With Mother’s Day right around the corner or should I say tomorrow, I thought I would have this week’s blog post be all about how dads can help moms without being asked! Before you dive deep into the article, check out this blog that explains the secret to happiness is helping others. First of all, I realize families come in every shape and size so you may have to use your imagination and try to apply what I’m talking about to your own particular situation. There are stay at home dads and moms, sometimes both parents work, your family may have two moms or two dads, single parent homes, and more. I can only talk about my experiences with my own family so I hope you can find something of value here. This list of helpful ideas really goes for married couples in general. Husbands should always be trying to do nice things for their wives or mothers without being asked and I’ve got a few helpful ideas here to get you started.
Dads, the most important takeaway that you want to make sure you get from today’s blog post is that you want to help your spouse in some way without them asking you to do it. Have you ever gone about your day, doing your daily routine and then noticed that your spouse seems stressed, so you ask what is wrong? They tell you XYZ and you respond by saying, “well, all you have to do is ask and I will take care of it.” That is great and all, but sometimes your spouse would like the consideration on your part, without having to ask you first. This is obviously a nice and free (which is a nice bonus) way to do something special for your wife / the mother of your children on Mother’s Day, but it’s also a good habit to get into.
Our baby girl Savannah is four months old today and one of the most obvious facts about bringing a child into your family is you are going to have less time for the things you used to do every day. That’s okay right, that is what we wanted when we had our daughter and we love to spend our time with her. But it is okay to admit that we are busy people that have a million things going on everyday including; keeping up the house, preparing meals, baby appointments, family get togethers, work, paying bills, buying groceries, and all the new things a baby needs, and more. Here’s a list of marriage issues that can arise after having a baby. What about the relationships you’ve been maintaining over the years with your friends and colleagues? Everyone understands that you probably cannot get together as often anymore, but you may want to try and stay in contact from time to time.
While you’re trying to find a few minutes here and an hour there to read a book, mow the yard, cook dinner, make a pot of coffee, take a shower, or call the car insurance people for a claim you need to make, your spouse is probably watching your baby. Usually one parent is making sure your child is okay. Again, every family is different. You may have noticed that you and your partner have assumed a few roles even if that wasn’t really a big discussion. Here’s a list of items that moms may struggle with that dads may not understand. Or maybe there was a discussion about some things, but there are certain tasks that one person seems to do more often than the other. This may be a great time to take a moment to really think about all the things that need to happen on a daily basis that make your wonderful life keep marching on and ask yourself, are you doing your fare share. If you already are, that’s awesome, but maybe you could just do a little extra once in awhile and maybe do some of the less fun things your spouse usually handles.
I’ve put together a list of 20 free things dads can do for moms without being asked. Check out my list and see if there is anything you see you can do for a special mom in your life.
Questions You Can Ask
Do You Want To Shower First? – I typically wake up first, and my morning routine has changed over the years, but one thing that will never change is that I basically do not fully wake up until I shower. It’s really easy to just get up and jump in the shower. When I do that, I’m just assuming that Alex will watch Savannah. Simply asking Alex if she would like to shower first is a great way to start the day.
Do You Want To Sleep In Today? – Alex and I have very different opinions on sleep. I could live without it, but when I’m tired, I get a crabby. Sleep is high on the list of Alex’s all-time favorite things. For years now, I’ve had to wake up earlier for work and now that we have Savannah, Alex usually wakes up when Savy does to take care of her. On the weekend or any other time I can watch Savannah and let Alex sleep in. That is an easy way to offer a nice gesture and let Alex get back some more zzz’s.
Is There Anything I can Do For You Today? – The age old ‘how was your day?’ which reminds me of the sitcom Married With Children, (I remember my dad watching this when I was a child) is a great question to ask no doubt. In my opinion, an even better question to ask every day is, “is there anything I can do for you today?” You can ask in association with ‘how was your day?,’ but this removes the pressure of your spouse having to ask you for help and you are offering your services for anything they might need.
Want Me To Watch Her? – As I mentioned previously, either you or your spouse are probably going to be keeping an eye on your child at all times. We have a four-month-old so we are literally watching her every hour of the day. Alex breastfeeds so if I were to count the minutes, she is probably watching her more than I am. So I like to ask if I can watch her that way Alex can take some time to do whatever she might want to do. It could be anything, but I am offering to help so she can have an alone minute or two.
