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Dear husbands of working moms,
You need to know, it’s hard being a working mom. I mean, HARD. It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging to be a wife, mother and working professional. The good news is, there are some things you can do to support your wife. Husbands of working moms can do a lot.
To Support Her Physically:
Husbands of working moms, allow her to take a bath alone, once a week to relax. Better yet, make her take a bath once a week. Light some candles, draw her bath with her favorite bath salts and bath bombs and then get the heck out of the bathroom. But seriously, keep the kids away and allow your wife to be alone in her thoughts. She won’t and can’t relax if she can hear the kids melting down, or sees the little toddler fingers poking under the door. You’re going to have to initiate this for her because the truth is she will say things like “oh, it’s okay, I don’t need a bath, I’m fine” or “the baby really needs me tonight, so I’ll just skip it”. Moms are notorious for putting themselves last, so you have to be the one to make her put herself first. She is not her top priority, but she is your top priority so make it happen.
Get her a glass of water. Fix her breakfast. Throw a snack in her purse or pack her lunch when you can. Moms are busy. A busy mom will sacrifice her needs before anyone else. It’s pretty remarkable how a mom can do such a phenomenal job at taking care of everyone else but will often not take care of herself. Again, you have to help her take care of herself.
To Support Her Emotionally:
Be understanding. Give grace. Show gratitude. When she’s late coming home from work because she was up against a deadline, don’t make her feel guilty when she walks in the door. Don’t reveal how hard it’s been for you because she’s late. You can bet she’s already beating herself up about it and only needs support at that moment and not guilt. Working mom guilt is the real deal. When she can’t make a school field trip because it’s the same day as an important meeting, tell her how proud you are at how hard she’s working. When you get home from work and there’s a meal already prepared in the crockpot because she got up early to prepare dinner before work, say “thank you”.
Husbands of working moms, on the same end, don’t expect a thank you. When you’ve done something to help out that she does everyday like, fold and put away a load of laundry or vacuum the living room. Don’t look for a thank you. Don’t say “I vacuumed for you”. While it is obvious that you are trying to be helpful, implying that you vacuumed for her, or finished a chore for her is implying that it was her job in the first place. She doesn’t do those things for herself. She does those things for the family. Share in the responsibilities as a couple, and not as a husband who is doing those things just to support his wife.
To Support Her Mentally:
Help her. It’s that simple. Mothers carry a mental load like no other. There is so much that goes on in their head that you cannot even imagine. While you might be thinking “we need to hit up the grocery store” she is thinking, “we need to go to the grocery store so I better create a list. I wonder what coupons we have right now. I need to plan a menu for next week so that I can make our grocery list. I pinned some meals on Pinterest, we should try some of those. I have to work late Wednesday night so we will need an easy meal for that night…” It’s a lot. Help take some of the mental load by getting involved with the management of the household and the schedules. When she asks for your opinions on things, give her an opinion. She is really asking for help. If she says “What do you think about going over to my parents for dinner?” She doesn’t want to hear “I don’t care, it’s up to you”. She asked because she needs help deciding. Remember, she’s mentally exhausted. Take over some of the planning. Plan the meals for the week or schedule the doctor’s appointments. Cross things off the to-do list. Better yet, create the to-do list, then start crossing it out. She will love you for it.
Husbands of working moms, in the end, remember that she is going to be harder on herself than anyone else. She sees all her own flaws and has trouble seeing the gift she is to the family. Spend time lifting her up and make her know that you see her and all of her sacrifices. Moms don’t need praise and accolades, the best gift of all is knowing that their family is cared for. Being appreciated is only a bonus.