This month, my adoring husband was featured as a "Hottie Dad" in the Gainesville Giggle Magazine, a charming little local family magazine in our community. The article (seen here on p.19), honored a few deserving men for their hands on involvement with their families as well as their good looks.
I'm really glad my husband was chosen. He is truly the most amazing Daddy!As I reread the nominating email I sent the staff, I relived the moments and thanked God for my husband's heart.
Last week, after reading the article a precious expectant mother approached me and said her husband told her he hopes she feels the same way about him once their baby is born.
You see, I believe every man wants to be an amazing Daddy and while it's up to them to become one, there is a lot we can do to encourage them or stifle them.
Here is a list of 10 things we can do to empower our men to be better Daddies:
- Ask him what kind of role he wants to have as a Daddy. Listen to his answer! My husband WANTED to feed our newborns, which meant I had to pump milk. Did I prefer to just nurse? Of course! But I wanted to honor his wishes, so I pumped daily. He did the 11pm feeding, which allowed me a little extra z's too.
- Communicate and compromise about everything. New parents both have a heavy load. There is caring for the kids and caring for the home, but there are also other responsibilities men normally tend to internalize such as finances, safety, and the future. Invite him to share his heart with you and figure out how you can share those responsibilities.
- Expect him to help. I'm not sure why, but somewhere along the way we were taught that men sit on a recliner with the remote in one hand and a beer in the other while we do all the work. Not so. Even guys who start out that way end up feeling a lot more pride in themselves when they are asked to help. Don't expect parenting to be "mothering" until the child is old enough to throw a ball. Expect him to change diapers, swaddle, get up in the middle of the night, and feed the baby.
- HIS way may not be YOUR way. He's definitely not going to do things exactly like you - and that's ok. Let him do it his way.
- Withhold criticism. Nothing kills a desire to help more than constant criticism. Criticism also includes going behind him and re-doing what he has just done. Be an encourager!
- Get out of the way! Allow him space to develop as a Daddy. He will never change a diaper if you never let him try. Don't look over his shoulder inspecting everything he does. Have confidence in him. He may be able to teach you a thing or two.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help even if he's watching a sporting event. Tell him what your needs are and ask him for help. You'll be surprised at how easily he comes to the rescue. Things have changed for both of you. You may need him to stay home from that fishing trip or wait until the kids are down to go on a run. Whatever you need, ASK! He won't know what you need unless you tell him.
- Speak positively. Give him genuine compliments every chance you get. Focus on the positive and on what he is doing well.
- Appreciate him. The more you thank him, the more he will WANT to help.
- Respect and honor him as a man. A huge mistake women tend to make is to think of their husbands as 'one of the kids.' Your man is not one of the kids! He is your spouse and life partner. Your nurturer, provider, and the love of your life! Speak to him and OF him with honor and respect; especially in front of the children, no matter what their age.
I just love everything about families! While many families are being destroyed today, my prayer for you is that you enjoy a healthy and happy family by loving and honoring one another.
Happy Father's Day!!!!!