It is my honest belief that Mom’s should be given one night a week off, and that Dad should take the kids. Not a babysitter, not Grandma and Grandpa, not an Aunt or Uncle…
First off, I want to clear something up. If a Dad is watching his kids, he is NOT baby-sitting; he is investing time into his kids. I’ve heard a few dads say that they are babysitting their own kids, and it irks me to no end. Let’s change it from an obligation to an opportunity.
Husbands, dads, your wife NEEDS a break! Whether she goes out for coffee with a book, or out with friends, or even shopping (preferably not for groceries.) On top of that, you need time to connect with your kids, and they need time to connect with you. You are your kid’s hero, the force to be reckoned with (just ask their rear-ends…) Where do you think the saying “my Dad could beat up your Dad” came from?
My wife Angela plays for the Lethbridge Syphony Orchestra, she has done so for over 6 years now and I am so proud of her. She made the choice when we found out that we were pregnant with Talina (our oldest) to take a break for a bit after we had Talina.
Once Talina was 2 months old however, Angela mentioned that she would like to go back. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t totally freaked out at the prospect of watching our brand new baby girl from 7:00PM-10:00PM every Monday evening all by myself. It was intimidating, I felt like Shrek on Shrek the Third… “They cry when they poop, and they poop when they cry…” But week by week I became a little more confident in my role as a parent and caregiver. I could do this. That was four short years ago.
We now have 4 awesome kids that I get to invest my time into. Talina just turned four, Jarel is two-and-a-half, Caleb is 14 months, and Brody is just over a week. I treasure and cherish my times with the kids, (especially Brody who is still in the NICU.) At home we build forts out of blanked covered furniture, make a colossal mess with watercolor paint sets at the kitchen table, snuggle up with a kids book, or play house-wide tackle football (which is not for the faint of heart.) When it’s nice out we go for walks, or to the park. Sometimes we just do a “movie-night”, complete with fancy drinks and popcorn.
I truly believe that when you take the time to invest into the relationships with each of your kids when they are young, that that gives you a rock solid foundation to build the rest of your relationship on. It’s become more apparent to me that kids being raised today need a strong support network to remain in the faith, and to really be who they are wired to be. Our culture does everything it can to make people feel inferior, but we need to show our kids that they need to be real, authentic, and exactly who God has designed them to be.
As dads, it’s vital that we realize sooner than later that the relationships/bridges that we build with our kids have limits as to what can be carried across them until they are firmly established. We can’t expect them to support the heavy discussions that we need to have with our kids if the bridge is still under construction. Ultimately, I am planning on having amazing relationships with my kids as teenagers because I am starting to build those foundations now.
I pray that you too will experience phenomenal relationships with your kids as a result of having a good foundation established early on in their lives.
Who’s up for the challenge of telling your wife that you want her to go out with her friends for the evening while you watch the kids?
Be prepared though, this is going to make your marriage even better!
Ready, set, go!