Dad Needs Self-Care, Too {Not Just Moms}

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I was having an evening out with a friend recently, and feeling extra thankful to have a spouse that encourages me to take breaks and to do something for myself. We have four children. That in itself is a workout, as I have learned.

I am very blessed but very, very busy.

self-care

Add with both of us working outside the home, multiple school schedules, multiple sports schedules, it is blissful chaos. We manage, we try to thrive as much as possible, but at the end of a week, I feel similar to what I imagine getting hit by a bus feels like. That may be a tad dramatic, but you get it. I love my life, but whew, it can be exhausting.

So my friend and I were out to dinner, and as we both unloaded and had therapeutic conversations about our stressors, we also realized that as moms, you feel guilty for not taking me time, but guilty when you do. Being a parent is weird like that. You feel bad when you get away, but sometimes you just need to get away. That is when I started feeling guilty about something I had not thought much about – my husband’s self-care. As moms, we really do master the “mom guilt.”

I realized my husband is always extremely supportive of giving me breaks. We both work extremely hard. We often have off-setting schedules, because, well, childcare is just too expensive for four children. So often times it feels like neither of us gets much time for some “me” time. I mean, we realized we signed up for this, and I rarely hear my husband complain. I will admit I am usually the one that needs to have some therapeutic ranting, and he openly listens to that without complaints.

He often works long shifts on the days he is at work, and on the days he is off, he is almost always catching up on housework but finding the best ways to put our children and their needs first. We both have done a pretty good job of making sure we get time together, even when we have to stay up extra late to achieve that. Honestly, a little less sleep is typically worth it when we get to talk and just be together.

On top of doing all of this, he is always reminding me of the importance of getting time with my mom friends and making sure I am taking care of myself. Even when we were on our final pregnancy, he was buying me a more comfortable pillow and going on random runs to appease my cravings. I realized I have someone in my life who spends so much time making sure everyone around him is happy and even though I am getting breaks, he does not often stop and take a break himself.

It is so awesome we are living in a society that is FINALLY starting to right some wrongs. Part of that is recognizing women and mothers – how much we contribute to society, how hard we work, how hard being a mother is, and the importance of self-care. But I know I am one that also wants to recognize the important role that dads play in society. I know many of them that are gone all day supporting their family and then come home and take on kid duty and other miscellaneous tasks to give momma a break. We need to acknowledge this.

There are many incredible fathers in the world. They may not always understand the depth of what mothers do. I mean let’s face it, not everyone knows all of the layers of motherhood. All the things we have to do on a day-to-day basis to keep things going, the behind-the-scenes work, all the extras we add to make life wonderful for our families. But many of us are very fortunate to have a partner that works hard to contribute to the household and give us those much-needed breaks. I know I will make it a point to show more gratitude and to make sure my husband is getting some self-care time, too.

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Hello there! I have been a proud Daytonian for the past ten years. My husband and I have three beautiful kids together, ages five and below so the adventures never stop. Although I am passionate about helping others as a nursing educator and nurse practitioner, my most challenging and rewarding role is being a mommy. I enjoy sharing the journey of motherhood and life with other mothers out there. I believe we all can learn from each other's experiences and work together so that no one feels alone as they navigate through the sometimes murky waters of life and motherhood. We are in this together and I look forward to sharing in this journey with you! ~Jen