I was super impressed with the outpouring of love that Facebook had going on for Mother’s Day. It was as if a Hallmark Card store had vomited all over my newsfeed. It was cute, it was mushy, it was everything you’ve come to know and expect on a national holiday.
As someone who is constantly studying relationships, I especially enjoyed how many men posted about the special women they have in their lives. Even I got in on the act and, while my intentions were pure, I didn’t want to be the only guy not to say something about his wife on Facebook.
The Facebook post phenomenon that has erupted in the past several years has often made me wonder what life is like the day after Mother’s Day. What are these couples doing on Monday morning when it is time to get the kids up for school and manage the hectic schedule of spring? I also wonder what gift I could give to the mother of my children that won’t feel like it was a last-minute run to Kroger.
Here are five things that I came up with…
1. Pray with and for her. I oftentimes underestimate the power of this simple act. Being vulnerable in front of both God and her will change the dynamic of the relationship. Also, it is really hard to stay mad at someone when you are fervently praying for them.
2. Date her. An active dating life reminds us all that we are more than just parents or business partners. Dating sets the stage for romance, and it keeps life fun.
3. Be on her team. This is an area where I could use some serious growth. Often times I forget that Karen and I are in this together. In the heat of the moment it is easy to side with the kids in an argument, or to gently point out that she is wrong. When I remember that I’m on her team, if she is wrong then I am wrong with her. There is no her versus me; it’s just us – together.
4. Give her space. From being with the kids all the time, to work, to everything else she is trying to manage, I am willing to bet that she doesn’t get much time to herself. One of the best ways I’ve learned to encourage my wife is by kicking her out the door to have some fun with her friends.
5. Engage in the stuff she thinks is important. Again, not an area I excel at, but something that is critical to long-term health. Find out what she wants done and do it, or better yet – surprise her. Either way, it is easy to get into a rut of doing the same old stuff. Find a way to carve out some time for the stuff she values.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a really good start. I am convinced that if I want to be the best husband and father I can be, then I have to engage in some daily disciplines for my marital relationship.
My kids have an amazing mom, and one of my commitments is to not let her lose herself in the process of making amazing kids.
What other things can you think of that need to go on the list?