Why I Ask My Husband To Help Me With The Kids
Ok, ok, so I only have one kid . . . but soon it will be two. I’ve found that in today’s modern feminist age, many women find asking a husband to “help” with the kids appalling. That is why I thought of sharing why I ask my husband to help me with the kids.
So let’s start with why some women may have an issue with the word “help”. The argument usually sounds something like this, “He’s the dad, it’s his responsibility too. He made them too; he should take equal care of them. He’s not doing you a favor; he should know it’s his duty. You shouldn’t need to ask for help; he should know what he needs to do.”
I honestly do not have an argument against any of these statements nor do I have a problem with any of them. They are all absolutely true.
However . . . .
In my case, I am a stay at home mom. When I signed up for this position, I decided to treat it like my job . . . do it on purpose. Trust me, that is still difficult at times. The transition from career woman to stay at home mom has not been easy, it was even shameful.
But, as a stay at home mom, I consider taking care of the home and the kids my main responsibility. It is my full time job. Although, I fully acknowledge and my husband fully acknowledges that kids are to be an equally shared responsibility, it is easy to feel like they are mainly mine to handle and anything dad does is “help”.
It’s easy to fall into that trap of feeling dad is doing you a favor by stepping up in caring for the kids when he’s home. I completely advise against that. Even moms who work outside of the home may fall into this because it is their maternal instinct (or just because they are control freaks) to lead the child rearing and care taking.
But, not wanting to fall into a trend of thinking of dad as just a “helper” rather than an equal contributor is no reason not to ask for help. I’ll explain why I ask for help from my husband even though he is an equal contributor with the kids.
I’m not going to pull out official studies to support my point here. But it is my personal belief that men and women are wired differently.
Women are, the majority of the time, naturally maternal and detail oriented. We are better at knowing and planning out what our kids need as far as clothing, nutrition, scheduling, education, etc. If I need to take the lead on planning that, so be it. I can ask dad to help in executing the plans.
He’s still taking on an equal load of work, but I’m taking the load off of the planning off his back. I stay in control; he contributes. Both of us are happy.
2. The Need To Be A Hero
Truth is, we are both tired. We both work our butts off whether in or out of the home. By asking for his help, I am in essence saying, “Hon, I know you’re tired, but I’d appreciate it if you do this.”
Last thing he wants is to feel like he is coming home from a full-time job to another full-time job. We, moms, have already come to terms with that exhausting reality for ourselves. But men, more often than not, will buck up against that.
So why not let them think that what they do is help and let them be heros. I believe every man has an innate need to feel like a hero to his family, this is a way I give that to him.
3. No One Likes To Be Bossed Around
Honestly, I have a better sense of what needs to be done when it comes to the kids. I am the project manager of their lives. To be efficient, I need to delegate tasks which often fall on dad.
However, he is not on my payroll. He is my life partner, not my employee.
If I say, “I need you to give Iliana a bath now.” or “Give Iliana a bath tonight.” . . . . that is not going to go well. No one likes to be bossed around. I know I wouldn’t respond well to that even if I was used to giving her a bath 90% of the time.
Instead I say, “Can you give Iliana a bath tonight?” or “I’m exhausted, do you think you can give Iliana a bath in a little bit?” Both of these questions are structured in such a way that I’m asking him to help me by giving her a bath. The implication to many would be that it is my duty but I’m asking him to do it as a favor to me.
Well I don’t care what it implies, even if hubby does think he’s doing me a favor. That is my way of asking for things nicely without giving my husband orders. At the end of the day, he’s done his fatherly duty of caring for his child. That’s all I care about.
4. Treat Others As You Will Have Them Treat You
Since I’m in charge of the home, that means most of the load of laundry, cleaning, cooking, bill paying, shopping, etc. fall on me. However, my hubby often steps up and does a lot as far as laundry and cleaning is concerned. In fact, he often initiates it.
He offers to stop by the grocery store if the refrigerator looks empty. If he needs something specific done, he’ll ask if I have time to do it.
He thanks me for every meal every day even though it is technically my duty to have it done. The thanks is the encouragement I need to prepare more delicious meals. I try to thank him for all he does as well.
So all in all, the way I treat him fosters the same treatment in return and vice versa. So if I want my husband to recognize my contributions to the home by not taking them for granted and asking for my help versus demanding things from me, then I do the same. It results in us both helping each other even when not asked, which is a lot more fulfilling than completing tasks because they are an obligation.
5. He Is My Head
As Christians, we believe that Christ is the head of the man and in return the man is the head of the woman. This statement in itself is not received well in today’s society. But let me explain what it means to us.
Although we are far from being perfect, we strive to be Godly people. As such, my husband recognizes Jesus Christ as his head and strives to follow His example of love and obedience. This makes my husband a Godly man, the spiritual guide of our home.
Because he follows Christ, this positions him as my head. This doesn’t give him the right to boss me around or miss treat me, as some may think. It doesn’t mean I no longer have the right or ability to think for myself and must submit in all things to him. It means, he is my spiritual guide who ensures our family follows God’s Word.
As my head, I love and respect him as I love and respect Jesus Christ . . . as he loves and respects Jesus Christ. He must in turn love me and respect me with Godly love as well.
So would I ever think of telling Jesus He needs to change a diaper ASAP? No. Well truth be told, it would never cross my mind to have Jesus do such a thing. But although I do ask my husband to do things for the kids, I try to do it with respect.
I do this by asking him to help me do X, Y, or Z. He knows well that it’s not a personal favor. If he saw the things he did for the kids or around the home as personal favors, he would never do them on his own.
We’re not perfect. We sometimes are grouchy and do get bossy and a bit disrespectful towards each other. We are human, so we are sinful in nature. But in the end, our faith sets us straight.
These are of course very personal reasons why I ask my husband to help with the kids. It is not my intention to convince anyone that these reasons should apply to them. My point is merely to make a case for “asking for help” as an act of humility and respect versus something that downplays someone’s parental role. Every couple has their own style, so perhaps this wouldn’t work for some.
How do you and your spouse communicate to get things done at home? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.