This might be the most divisive article I’ve ever set out to write. I’ve written about breastfeeding. Formula. Being a boy-mom vs a girl-mom. I’ve written about co-sleeping. I’ve written about giving my kids full-sugar snacks. And I’ve even mounted the big topic of letting my kids wear drifit ensembles to church. I mean, in terms of the big mama topics, I think I’ve been there.
But this. This just needs to be said. This needs to be written for the underrepresented blogger husbands of the world. Because while I fully understand that some dads are not “helpers” or “doers” in the parenting scenario… some are. And I believe they deserve a blog post.
For the dads who are doing it all — bringing home the bacon and cooking it up in the pan. For the dads who don’t babysit… they parent. And for the dads who aren’t those dads who society knocks on constantly acting like they don’t have a clue how to change a diaper or buy tampons. This is an article for all of those dads.
My husband is a dad of 2017. He is a father who, as I write this, is folding a load of laundry while we all watch Game Day on Saturday morn. He is a dad who sang the ABCs this morn with our 3-year-old whilst doing a train puzzle with him on the floor as I sat on the couch, scrolling through my phone, drinking coffee, and recovering from a recent surgery. He is a dad who loves to make dinner; one who is supportive of his wife’s dreams. He is the type of father who I happen to know exists in most of my friends’ houses. He is all-in, all-hands-on-deck, and while our responsibilities change up daily, we both parent our children.
Because the neanderthal dads of social media and tv commercial history… the dad who doesn’t know how to put on a diaper without duct tape… who doesn’t get up to help a crying baby in the middle of the night… the guy who is not designed to nurture; those dads aren’t bad. I just think those dads are more and more a part of the past.
And so, today I must write this to tell my husband… I need you to go golfing.
I need you, sweet father of my children and love of my life, to have some of your own time. Time that isn’t at your desk, on your commute home, or on the toilet at home, that is for you. I want for you to go out on Monday night and watch a game with the guys while you grab a brew. I want you to take a guys’ trip for a weekend. Or tell me you just want to go for a run to get your own time.
I know that some mamas are gonna say, “NO, WOMAN!! My husband is never home. And golf season almost divorced us.” But that guy is not my husband.
And part of that is my fault.
When I had our babies, they were tiny. Three babies whose combined birthweights equal around 13 pounds. And when the boys were tiny, I needed my husband. Between the milk maintenance with my boobs and the non-sleeping of the children, I was definitely about as far from Super Mama as one could get. I was often crabby. And I did feel like when it came to the children, I did the bulk of the work. And honestly, I was pretty bitter about it. And I shared those thoughts with him on the regular.
But then… we had three under 5… and I had cancer… and my hubs, he did it all. All. ALL. And not just because of cancer. Because that’s just the type of dad he is. Guess what? He never complained.
I got better. And all I want to do every day, is live. Like really live. I want to experience all the things. I want to travel as a family. I want it all… and a bag of salty chips. And he just steps up to the plate. He takes care of all of us, all the time.
I fear he doesn’t have time for him. Partially because for the first few years of our parenthood life, I demanded 50/50 effort (and then some) every day. Now, I feel like I take time to water my own plant and I fear he doesn’t get enough of his own identity. Anyone else feel this way? I go out for a girls’ evening, or I get to have a couple hours in the middle of the day to work on my dreams… but my huz, he’s always on the clock. And I want him to take a break.
I am happy to spend the day with our children. I love them, after all. I am their mother and they are my faves. I am at the point now where spending 8 hours with them on a Saturday alone is one of my happy places. And so, I am happy for the huz to go out and drink beer and eat pizza and watch the sports. But I know he also loves to spend time with us when he’s not at work. I know he has a lot on his plate and doesn’t always know how to fit it all in. I know he got used to me demanding so much of him when our children were tiny and that maybe, I just haven’t communicated with him as they’ve grown… as our “staffing needs” have changed (hee hee.).
I know what some of you are thinking, “This broad is from 1950.” No. I’m actually more on the feminist side. But I do believe that life is about give and take. And sometimes, it’s our turn to remind those around us that they can take a little breather because we got this.
So to my sweet, awesome, husband—I love you. I need you to get to do all the things you love. I need you to feel like you aren’t Mr. Mom every day. And I need you to know that I so appreciate the dad you are.
And dear, I need you to go golfing. You are so wonderful at making sure I have time with my girls. You are awesome when I say, “Remember, girls’ night. On the calendar for the last 4 weeks.” You are all about making sure that I get to live and thrive… and I need you to know, I hope you feel the very same.
I know we’ve been parenting together for some time now, but I also know that of all the things that seem consistent in parenting and in life is that change is the main thing we can expect to always occur. And we are in a sort of sweet spot of parenting, I think. We are in a place where our children need different things than they did in the past. And so, I need you to know that you deserve a break. Or at least a breather every once in awhile before our next big wave hits.
Please, go golfing for a Saturday. Or make plans to go watch the game. Find a man-date where you don’t feel you need to take a kid in tow. Go for a long run. Spend time locked in bathroom. Take an extra course on something that interests you. Or play Xbox. Just do something for you. Without having to think about your “us.”
And maybe your “break” is different than mine. Maybe you don’t need time away from the house as much as you just need down time. I’m cool with that. Just let me know what you need and I want to make it happen for you. Because you, my dear, are one badass dad and husband.
I love you. I love our children. And I love when we are all together. It’s one of my favorite things. But I also love when we each get to be our own people. When we get to water our own garden. I want you to feel like you are your own type of person. And every so often, just get a breath.
So go golfing. Watch games for the day. Tell me to figure out how to load a dishwasher. We each deserve to be separate people, together. And if you want to hit the links or play ball or run for miles and miles, just do it, love.
Just not every day, of course…