I have heard it a million times – “My husband won’t help me with the kids!”
Usually I chime in and say:
“Why doesn’t he just help me more!?”
“Doesn’t he know how tired I am!?”
“Does he want me to lose my mind!?”
But then one day I was convicted and I thought “Do I even allow my husband to be helpful?” “Do I appreciate when he is helpful?”
As I thought back on times when my husband did help I was usually critical…sometimes to the point of laughing at the mess he had made or becoming angry that he didn’t do it “right”. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t know that the stick butter is for macaroni and cheese and the tubs of butter are for toast! (Yes,I got mad that he used the wrong butter…confessions of a control freak!)
So here are four ways to get the help from your husband that you need and long for:
1. Let Him Do it His Way:
If you ask him to get the kids dressed or make lunch let him do it his way! Who really cares if he puts on school clothes on Saturday or that the red leggings are only for the Minnie Mouse Dress not the Sophia the First sweatshirt. Did he get the kids dressed? Are they no longer in the syrup covered pajamas? Are they naked? Did you have to wrestle that wiggly infant into a onesie? Nope! Way to go hubby one less battle I had to fight today.
2. Don’t Hover:
When he takes the driver seat with the kids; don’t be a backseat driver! Leave him alone – he will figure it out. He doesn’t need you to give him instructions from A to Z on the art of changing a diaper or feeding a toddler. He’ll live and learn just like we did. A shower in pee or a face full of regurgitated baby food will teach him to move quicker when he’s changing the diaper or stop feeding the peas when your toddler has so much food in his cheeks that he looks like Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks.
3. Set Him Up For Success:
When you do ask your husband to help, don’t give him “mission impossible,” but instead give him the tools he needs. If you want to get away for the day or go to a mom’s night out leave him in a good position. Lay out the pajamas, get the dinner prepped, give him some ideas for fun things to do that night. It’s kind of like being new to a job – you need guidance in the beginning, especially. He doesn’t need to be talked down to or treated like he is one of the kids. A few helpful preparations will go a long way and be much appreciated.
4. Appreciate Him:
Last but not least, when it is all said and done, say those two words that he longs to hear…”Thank you!” Tell him the things that he did really well. If you come home and he managed to get all the dirty dishes in the sink but didn’t sweep the floor thank him anyway! It will go much further than you think. The next time you really need help take a deep breath, let go of expectations and control, and give him a chance to help.
Which of these will you try this week? Post it in the comments and let me know! I look forward to hearing back from you!