Shop the fall collection ➔

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…

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at

Setting Boundaries with Toxic Family Is Hard but Worth It

In: Motherhood
Family walking in water

Breaking generational chains is one of the most amazing, beautiful, and beneficial things I’ve done for my family. My children are happy and healthy and know they are loved unconditionally. I continue to heal my inner child and find my worth. I feel so much relief knowing my children won’t go through the trauma and pain my husband and I did.  But breaking those chains, establishing boundaries, going no contact with abusive family members, explaining to my children that they can’t see our relatives who they love so dearly because they were hurting us. That is hard. That is painful....

Keep Reading

As a Mom, I’m Always On

In: Motherhood
Mother and two kids at home

Yesterday, my kids made to-do lists as I do, they pretended to be Mom in their play, and they wanted to look up a bazillion and one things on my phone. These little humans are watching me. They are taking in all my actions, one by one. And it’s exhausting. From 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. (or later), I have to be “on.” I am expected to watch what I say (no cussing), be careful what I watch (no inappropriate memes or shows), stay off my phone as much as possible, and, of course, enjoy every moment and be present...

Keep Reading

Dear School Bus Driver, My Whole World Is In Your Care

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing on school bus stairs, color photo

To the bus driver I do not know, You don’t understand how hard it is to let go of my child’s hand in the morning and hand him over to you. You don’t know how long it took me to make this decision . . . to let him ride the bus.  Some may say it’s brave or courageous to trust another with your child’s life. I sometimes think it can be daring but also really unwise.  RELATED: Every Time I Leave My Child With Autism in the Care of Someone Else, I Worry In today’s world, we must worry...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to Girlhood Innocence

In: Motherhood
Little girl walking down road

She loved pickles and pudding and rocks that glittered. And forts that touched the ceiling. She mastered shadow puppets on night walls and Carol Burnett’s Tarzan yell in lieu of bedtime stories. In her innocent mind, the bogey man hid in the closet because he was scared of her. Thus she coaxed him out nightly with “shh . . . it’s okay, you’re alright.” She mailed letters to the mailman with sticky hearts on both sides and Cheerios in the envelope. RELATED: I Wish I Could Freeze This Moment of Innocence She regularly asked our 96-year-old neighbor Mr. Grayson if...

Keep Reading

Every Time I Blinked, They Grew—and It Was So Beautiful

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boys kissing mother black and white photo

I thought we were prepared, but we weren’t. Not even close. Not in the tiniest, least little bit. When we hugged our precious, oldest boy and left him to start college just a few hours away, we didn’t know what was coming. The waves of emotion, of loss, of pride, of accomplishment. They say not to blink because your kids will grow up. But despite how much we may not want to, it’s involuntary. We have to blink. They don’t talk about this part. No one tells you what to do when you open your eyes again. RELATED: I Blinked and...

Keep Reading

I Am An Autism Mom

In: Motherhood
Autism heart puzzle piece symbol in hands

I have always known what kind of mom I wanted to be. The mom who has the best after-school snacks. The mom who’s always ready with a warm hug and a kind word. The mom who makes jokes that get the kids to roll their eyes but laugh hysterically when they repeat them to their friends. I wanted to be a super involved mom—there for every activity, every field trip, every adventure. We all have our motherhood labels, usually defined by our children’s current hobbies or seasons of life. A kindergarten mom. A PTA mom. A scouting mom. A soccer/lacrosse/baseball/hockey...

Keep Reading

The Boss Around Here Is Tough

In: Motherhood
Tired mom with baby drinking coffee

I’ve recently changed careers. I was so used to working a regular 8-5 job over the last 13+ years. Sure, there were some late nights, plenty of obstacles, and a multitude of frustrations, but this career change has been life-changing, to say the least. We’ve all worked with difficult people before. I should be used to this, but this new boss I have has been nothing short of tyrannical.  Before I’ve even had my morning coffee I’m at his beck and call. You never know when he’s going to need something, and I have to be ready at all times....

Keep Reading

To the Homeschool Mom Trying Her Best

In: Motherhood
Homeschool family

Homeschool mothers are their own worst critics. The subject doesn’t often come up, but occasionally someone will discover I was homeschooled. My mother taught my siblings and me at home from third grade until I graduated high school. Most people don’t really care about my education before college, but homeschool mothers pepper me with questions. What curriculum did you use? What was your schedule like? Did you have issues getting into college? What did you love about it? What would you have changed? I know why they ask. They have a list of all the things they have heard about...

Keep Reading

What a Gift It Is To Watch My Babies Grow Up

In: Motherhood, Teen
Mother in pool with teens in background

A few weeks ago I ran away and I brought my family with me. It’s become my favorite thing to do for my birthday week. Nestled neatly between the end of the school year and the beginning of the longest stretch of summer, for years that week has provided my family and I with the perfect freedom to get away. There are four simple rules for this escape from our normal lives and they are always the same. Our location must: 1. Be located in a climate with palm trees. 2. Require an airplane to get there. 3. Have a...

Keep Reading

I Love it When You Smile at Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little girl in wheel chair with classmates, color photo

I gained a bit of insight today. We were walking past the checkout at the store this afternoon when we came upon a mom and her children, waiting in the checkout line.   RELATED: A Simple Invitation Means the World To a Special Needs Parent My daughter Chloe rolled by them in her wheelchair. I watched, as I often do, as the children noticed her. One girl about Chloe’s age smiled at her as we walked by. As soon as we had passed them, Chloe turned to me and said . . . “She’s the first person to smile at me!”  Let me say I...

Keep Reading