Focus on the Family
Q: My wife is a stay-at-home mom with our two young children. I don’t think most guys realize how difficult it is to spend every day attending to the needs of little kids. What can I do to help shoulder the load?
Jim: Did you hear that? It’s the sound of moms everywhere shouting “Amen!” You deserve special recognition for raising such a thoughtful question. Here are a few ways you can help:
First, when you come home after a long, tiring day, remember that your wife’s day was equally long and tiring. There are two things she needs at this point: 1) adult conversation, including expressions of appreciation for what she’s been doing, and 2) a pair of hands to pitch in and help with the kids, the dishes and so on.
Second, don’t expect to be taken care of like another child. Pick up your own clothes and toys.
Third, don’t expect much sexual response if your wife is exhausted and you haven’t done much to help. As my friend, Dr. Kevin Leman, says, “sex begins in the kitchen” — with meaningful conversation, compliments and acts of kindness.
Fourth, get involved in the process of getting your kids ready for bed. This will result not only in relief for your wife, but quality time for you with your children.
Fifth, maintain a regular date night — a restaurant, a concert, a walk or whatever your imagination and budget can manage.
Sixth, if your hours at work are too long, make every effort to cut back. Don’t fall for the notion that your career is more fulfilling than your life at home.
Finally, try to take your wife away for a romantic weekend once in a while, where her daily responsibilities are temporarily suspended. With planning and creativity, this need not be expensive.
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family, host of the Focus on the Family radio program, and a husband and father of two. COPYRIGHT FOCUS ON THE FAMILY 2012.