Being a SAHM means that I often struggle to find the balance between making time for myself and time for the kids and the home. The latter takes up so much of my energy during the day. By the time my sweet husband walks through the door in the evening, I'm basically crying in relief to see him and get a little support with the chaos that is our little family.
Mamas often feel like they get the short end of the stick as far as being appreciated for our work and getting some recognition for our efforts with the kids, whether we work or stay at home. But when it comes to a husband like mine who works a ton, is often gone before the kids wake up, and gets home by bedtime if we're lucky, I felt it was important to write a post talking about how to support my husband and all that he does as a working dad.
Document During the Day
This has become invaluable for our family, because as our kids are still little, and hitting big milestones so often, daddy isn't always home for the big moments. It might be annoying to a lot of people how often I have my phone out taking pictures or videos during the day at, what must seem to them, the most normal of activities, but for me and my husband it's an invaluable way for us to talk about the things the kids are learning, and loving, and the funny little quirks that make up their personalities. It can be hard to get that from just nights and weekends with the kids, and I want to include my husband in the little things.
Prepare to Plan
When it comes to weekends, bigger activities, holidays, or events, it will often land on the mama to plan and execute if you want to make those memories with your littles and your family. I know that a lot of mamas have a hard time taking on the responsibility of all the family fun. But when daddy is working late nights and doesn't have the energy to coordinate babysitters, or find the best price on a rental car, or make sure that we've got all the snacks we need for a weekend at the beach, it has to be done by Mama. Sometimes it's a little bit bigger like making sure all the Christmas presents are purchased and wrapped on time, or taking care of birthday party prep, but at the end of the day, if Daddy is working hard to provide for the family, sometimes Mama has to be prepared to be the planner. Make sure and include your man in all your efforts, ideas, and plans, but expect that you'll be in charge of the little details.
Keep the Kids Informed
The ones who take the shortest end of the stick when they have a hard-working daddy is our littles, and it can be hard for them to understand why daddy can't be at every event during the day or why they sometimes don't see him for a couple of days in a row. We do our best to make sure our kids know when daddy is going to have a busy week and where he is going to be-- sometimes he'll be traveling, sometimes he'll be working super late at the office, and sometimes we'll only get to talk to him on FaceTime to say we love him and how much we miss him. I always make it a point to explain to my littles WHY Daddy is working. It's not enough for me to just tell them he's at work, because I don't think that's fair to my husband. I tell them Daddy's at work so that he can earn money to pay for our cars and our home. He's working hard to make sure we can play soccer this fall, or go on our trip to see Grandma and Grandpa. Daddy earns money for our groceries and our toys, and it's important to me that I help my kids understand their Daddy is working hard FOR THEM.
Keeping an open line of communication with your spouse about the things that you're dealing with during the day that are difficult, the things that are wearing you down, and when you might need to take some time to yourself for a breather is super important. I think that your spouse should be allowed the privilege to vent about the things that he is struggling with. In reality, there are only a few things that we can actually change or help for each other to make life easier for the other, but keeping that conversation going is absolutely necessary to our happiness as a married couple, and the health of our family. I also always make it a point to thank him daily for how hard he works and how grateful I am to have him home. I am beyond grateful for ALL of his roles, and I always want him to know that his work is appreciated. I also insist that my kids, in no matter what occasion, thank Daddy-- we got to stop for ice cream? Thanks Daddy! We spent a full day at the discovery museum? Thanks Daddy! We took a walk to the park? Thanks Daddy! Little things, but so, so important for him to know how grateful we are for him.
There is a lot to be said for the day-to-day struggles that parents go through to make sure their family is happy and healthy and whole. And as a wife, it is important for me to support my husband and show him how grateful I am for his hard work as a provider, but also give him the credit and affirmation he needs and deserves as a daddy. I'm hoping that every day I can get a little better at balancing the many things that make up our family's chaos, and hope that my husband feels the love as well!