So this post is all about connections and relationships. I don’t want to downplay the work that goes into building relationships or the individual responsibility that it takes to work on relationships because that is so important. I’m here to say that we as women can help connect our husbands to their children.
I will begin with a story to illustrate my point. I call and talk to my mom 1-2 times a week. Now, every now and then my dad answers the phone. It is usually (like almost always) when my mother is not home. We chat for awhile when I call and each time we get a chance to talk I can tell by our conversations that my mom has filled him in on what has been going on in our lives. I feel connected with him because my mom has helped to keep us connected.
I have noticed this is how it works with Steve and I. What I do and say keeps him connected with the kids. He works during the day and I get to stay home with the kids. I personally see this as an enormous blessing, to be able to be with my kids each and everyday is something I’m so grateful for. I’m the one that gets to see them, hear them, watch them, and connect with them all day long. I’m the one that can read their tired ques and know when they are grumpy because they just need something to eat. I’m the one who overhears their conversations, who watches for patterns in their behavior, who practices different parenting techniques to see what works the best for that particular child. I’m the one who talks to the parents of their friends, to their coaches, to their teachers. Even if we both worked and spent the same amount of time with the kids, I still feel like I would bring a special insight to the table. I see things that he doesn’t.
With all this insight I feel that I have the opportunity to fill Steve in on all he misses everyday. (Or at least the highlights!) I really try to let him know what is going on in the kids’ lives so he can be aware of the issues they are facing when he interacts with them. He is better connected to them through me. We talk and chat a lot about the kids. I tell him what they are doing, what they are interested in, parenting strategies I have learned that work, things that don’t. I tell my worries for them and my hopes for their future. We talk about the people they are and I help him to know them better.
A word of caution. A few years ago I noticed that I was sharing a lot of the negatives with Steve. In my frustration to handle problems with the kids, I noticed that I was sharing a lot of my worries. I was sharing the tense situations, the negative things I heard from them and others, all my worries for their future. I began to see this reflected in his interaction with them. Most of his time spent with the kids was focused on these negative concerns we had for them. It seemed to take a lot of the joy out of their interactions. I realized I needed to be the one that made sure that, with the concerns and worries, I also shared the good, the hope, the amazing. I liked how sharing the positive changed his interactions with them. I saw more hugs, more encouragement, less worry, and more enjoyment in their relationships.
Isn’t it fascinating the influence we have in the lives of our families! We have it because of the sacrifice, the time, the effort we put into it. We see and learn so much because we sacrifice and love so much! And our influence is great. Not only are we helping our spouse, we are helping our children. What a blessing in their lives to have a strong relationship with their father. I love knowing that I can be that connection between my kids and their father.
You can link back to the rest of the series here.