Moms are used to multi-tasking, and do a really amazing job of keeping all of the household plates spinning. We’re typically the “default parent” in our homes, keeping track of the countless details -both big and small- that family life entails.
It’s not an easy job, to say the least. While we’re happy to help those we love, it can be utterly exhausting to feel like you’re in charge of every last detail for your entire family.
To be fair, many husbands pull their weight in terms of pitching in with the household tasks and the kids. But unfortunately, there are also many that DON’T…. unless they’re asked by their wives first.
And by the time they are asked, it’s often when their wives are already past the point of no return.
An exhausted mom penned an open letter on Facebook directed at dads everywhere, urging them to be more proactive in helping their wives out instead of waiting to be asked.
Mom Jacalyn Wetzel, creator of the blog Stop Yelling Please shared a powerfully honest Facebook post that nails exactly how many mothers feel at the end of the day: FRAZZLED.
Burnt to a sizzling crisp, to be precise:
She is tired. She is overwhelmed. She’s running this ship alone while you wait to be told what to do.
The end of the day means that Mama has been juggling all.the.things, all day long. She’s tired. She’s overwhelmed. The kid’s loud voices seem even louder, somehow. Her mental circuits are fried, she’s over it, and that’s when the rage-cleaning begins.
Because after all, someone has to do it. And she feels like the someone is always HER.
Jacalyn’s advice to dads:
Don’t wait. Don’t wait until she tells you what to do.
She needs you now.
(Emphasis on the “NOW”, guy.)
The reality is, most of us moms don’t want to be in control of everything; we do it because those things need to get done. Period.
Many mothers gradually find themselves in that position as their husbands become passive bystanders.
She’s running this ship alone while you wait to be told what to do.
While many dads are absolutely willing to help -those that aren’t are another story entirely!-, it’s the waiting to be asked that makes it so difficult to busy, tired moms.
Simply put, we don’t want to have to ask you for help constantly; we want you to be connected enough to know what needs to be done. As Jessica puts it:
She is hoping one day you don’t await her instructions, and you just do the thing that needs to be done.
Some dads might get defensive about Jacalyn’s request for dads to start pitching in before needing to be asked. They could react with the classic retort: “What does she expect; I’m not a mind reader!”
No, there’s no mind-reading magic required here, dads. The very things we need help on are the same damn tasks that happen… EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s nothing new.
When it comes to raising kids & running a household, many of the items on the “To-Do” list are daily occurrences:
Kids need to eat. Kids need to be bathed. Kids make a mess. Kids are loud. Kids get into mischief.
Kids need help getting dressed. Kids have assignments, games, practices, and so much more. Kids want your attention too.
C’mon, dude! Many of the things that your wife handles in terms of your children are basic human needs that you are well acquainted with. Your wife shouldn’t have to “remind” you each night by repeatedly asking you for help with them.
Pitching in before being asked not only goes a long way in helping your household run more smoothly- it also has a significantly positive impact on your relationship, too.
I know that as a busy, tired mother, one of the best ways my husband can show me how much he loves me is by handling some of the kid-related tasks…. so that I don’t have to.
We created a family together. And most wives have a deep yearning to feel like we’re raising that family together as well. We don’t want to feel like our husbands are passive bystanders that need constant prompting to help.
Wives need husbands to remember: They’re OUR kids, not MY kids. We’re in this together.
Jacalyn’s open letter urges men to be more proactive; by the time many dads step in to help (if at all), it’s already too late.
Most women try to handle as much as they can, physically & mentally, before finally asking for help. And by that time:
she’s already submerged in the rough sea of motherhood, gasping for air and hoping for a life ring to be tossed her way.
As Jacalyn puts it, by that time, it’s bad. Our temper is flaring, our patience is non-existent, and we are overwhelmed beyond explanation.
That’s why her advice to men everywhere is so vital: DON’T WAIT.
Don’t be a passive bystander in your own home, guys. Step in before things get crazy. Don’t assume that just because your wife hasn’t specifically asked you for help that she doesn’t need it.
The reality is, she shouldn’t be doing it all in the first place. You should be working alongside her, stepping in with the kid-related tasks simply because they are your kids, too.
One adult shouldn’t have to do the work of two parents. Resentment is nearly inevitable when one partner feels they are carrying too much of what should be a shared load.
This advice DOES go both ways, however. Plenty of men out there take a very pro-active role with their families & their households, & that’s an admirable thing. And there are some women that take this backseat role in their families, too.
If you’re a woman whose husband is functioning as the default parent, be quicker to step in and help.
Jaclyn Wetzel’s words of wisdom shared in this Facebook post are wise in their simplicity. Too many moms are perpetually burnt-out & exasperated on a daily basis, & the remedy is really quite simple.
As Jacalyn put it,
Do the thing.