Sunday, May 8, 2011

Making it work, part 2--Giving your babydad the night off

I've started a little series on things that work for our fam. Part 1 was all about how we revamped our breakfast routine to include a devotional and a little peace.

Here's Part 2:

When we just had one child, I tried to give my man the night off once every couple weeks. The babe and I would go to my ma's or my grandparent's house and give Justin some much needed free time. Now that we have three little ones and two of them are toddlers, I've had a much harder time giving my man an entire evening for himself. By God's grace, I have been able to give Justin several nights off in the past year. They are not every other week as they once were, but I think it's enough to give him some freedom and let him know I appreciate his efforts to work hard and lead our family well. A few tips on giving your man a break:

  • email him or text him during the day and let him know you are giving him the night to himself.
  • plan something fun for you and the kiddos (the park, a friend's house, a visit to the grandparent's, any place with a play land and food for you and the babes)
  • If your man is a home-body, get out of the house so that he can enjoy some peace and quiet.
  • If he enjoys a certain restaurant, give him a giftcard or coupon to said restaurant.
  • Be sure that he knows you want him to enjoy himself and that you will not resent him for taking a break or make him "pay you back".
  • Don't resent him. Give freely.
  • Don't let the fact that he doesn't give you nights off keep you from serving him. He just might learn from your example. ;)
  • If he's at home, let him know how long you will be gone. If he's out, let him know when you will have kiddos in bed, so he can come home. :)
  • Don't plan to clean out a closet or cook a nine course meal while your man is maxin' and relaxin'. If Justin has the night off, we eat leftovers, pb&j or I take the kiddos out. I try to keep my time with the kids low-key and simple so that I'm not super exhausted by the end of the night.
The main thing is to be in tune with your man. If you can sense that he needs a break, give him a break. Love him selflessly, give to him freely and thank him for working hard for your family. I have never regretted giving my man the night off. We both give each other time off regularly and we see it as an investment in our marriage and our family. I am not the poster child for loving Justin selflessly, but I have seen firsthand how his selfless love for me ministers to me and really does make me a better mom and wife.

Happy Mother's Day! :)

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