I usually write for homeschooling MOMs, but today I have a little something to share with all the homeschooling dads out there… you know, the amazing guys who are married to homeschooling moms.
Like your wife, you wear A LOT of hats and fill many roles as a family man, a working man, and a what-ever-else-you-do man. Thank you for your hard work and labor of love as a husband and dad!
Now, I know you’re probably dying to get inside the brain of your wife and figure out what makes her tick… right?
So here we go… here are four really amazing and simple things just about every homeschooling mom needs from her husband (and that would be you, Kind Sir!).
And, you can relax… none of these things will cost you any money, but they will very likely be of great value to your special lady!
Provide Moral Support
You’re already doing so much, and that’s providing financial support for your family. That is HUGE, let me tell you! And regardless if your financial means are meager or abundant, the fact that you’re working hard so that your wife can be an at-home mom, well that ranks you up there with Super Man (in my humble opinion!).
But, here’s a little news flash for you: your wife has this emotional side.
Right. You already knew that!
So that means your lady will thrive on emotional support from you.
Yes, she can get moral support from the other moms in her homeschool co-op, church community, or Facebook groups. And those outlets and networks are important.
But, at the end of the day, your wife needs to know that YOU believe in her.
That YOU think she’s doing a great job with the kids.
That YOU know she has what it takes to raise and educate these little people God has blessed you with.
Homeschooling Dad, be your wife’s biggest fan. Notice what she’s doing right (and what the kids are doing right).
Encourage and cheer her on.
Trust me, she’ll love you for it!
Please Don’t Expect or Demand Perfection
I am a perfectionist, and let me tell you… homeschooling makes perfection impossible.
And I’m not just talking about housekeeping and organization, but meals, personal appearance, social life, household projects, home business ventures and even the kids’ training and education.
It’s. Not. Going. To. Be. Perfect.
Should your wife let you walk into a wrecked house every day of the week? Should she take care of her body, make sure the kids are smart, dress well, eat well and work out?
Sure. She should.
Just like you should be the spiritual leader, lead the family in Bible study every night, play ball with your sons, date your daughters, keep the lawn manicured, maintain the “honey do” list and rip your six pack.
Yeah… I think you get the point.
Our culture squeezes families into an absolutely unattainable mold of perfection, and it’s all too easy to get caught up pointing fingers and playing the comparison game. Maybe your friend’s wives do work out or do keep the house tidy or do maintain a rigorous school schedule with their kids. You are not married to those women, you are married to your wife.
Focus on (and encourage!) her strong points, and choose to give a little grace for the areas in which she is weak or struggling.
Pray for Your Wife!
This just might be the most important thing you can do for the mother of your kids.
Do you know why?
Because not only is prayer going to bless and bolster your wife spiritually, but it’s going to work on you too.
Have you ever noticed how tough it is to feel at odds toward someone forwhom you are regularly praying?
Prayer is an investment of time, focus, energy and concern. It is seeking the heart of God on behalf of someone else; and when that someone else is your wife, well, the results can be powerful!
Ask your wife what she needs you to pray about. Go on… ask her!
Your concern for her needs, and your commitment to praying for her, will be an invaluable investment in your marriage and family life.
Understand Her Desperate Need to Recharge
I’m certain you’re already very aware of this, but homeschooling is a fairly daunting undertaking!
Your wife has demands on her time, energy, mental focus, and if your kids are small, even her physical body… nearly every second of the day!
Consider it an absolute truth: your wife needs time to recharge physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, every single week.
If your wife is an introvert type personality, she probably needs some “down time”, alone, on a fairly regular basis.
If she’s a social extrovert, getting together with her friends or sisters every now and then is probably very important to her.
There’s an old saying that goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Well, let’s try this one on for size: All work and no time to recharge makes Susie a grumpy, worn out woman.”
I know you’re already busy and probably over-worked yourself, so this “time to recharge” thing for your wife might seem a bit overwhelming.
Let me suggest a few practical but pretty simple ways to make this happen:
- Take the initiative to put the kids to bed early at least one night per week.
- Entertain the kids for half-an-hour before bedtime so your wife can soak in the bath tub or take a long shower (without interruptions!).
- Let your wife sleep in every so often (and if you’re an early riser, don’t make her feel guilty about it!).
- Hire a baby sitter and take her out for a date night at least once-a-month.
- Take the kids with you for an hour or two when you run errands so your wife can enjoy some down time.
- Plan a “family day” fairly often so that you can make fun memories with the kids and your wife.
- Send your wife encouraging texts throughout the week, or surprise her with a card or inexpensive bouquet of flowers.
- Keep a journal of love notes for each other, and write it in frequently! (Here’s a fun Why I Love You Journal).
- Have fun together! Play games, watch a movie, go on a walk, eat popcorn and do some fun Mad Libs together… laughter is a huge stress relief!
- Find out what your wife’s Love Language is and ask her for a few meaningful ways to “speak” her love language to her. (I promise, that isn’t as painful as it may sound!)
The choice to homeschool requires team effort, plain and simple.
Yes, most of the time Mom is the educator and tackles the majority of the actual schooling. And that’s good!
But, Dad, your role is vitally important to the emotional, spiritual, and even physical health of your wife.
Don’t forget to intentionally nurture her while she’s busy nurturing and educating your precious children!
P.S. If you’re a dad you loves to read, check out this book from Rainbow Resource: For Men Only: Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women