I’ve made the mistake. So have other husbands. Even friends, parents, in-laws, and random relatives have dropped these verbal bombs. For me, it’s as if as the words are leaving my tongue and I began to reach out to try to retrieve them. For others, the phrases roll off the tongue with little regard for what they might do. And like most thoughtless comments, the damage is done before anyone can have the chance realize what has been said or to apologize for what’s been done.
After dealing with the issue of “rest” here at Kfirst, it is more than apparent that so many people are dealing with not being able to embrace the healthy habit of resting. Perhaps, the most “unrested” group being our stay-at-home moms. For years, ridiculous comments get thrown out to so many moms that put more pressure upon them as well as make them feel like less of a human being because they do not do what YOU think they should do.
Years ago, we (Anne and I) felt this was the direction we wanted to go for our family and made the sacrifices we needed to make it happen. We don’t regret it nor do we guilt moms who have decided to work outside of the home either by choice or circumstance. A mom, working in the home and/or working outside of the home are heroes to our families. I honor and bless them. But if a mom decides to be a homemaker…
…then there are 10 statements I’m going to ask you NOT to say to them.
1. “Did you do ANYTHING today?” Never mind things were cleaned up AND destroyed three times over. But thanks for noticing.
2. “What do you do with all of your free time?” Free time?
3. “Since you have so much time on your hands, you can do ___________.” There’s always the assumption that a stay-at-home mom has endless time, ability, and strength and she can add everything you want her to do for the school, church, neighborhood, and friends.
4. “That’s all you did today?” It doesn’t matter if it’s from a friend or from her husband, It is a very close cousin to #1 but a bit more demeaning.
5. “This place is a mad house…when is dinner?” By the time you say that, she may be picturing you in the oven instead of the roast.
6. “What’s the big deal? Take a nap when the kids do.” Of course if she does, #1 or #4 will be used.
7. “Fine, I’ll babysit the kids for a while.” (***clears throat) You don’t “babysit the kids”…YOU’RE THEIR DAD!!!!
8. “I don’t see what the big deal is…the kids act fine for me.” From the grandparents to “friendly” neighbors, any scrap of feeling like a competent parent has just been squashed.
9. “Being home all day would drive me nuts. I must have something to do outside of the home.” It seems like well-meaning friend is saying, “you obviously don’t have the drive I have so I’m letting you know how motivated I am.”
10. “Oh you had time to run/workout/read/relax? Must be nice.” In other words: breaks, meals, and just plain rest applies to everyone but the stay-at-home mom.
To every dad (and I’d include grandparents): I admonish you to help foster a culture of rest for our moms. There needs to be moments of quality time with you but they require quality moments of solitude. Rise to the occasion without being asked. Be their hero and show your children what a Godly dad does for his kids and his wife.
To every mom, whether you work in or outside the home, I speak a scripture into your life.
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” – Isaiah 41:13
Every time you feel tired and weary, remember you are not abandoned by God. He will hold you up. He will strengthen you. Lean upon him and he will be your help.
After months of trying to form this blog, I leave you the very first line I wrote when this blog was conceived:
I thank the Lord for our moms.
Thanks for letting me ramble…