Showing Appreciation to Homeschool Dads
A dad’s involvement in his family’s homeschool can run the gamut from being the primary teaching parent to being the source of funding for the school books. My husband is on the funding end of the scale. Even though he’s not highly involved in the day-to-day operation of our homeschool, I couldn’t do what I do without him.
photo credit helen taylor on flickr
Brian supports me unconditionally. He doesn’t balk when I tell him I need a mom’s night out or a weekend away with my girlfriends. He trusts my judgment on curriculum choices. He doesn’t act resentful that the whole house is still snuggled up, cozy in our beds when he leaves to go earn a living to support our family each day. He doesn’t even complain when he returns from a weeklong business trip to find a new cat in his house. (For the record, though, said cat hasn’t visited in over a week.)
He’s a pretty awesome guy.
I bet most married homeschool moms would agree. (You know, about your husbands, not mine.) So, how can we show homeschool dads that we appreciate all they do to take care of their families?
I try to do things like…
There have been several articles floating around the internet lately about stay-at-home moms not being frumpy. I agree. Of course, I also know that non-frumpy is going to look different for different people. I have one friend who is dressed like I would dress for a job interview or a funeral every time I see her. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal.
That being said, I know that there are styles of jeans and t-shirts that are more flattering on me than others. A little flair in the legs of jeans usually looks better on me than straight cut. A women’s cut t-shirt accentuates attractively, whereas a unisex shirt tends to make me look boxy or dumpy.
I’ve got this one shirt that is nothing special at all. As a matter of fact, I bought it at a homeschool convention only because it was long-sleeved, I was freezing, and it was my size. Every time I wear it Brian says, “I really like that shirt on you.”
It’s not dressy, but it’s comfy and my husband thinks it’s attractive on me. Pair that with a cute pair of jeans and it’s win-win.
I also bought my first pair of yoga pants the other day. They’re cuter than I expected them to be. They’ve got a little Lycra and spandex to hold everything in place, along with a little flair in the legs. I’m going to have to be careful not to let them become my homeschool mom uniform.
Take care of my appearance.
I have often said that I can have bad hair with make-up or good hair with no make-up, but I can’t have bad hair and no make-up at the same time. I’ve also often had people ask me if I style my hair every day. Usually.
For one thing, it just happens to be one of those things that makes me feel better about myself that I’d do even if Brian wasn’t home. (I fixed my hair most days when he was out of town a couple of weeks ago.) However, I also like to demonstrate to my husband that I still think he’s worth getting fixed up for.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a little more lax about the no bad hair/no make-up at the same time thing. There are many days when I throw my hair up in a pony tail sans make-up and I know my husband loves me anyway. Still, if I’m on my game, I’ll take the pony tail down and do a little something with my hair before he gets home.
Fix his favorite foods.
I have been known to say that, as the cook, I occasionally get to fix things that I like just because I like them. Still, I try not to fix things that Brian really doesn’t like (which is the reason macaroni and bacon casserole only makes the lunch menu). I also try to make it a point to regularly fix things that he really does like.
The way to a man’s heart and all that stuff.
Build him up, rather than tear him down.
During my work-outside-the-home days, I worked in a couple of different offices with almost all women. Over time, I began to notice something. Most of them would talk horribly about their husbands. Going by what they said, I thought their husbands were complete ogres. Then, I’d meet their husbands and discover that they were actually nice men.
I came to realize that often the only thing other people know about my husband is what I say about him and the fact is, he’s a pretty awesome guy. Those annoying things he does are not the sum total of who he is. I’m sure I’ve got plenty of annoying qualities of my own.
So, with that in mind, I try to save the griping for people who know us both so that they know to take whatever I’m griping about with a grain salt. I also try to speak respectfully to him and positively about him to others when we’re together and forgo the kind of teasing that is often more hurtful than we let on.
Make our home a pleasant place to be.
I’m not the world’s best housekeeper, y’all. (For the record, I’m not the worst, either.) My house may not pass anyone’s white glove test, but I try to make sure it’s neat and presentable. I’ve asked Brian about what bugs him and what he doesn’t care about and I try to make sure the things that bug him are taken care of. He’d do the same for me.
As a matter of fact, every time I go out of town, he cleans the house while I’m gone. Again, we’re not talking spotless, but he makes sure the dishwasher has been run, the laundry hamper isn’t overflowing, and everything has been straightened up because he knows it stresses me to come home to a messy house.
Spend time with him.
While it’s nice to have a date night every so often, those evenings when we shut ourselves in our room and play cards or watch TV are often just as enjoyable. Lately, we’ve had the kind of strange experience of just walking around Wal-mart together on grocery night now that our kids are old enough to wander around together without an adult.
When you have small children, date nights away from home can be difficult, but in-house dates can be fun – you can enjoy dessert together after the kids go to bed (or even a special dinner, depending on how early they go to bed) or watch a movie together.
Pray for him.
Often we wives are in the unique position of being the one person in the world to know exactly how to pray for our husbands specifically. They may be going through things that they haven’t shared with anyone else, and they need our prayers. If you want some ideas for how to pray for your husband, Jamie has some suggestions that you can print off as a daily reminder, 25 Prayers for My Husband.
There are dozens of other ways – both romantic and practical – that I could show my husband how much I appreciate him, but these are some of the usual, day-to-day things.
