life.