I just finished a conversation with a dad. Maybe you can relate to his story. He’s in that space in between how he grew up and the tools he was given to parent his own children and the how he really wants to parent. In those moments where one of his children is having a Read More
I stay home with my kids. I do some different work projects, and I bring in some money, but my main focus is the kids. They’re my #1 job. It’s a struggle for most (all?) moms who are the primary childcare providers to (1) feel like others respect the fact that being a mom is a “real job” and (2) treat themselves as though they work a “real job” while they’re “just” staying home with their kids.
When our children are little, we know we must model for them, so we show them how to pick up their toys and sing clean-up songs to make it more enjoyable. We sit with them and do it together, showing that teamwork makes the job go faster and that we can help each other. But for some reason, when they are older, we seem to expect them to just do things on their own, without direction or help. And often parents aren’t even kind about it. “Go clean your room!” “If you can’t take care of your things, maybe you don’t deserve to have them!”
In addition to learning how to show love, knowing a person’s love language is also extremely helpful to keep from hurting them. We have taken to calling this, the opposite of your love language, your “Hurt Language” (or “Hate Language” as my son likes to say, since he thinks that describes it better). Basically, if you criticize a person whose love language is Words of Affirmation, reject physical contact from a person whose love language is Physical Touch, or refuse to help someone whose love language is Acts of Service, they will probably feel completely rejected and unloved.
We read during easy times when things are going smoothly and everyone is happy. But more and more, as he gets older, we have moments of misunderstanding, disagreement, and frustration. We feel disconnected and it can be hard to come back together. So often it’s those times where he asks me to read because he knows it will recenter us both.