With The Assist! - Helping Make Mom's Life Easier
It has become a bit cliché to say that being a full-time mom is the hardest job on the planet. Truth is it can be much worse than that. We all need some space to ourselves sometimes, we all need to procrastinate once and awhile, we all need a good night's sleep, and we all need to take care of ourselves. For a mom that spends her every day caring for her family, all of those needs end up on the back-burner. A stay-at-home parent makes more sacrifices in their daily lives than they should. Being a father is a major responsibility, but those responsibilities do not end with work and the children, we need to help mom out too.
The daily workload looks completely different for every family. Depending on your family situation, mom might do all the housework while dad heads out to work, or it could be completely reversed, or anything in between. The most important thing to remember is the share of the work is equal. And, men let me tell you from experience, just because mom is at home all day, it does not mean she is not pulling her weight. It may be a great idea to sit down with each other and make a list of all the duties that need to be done and write down who has been taking the majority of each job. There is a high chance that your list is uneven, and one of you are taking the biggest load on their plate. If this happens to you, it is time to start leveling the duties so everyone is doing their fair share.
The daily routine is where things really need to be split evenly. There is a lot of maintenance when taking care of children, and it is even more difficult when they are running around and demanding constant attention. There are lots of simple things that a working father can do to help make a mother's day easier. Below is a list of the hardest parts of the day, and some easy things that you can start adding to your routine to make sure your partner’s day is a bit less daunting.
The Morning Routine
Getting up extra early because children don’t know how to sleep in to a decent hour, only to have to feed them breakfast, get them dressed, brush their teeth, do their hair, and get them ready for the day, mornings can be the worst. A family's day can go much smoother if both parents wake up together and tackle the morning duties as a team. While mom is battling with getting the kids dressed, dad can make sure there is a breakfast ready. There may be no part of the day that mom would be more grateful for the assist.
Occupying the Children
If the kids are too young for school, or are spending summer vacation at home, one of the hardest things to do is come up with activities to keep the children busy and get them out of the house. If you need to spend these days at work, it’s okay, you don’t need to be there to help. If you want to help you can sit with your partner and come up with some ideas of things to do. And, this is an important time to take some weekends with the kids to give mom plenty of breaks, or else she will go crazy from being with the kids every day.
I am a big believer that whoever is the better cook should do the majority of the cooking, that way everybody is happy. That may be easy for me to say, because I always enjoyed making up meals for the family. But, that means I can also say that there are some days that you just don’t want to do it. A supportive partner should be ready on any given day to take those reigns and take the job into their own hands. Additionally, taking care of the kids while mom is busy, or taking care of clean up are essential parts to pitching in during dinner time.
After a long hard day, getting the kids into bed is the final hurdle. Making sure the homework is done, bath time, pajamas, and bedtime stories, there is lots to be done before the kids lay down for the night. If you are not already helping during this part of the day, you really should. Not only is it helpful for mom, but building a great bedtime routine can become one of the best times to bond with your children. Send them to bed each night with lots of positive feelings.
Helping out doesn’t stop at pitching in through the daily grinds, it needs to extend to the weekends. If you are at work for most of the week, it is probably already important to you to spend your free time with your children. Of course, taking the kids out for the day, or letting mom spend some time out can be essential. But, that is not all. It is just as important to involve mom in all of your fun weekend activities. And, if you are spending time out as a family, be sure that you are taking care of the logistics and the children an equal amount as your partner.
Supporting mom is more than just helping out with the responsibilities, it is about being a present and active father every chance you get. The days of dad coming home and sitting down with a pipe and the newspaper all night are long gone. The modern father knows that they mean something to their family and should be there for all of life’s moments. Communication is key, and knowing everything going on with your kids will help you in knowing how you can help them and mom.
There are a few more jobs that you can take off of moms plate that extend past the daily maintenance. Families are a lot of work, children are a lot of work, and homes can be a lot of work. You can’t leave mom with taking care of all of the chores. Below are a list of the major chore categories and each one you should be pitching in as much as you possibly can.
Between homework, extra curricular activities, appointments, and all the other things kids need there is a lot of maintenance needed to be done for the kids. There are lots of ways to pitch in, and being ready to give the kids a ride or help them with their homework at any time they need it, will help to take the stress off of moms back.
Beyond the everyday duties involved around the house, there is still more to be done on top of that. Whether it is cleaning, laundry, or yard work, the jobs around the house never end. It is a good idea to discuss with your partner on how these duties should be shared, and what jobs the kids can help with.
Past all of the things previously mentioned, moms take care of even more, the family. Making appointments, paying bills, meal planning, there is a lot of duties that need someone’s attention or it all falls apart. Again, it is a great idea to communicate who can take which duties, how the other can pitch in, and have a solid schedule and calendar to keep all of those things clear. Don’t be afraid of stepping on moms toes here, she will appreciate the help.
All of Those Other Things
Every family is different, and every home is different, and we all have our own priorities. There could be things that mom does around the house that you may not even think about. This is the point where you need to ask her, “is there anything I can do for you?” It may be as simple as a back rub, or maybe you need to run out of the house in the middle of the night to get her some ice cream. Do whatever you can to make her happy.
Moms make the house go round. They are the heart, the backbone, and the brains of the whole operation, sorry guys. Moms are a special breed and they need to be cherished. Moms are the most beautiful people in our lives and they need to be supported. Moms deserve to be loved. But, the best part about helping out your partner goes beyond making her feel cherished and supported, you get to feel like a great father. Pitching in on all of the things mentioned in this article will give you a sense of doing something to help your family be the best they can be. You get to feel good, make mom feel good, and spend time with your children. It is a win-win-win situation.