Q. We have three children, ages 6, 8 and 10 and my wife works full time. The problem is she seems stressed out constantly even though I help her a great deal with the children and the chores. The children are affected by their mother’s moods. When she’s out of sorts, the children are at their worst. What can we do to have a happier, calmer family life?
A. Often mother’s moods set the tone for the family. This is because mothers usually have more responsibility for child rearing and a closer emotional tie to their children. In other words, it’s because mothers are so important to children. Mothers who work full time outside the home are faced with the formidable task of scrunching a full time job into the hours they are at home. The job at home is never done. There are always meals to prepare, laundry to be done, housecleaning needed, bills to pay, and child care.
Child care includes helping with homework, settling disputes, setting limits, supervising baths and bedtime routines, chauffeuring to activities, answering questions, deciding on requests, arranging medical and dental care. The list is endless. The mother of the family is expected to be cook, housekeeper, nanny, chauffeur, paramedic, policeman, interior decorator, purchasing agent, budget director, teacher, laundress, cheerleader, finder of all lost items, and dispenser of hugs and kisses.
Although most fathers, like you, are now helping a great deal with the child care and chores, the mom, in most instances, carries the major responsibility for making things go well at home. She is the one planning, organizing, remembering and scheduling the many tasks and activities of the family.
Usually she is the one who is most torn between her duties at work and the needs of her children. This is because women are naturally care givers. They are sensitive to and focused on relationships. Men are able to compartmentalize their thoughts and feelings and be more focused on the task at hand. Men are naturally less emotional. In other words a mother’s moods are due to her more emotional nature and to the weighty job she manages as a mom.
There are a number of things husbands can do to help their wives and to make the family life run more smoothly. Don’t judge or criticize her. Instead, ask her what you can do to help ease things. Listen carefully to her answer and try to see things from her point of view. Plan together ways to simplify the tasks at home and make things easier and calmer for all of you. Recognize that a mother’s moods may be signs of exhaustion. She may be overwhelmed - at the end of her rope. When your wife is moody be comforting and affectionate. Offer to take over with the children and insist that she rest and unwind.
A clever unknown author has suggested that mothers should be entitled to a complete overhaul every five years to keep them running smoothly. The author suggests that though most mothers can “run indefinitely on cheap fuel - coffee, pizza and hamburgers, an occasional gourmet meal in elegant surroundings will add to increased efficiency.”
The author goes on to say that a mother’s motor is very dependable. “She can start and reach top speed from a prone position at a single cry from a sleeping child. To keep that motor at peak efficiency regular breaks are recommended. A leisurely bath and nap every 1,000 miles, a baby sitter every 10,000 miles will do wonders.”....“Batteries should be recharged regularly. Unexpected gifts often do the trick.”...“Mothers need regular tune-ups. Compliments are both the cheapest and most appreciated.”
Mothers are the heart of the family. Our mother’s love has shaped each one of us. This Mother’s Day let’s show our love and appreciation for all mothers.
“Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans NLT
This post originally appeared on Taber’s Truths.