I had an epiphany tonight. I was walking around the kitchen with a toddler on my hip. My 9-year-old tried so hard to maintain my attention by following. He needed to show me “the car I made you, Mom.”

And it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

This is why grown men miss the mark. This is where it all begins.

As a boy, their motherswhile busting their butts around the kitchens and homesstop what they are doing to accept the love. They STOP to allow their sons to show them the thing they made/drew/want to give them. The thing from their heart. It’s sweet. And wonderful, and it’s also why I read about crappy, inconsiderate husbands.

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Why, you ask? Here’s why:

Because some husbands had mothers who let these small, adorable gestures of caring be enough. But they’re not. #sorrynotsorry

As soon as I had this epiphany, I looked at my son and I said, “I need your help. Can you help me right now?”

He immediately said, “Sure mom, what do you need?”

As I rattled off all the different things in the kitchen I had noticed to this point, he bustled around and did them. All. Of. Them.

Later, I had a discussion with him and my 11-year-old. They wanted to know why I was so on edge and frustrated. I said because I needed them to help.

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I need you to care, I told them. I need you to care, and I know you don’t because you’re kids. So since you don’t care about the messy house, can you show me how much you care about your mom by helping more? By looking around and noticing if there is a mess that needs attention? Can you do that, for me?

Yes. Yes, they said they can.

Will they? Time will tell.

But moms . . . listen to me: Stop doing it all. Stop. 

Don’t raise men who can’t notice when the other people in their house need help.

Don’t raise men who want to show their partners the car they bought but fail to help clean up after themselves.

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Raise men who are conscious of how their actions and inactions affect those around them.

It’s hard. But tell them now, so their wives don’t have to beg for help later. Please.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is a Goal Coach, Writer, and Public Speaker. On her blog, Mothering the Storm, she writes about adulting with ADHD, as well as mothering children with it. Her favorite color is yellow, the color of happiness & she loves helping women reach their goals despite mental illness.