What are some of the ways that you let your husband – your family’s homeschool dad – know how much you appreciate him?
Great advice. I’m rather lucky that my dh actually does 1/2 the schooling of our kids. Just having a ‘date’ night 1 time a week is something he enjoys. I do cook most nights as does my kids who take turns. Most of all he knows we appreciate him because we tell him. And I also still send him little love notes in his lunch, he usually texts me to laugh about it. Sometimes I send a smiley face to say ‘you are loved’ and other times I’ll just put a note in with xx’s and oo’s. Since I tend to have to fix lunches before I go to bed. Working on your partnership with your husband is very important for a great homeschooling experience.
My husband is the teacher in our family and he does an excellent job at it. We couldn’t do this without his commitment to our homeschool adventure. I do my best to afford him alone time so he can do “guy things”. Whether it’s fishing, riding his motorcycle, or just spending time in his shop, I take over when I get home.
And there have been many mornings when I wished I could crawl back in bed and snuggle up with my hubby rather than head to work. But it’s all worth it.
It’s always so interesting to me to hear the flip side of the coin where the dad is the primary teacher. I love that you do what you can to give him guy time. That’s one thing that my husband does for me – never gripes about the time I spend with my girlfriends – that I truly appreciate. As much as I love my family and actually prefer being at home, having time to get out with my friends from time to time is really refreshing.
This is a terrific post. I believe the best thing we can do for our kids is to love their dad. I really do need to concentrate on my appearance more… Let him come home to the wife he married sometimes instead of this crazy homeschool mom covered in fingerpaint and glitter 🙂
Hey, at least with the glitter you sparkle. 🙂 And, I totally agree about loving our kids’ dad.
I totally agree about the kids needing to know I love their dad. I have to say, while I fall short at times on all of this, appearance is the area where I need the most work, too! With three kids five and under, I tend to shy away from wearing anything but my oldest clothes, because they’re sure to get stained, and my hair tends to stay up to keep it away from grasping little fingers…I’m sure he comes home many nights and wonders where his wife is under all the dirt and sweat and crayon and marinara. This is a good reminder that my (good) appearance is one way to show my love for him.
There are definitely seasons to life and I completely understand the older clothes and pulled-up hair with little ones. Isn’t it good to know that your husband loves you no matter your appearance? Maybe a couple of nights a week, you put on something fresh and fix the hair before he gets home…and the rest of the time, you just smile and know that he loves you for being an awesome mom to his children.
I love what you’ve said here. I have certain types of friends who would balk at this as somehow being subservient. Subservience and submissive are different. One is a slave, the other a respectful person. I don’t have a husband but I respect relationships like yours.
I’m thankful, too, that the last conversation I had with my daughters’ dad before he died, was one in which he told me how much he loved how I was raising the girls.. homeschool, Charlotte Mason, the arts.. no TV… he expressed a true respect and appreciation for what I do for our daughters. I hold tight to that. Appreciate deeply that your husband feels that way about your role as mother and home educator. It’s important.
Thank you, Michelle. I really appreciate your comment. I wondered, as I wrote it, if there were women who would see those comments as being subservient. I figured there would be, but I agree with you. Those are things I choose to do, not things I’m expected to do. It’s mutual respect, like the things he does for me.
I try to remember to do all those things, even when my body and sometimes my heart don’t feel like it. My husband travels and feel the stress of his absence in the home. Especially with two tween daughters, but more for the homeschooling issues we can have.
Thank you for the encouragement you give and I pass and pray the encouragement to you.
Thank you! I appreciate the prayers.
I LOVE this post!! Especially that part about talking well of our husbands in public. I’ve always been bothered by other moms who complained about their husbands. I know we sometimes get irked by them, but gee whiz! My husband and I have been married for just shy of 9 years, together for 13, and because we show the kind of respect to each other that you talked about we are still just as happy together today as we were the day we got married. And these days, that’s saying a lot! Anyway, definitely sharing this post!
Yeah, I may be the only male comment on here. But, I can attest to the fact that your hubs loves the things that you do–both for him and for the family.
I am a work at home dad, and we are trying to have me home-school the children. Though, only one of our three is currently in school. It is proving to be difficult with my schedule, but my wifey, the main bread winner, works 1.5 hours away. So, by the time she gets home and cooks dinner (cuz I can’t cook!) she’s got nothing left.
Still, she chooses the curriculum and that sort of stuff. We work well as a team. I will suggest to her that she follow your blog here. It’s right up her alley.
I love when the homeschool dads comment! I always enjoy hearing a dad’s perspective on homeschooling…and it’s nice to know that the little things we wives do are appreciated.
Completely agree, especially about the comments from spouses in public! I worked for a while at a banking operation and numerous women would badmouth their husbands forevermore. They were bitter people, and I found myself sympathizing more with the poor spouse, who it didn’t seem had done enough wrong to be shown so much disrespect. I have another friend now who respects her husband not at all. I have to admit that, in her case, he has many serious issues and hasn’t really grown up (makes selfish decisions that affect his family and doesn’t care as long as he gets what he wants), but it seems she stays with him more for their child’s sake. I only wonder what lessons she’s teaching her son when she calls her husband a liar and yells at him all the time, even when he deserves it. Life’s too short to have that kind of rancor in your heart. I pray for all of them.