An Open Letter to All Dads
Happy Wife, Happy Life
I want to talk to you about someone.
You can find her in every supermarket, sometimes juggling more than one child and the groceries. You can find her in IKEA trying to remain calm feeding every child around the table, while sneaking mouthfuls in between.
She can also be in offices, rushing deadlines and eyeing her watch to see when she can squeeze a short break to express some milk for a baby who’s waiting at home. She could also be in a car with tired out kids, stuck in school and lunch hour jams.
Yes, I am talking about your wife.
That someone who is always wiping something – whether it is her kids’ bums, the kitchen, you name it. The one who selflessly serve others day after day with little to no appreciation. One who puts up with sleepless nights (not by choice) juggling work and parenting. Her life is about constantly looking after everyone else’s needs except her own. And it is she who runs the world of which you call home.
Maybe you might not notice her efforts, because you’re busy providing financially. But if you are not careful, your wives can run dry.
Find out why on the next page…
Be Interested in What She Does
Regardless of whether she stays at home or goes to work, do you actually consciously know what she does to keep the household running? Try asking her. In fact, try handling one day on your own. Once you know and can comprehend just how much she is sacrificing with tasks and with the kids, this might just make you appreciate her more. Praise her, because you have no idea what a difference you could make by acknowledging her hard work.
She May be Supermum, But She Can Still Burn Out
As much as you provide for the family financially, don’t wait until she breaks down, before you offer a helping hand around the house. Just because she handles it with poise day in day out, it doesn’t mean life with the kids are without drama.
You might think her stress levels are insignificant to what you face at work(you’ve got to be kidding me), but stress is still stress – in whatever form they come in. Whether she is a SAHM, WAHM or a full time working mum, it is almost always the same.
The mums are usually expected to be the primary caregiver and household manager. If you can afford to provide external help for your wife, well good for you and great for her. But what of mums who cannot afford that kind of luxury, or is fortunate enough to have the support of other family members?
It Takes TWO
Yes TWO, not ONE. It takes TWO to parent. It takes TWO to make a marriage work. It takes TWO to run a household. Not ONE. So make effort to participate and to be fully involved in your family life. Work can be hard, but having a job is not an excuse to skip out on chores, parenting and being a supportive loving spouse.
Be committed to help carry and share each other’s burden. Make effort to look around the house and find things that you can do to help shorten her TO-DO list. Do the dishes? Start the laundry? Take out the trash? Bathe and put the kids to bed? Don’t wait to be asked.
Just Listen and Be There
That’s all you need to do, because sometimes she just needs a good rant. It doesn’t mean she wants solutions. She’ll ask for them when she needs them, because chances are she already has several solutions. She just needs to talk about it – get all her thoughts and emotions out. So just be an ear and give her your full attention. Offer empathy or comfort if she needs it. Encourage her. Be the one who lifts her up and give her hope.
The Brownie Points
It really isn’t very hard to offer mental support or to make everyday more enjoyable for both of you. It just takes a little more empathy and selflessness, putting yourself in her shoes and willingly offering to help. For most mums, it doesn’t take very much: a small praise, a word of encouragement, offering to take over handling the kids (and I mean really handling the kids and not TV babysitting).
A massage, a non-sexual hug, a simple no strings and completely non-expectant action that is solely for her.
Just think about it this way:
- school runs – are about the kids
- house chores – about the family
- breakfast, lunch and dinner – about the family
- naps , homework and revision – about the kids
- work – about family finances
- sex – about both of you (although it might not be if she’s had a really tough day)
Which part has it been for her alone?
So do something just for her, because she deserves it. Put that twinkle back in her eye after all you know what they say: