June 12, 2012 by Carin
Let me start off by saying I have a really great husband who gets what I am going to discuss today. He gets it. He makes every effort to make sure I get “me” time and that when I make plans in the evenings or weekends, that he is available to be home with the kids. So in no way is this post about him. But I hear a lot of things from friends and it makes me thankful for my husband even more.
As a stay-at-home mom or SAHM I spend a lot of time with my kids. My husband typically works 10-12 hours a day and sees our kids an hour to two hours a night before they head off to bed. I believe this is fairly typical of most parents who work outside the home. Now what I am going to discuss is not solely about dads, but because women are the majority who stay home I am going to discuss this as if women are the only sex that stays home, but this can apply to men as well.
Dads, your wife works too!!! It really bothers me when husbands act as if their SAHM don’t work.
Staying home with the kids is work and it is hard work. Some of you might wonder what we do all day long and still not get anything done. Why we don’t return phone calls, reply to emails and always seems to be in a rush. When you are home with kids, you are constantly tending to their needs, their wants and if you are lucky you might get a little break from all that during nap time. You very rarely get to go to the bathroom alone, eat a lunch uninterrupted, have a thought, clean the house without a mess being made behind you, a fight breaking out, and so on. When you men go to work, it might be stressful, but I bet you talk to adults, eat a lunch alone or with other adults, go to the bathroom by yourself, and you worry about you.
So, why do I bring this up? You realize what she does is work. Great! So, do you allow her to have some time off from her work like you do from yours? Do you help her have some time to herself before the kids go to bed or on the weekends? I get that coming home from a long day at work and encountering your kids can sometimes feel like more work, but I gotta believe it is a fun type of work and a nice break from a computer screen and cubicle. But what you have to realize is that your wife doesn’t get to leave that work environment because it is home and there is always someone or something to tend to. She needs a break from her work environment just like you do. Every happy hour you go to is great for you, but that is just one more hour she has to go it alone with the kids during the most difficult time of day.
Please remember that your wife needs a break from the kids, house and her work environment. So leaving home several weekends a month or every Sunday to go play golf, softball, a bike ride, fishing or any other hobby is giving you a break, but is forcing your wife to have to continue to work. I am not saying you can’t do any of those things, but you need to be sensitive to how much time you are taking away from the family for your own pleasure or stress relief. Because let me remind you, she needs the stress relief as much as you do. So if she wants to go out with the girls for happy hour, shopping on a Saturday or a weekend away with friends, do everything in your power to make it happen for her. Clear your calendar and DON’T complain! She will come home refreshed and a better mother, wife and companion. If she doesn’t want to do any of those things, then make plans for her and force her out of the house, take the kids away for the weekend or simply make sure she has time to get a workout in or watch her favorite show without the stress of her environment.
Do you finally get it? Awesome!