Would You Like To Take A Nap? – Every new parent knows that sleep is like a commodity and there is never enough of it. Alex and I are at a point now where Savy Bee sleeps through the night most of the time, but we still get tired. Plus just when we think she is on a sleep schedule, something changes and we end up exhausted the next day. Offering to watch your baby so that your partner can take a nap is a great way to help out. Napping while your partner watches your baby can also make you feel guilty sometimes, but if you actually offer to watch so they can take a nap, that will let them rest in peace.
Would You Like To Spend Time With Your Friends Tonight? – Spending time with your friends is really difficult because that means your partner is going to have to watch your kids for an extended period of time. If that is going to include some adult beverages too, that could mean they will be watching the kiddos all night as well. Try offering to see if mom wants to spend some time with her friends this upcoming Friday night. You can have a fun night at home and bond with baby while mom has a relaxing evening.
Chores You Can Do
Laundry – Laundry duty has sort of evolved in my house. Alex and I used to use a dirty clothes basket that we kept separate and we each washed our own clothes for multiple reasons. I prefer to actually fold my clothes straight out of the dryer. Alex is strangely particular about what can even go into the dryer. Now we live in a house with a laundry shoot, so our clothes all get mixed together. I ended up drying too many non dryables so I have been taken off laundry duty. But this is still a good way to offer some help!
Clearing The Table – This is probably the easiest one. After the meal is over and it’s time to do the dishes and put everything away, just jump in and help or just do it. This takes almost no time and no effort, and it goes a long way.
Making the Bed – Alex has been making her bed every morning for as long as I’ve known her. Now, she makes our bed every morning. Most of the time, I get up first and so whenever she gets out of bed, she makes it. Whenever she gets out of bed first, it’s so easy for me to make the bed (even though it may not be done properly) and then I don’t even say anything. She will notice later in the day and have a pleasant surprise.
Pay the Bills – Paying the bills is really more about the mental organization that every couple goes through when running the house. There is just a mental checklist we all go through every month to make sure we have done everything we need to do. Alex and I have a calendar we use where we mark down our appointments and we have all of our bills written down with due dates and this is basically split into the first and second half of the month. Most of our bills just come out automatically, but we still monitor them, and some are paid manually. My advice here is make sure you are helping with the mental organization of running your home and don’t make your spouse handle everything.
Picking Up The House – Just picking up after yourself. If you typically leave a mess every place you go in the house; clothes on the floor, shower towel on the floor, blankets on the couch, dirty dishes in the sink, shoes in a pile by the front door, etc. Your spouse just might be picking up after you and instead of saying something to you every time, they are slowing starting to resent you or maybe they are waiting until it has happened enough times to eventually ask you to work on it. This is about being considerate. Just help do the daily things that need to be done in order to keep the house together.
Vacuuming – Alex and I both vacuum. She probably vacuumed more often than I do and I think that is because she thinks the house needs to be vacuumed more often than I do! I’m more of a once a week is good enough kind of guy and I really couldn’t tell you how she justifies needing to do it more often than that. This is an easy one to just get out the vacuum and take care of it really quick so she doesn’t have to later.
Yard Work – Mowing the lawn, watering the flowers, pulling the weeds, sweeping the garage and driveway. Take the initiative to do these things so your spouse doesn’t have to. Or maybe say, “I’m going to work outside for a while. You’re welcome to come outside join me or hang out while I work on a couple things if you want.”
Furnace Filters – This one is super easy. The filters need to be changed so somebody needs to remember to do it. I like running to Lowe’s anyway, so I just offered to take care of this!
Ideas Involving Food
Grocery Shopping – Offer to be the one to run to the grocery store whether you are just getting one item or two weeks’ worth. Shopping online and having them delivered is another opion. Grocery shopping is a time suck so this is a good way to help out.
Meal Planning – This is another mental organizational item. We have a four-month-old so we aren’t at the stage where we are cooking for three just yet, but we know that we want family meals to be a staple for our family. It’s important to plan out and budget what the meals are going to be for the week and your spouse will appreciate your input and help.
Eating Together – Offer to eat together if you don’t usually. It’s easy for families to get busy and just get some grab and go meal. Like I said earlier, Alex and I think it’s important to eat meals together as a family and we want to do that for Savannah as she gets older.
Cooking Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner – Alex and I are pretty lucky that we both enjoy cooing and we both love to eat. We each cook meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and it’s become a lot of fun. You can offer to cook a couple meals for your spouse and give them the next shift off.
Dads, I hope this list has helped you think of an idea to do something nice for the moms in your life and also just helped you continue to do something nice for your spouse every day. Alex and I encourage you to leave us a like and a comment with your own helpful hints!