How To Guide on Supporting a Working Mom
More moms are headed to the workplace these days and more fathers are staying home to raise the children. But even in this new era of parenting, an old motto rings as true today as it ever did.
“A happy wife is a happy life.”
While more moms are saying goodbye to husband and child in the mornings and headed to the office, the tug to stay at home is as real and strong as it’s ever been. Add in a healthy heaping of guilt for being the Mom who isn’t staying at home, and you have a recipe for disaster.
What’s a daddy to do? Be supportive and get creative! Here are five things stay-at-home dads can do to support a working mother and strengthen the mother-child bond even when she’s not at home:
1. Mommy Mailbox – Mom can’t be at home when your child wakes up? No worries. Introduce the Mommy Mailbox. Every morning will put something in the mailbox for the child to open during the day. It might be a snack, it might be an old toy that’s been packed away for a couple of months, it might be a special book to read before an afternoon nap. But it’s an easy way for your child to know Mom is thinking about them even when they’re not at home;
2. Forego the Fashion – Let’s face it – many dads are fashion challenged. We don’t always know what goes with what, and when we do find something that is a match, we’d have little problem allowing our child to wear it seven days a week. So, in an effort to make some use of the 567 outfits that family members have bought for you, let Mom do the picking. She cares a whole lot more about whether that sweater can be worn with those corduroys, so have her pick out the outfit the night before.
3. Work Overtime – The urge for any stay-at-home parent as soon as the other walks in the door is to get up, walk over to the time clock, and punch out. Instead, work 10-15 minutes of overtime. Mom needs a little time to transition from a day in the office to train tracks and tea cups, so resist the urge to unload your child on them when the door opens.
4. Schedule a Weekly Break…for Yourself! Go out for a beer, a game, or a movie with friends once a week. Why by yourself? First of all, you’ll get strange looks if you request a Heineken and a highchair from the waitress. Secondly, Mom needs 1-on-1 time with your child. Thirdly, you need your own doses of uninhibited adult time, where you devote your full attention to something other than dirty diapers and ABCs.
5. Share Your Stories. Mom wants to know it all – every detail of every day of every event, big or small. You can’t give them everything they want, so share what you can. If you can call Mom at work after picking up your child from preschool, do so. Send her a video of your child doing his first somersault. When your child is taking a nap, send her a quick e-mail about something your child did or said that day. Let her feel like she’s a part of what’s happening in your child’s life, even when she can’t always be there to see it.