Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, or a full-time working family, I’m here to give you a pat on the back and say “good job!”
I’ve always been one for work and earning my wage, but after having William, I realised that actually I wouldn’t forgive myself if I wasn’t involved in his first year of life. I didn’t want to miss out on any of his firsts, from his first giggle to his first step. I didn’t want to be told by a childminder that he babbled his first “da-da.” But someone has to pay the bills, buy the food and keep the family afloat. It must seem rather selfish of me to want to stay at home and be the one who see’s all the firsts, but Martin and I were happy with it, he was desperate to work, and I wasn’t.
But I know that’s not always the case. Sacrifices are made on the daily by other families, whether that’s one sacrificing work to stay at home, or vice versa. Sometimes it just can’t be done and families don’t get the luxury of one parent being at home, and they both have to work. Whatever your situation, you’re doing great!
It can be easy for us to under-appreciate each of our roles in the family, we can be quick to point the finger at things that haven’t been done around the house, or not doing much on days off work. But we need to just take a step back and look at what each of us do day in, day out. It’s hard enough work to muster the energy to get up and go to work, and then come home and be a parent. It’s hard enough work to be a parent all day and fit all the chores in around entertaining a toddler. (Being an adult is hard work.)
Here are a few ways to let your other half know you appreciate them:
- Tell them. Obvious right? Quite often it gets swept under the carpet, we just assume they know we appreciate what they do. But tell them. Thinking it and saying it are two different things.
- Don’t nag at them. Whether there’s a pile of washing up to be done, or the living room needs hoovering, or if they come home late from work, don’t nag at them as soon as they walk into a room.
- Help out. Get the uniform out ready, make a cup of tea, do the washing up, let your partner have a break from cooking. Whatever it is that will help your partner out. It might not seem a lot, but any help will be gratefully received.
- Run a bath. Ok, so I know not everyone has a bath, or even likes them, but there’s something about having a bubble bath all ready for you to jump into that makes it really satisfying. Get the candles lit and a glass of wine (or whatever your drinking preference is) and soak away the day. This goes for men too! Find your inner Chandler Bing and love a good bath!
- A massage. Who doesn’t love a good massage? Who knows, your partner might be feeling really appreciative and it could evolve into something a bit more…if you get my drift… 😉
And so Martin, Thank you. Thank you for all you do to make sure we are happy and comfortable. Thank you for letting me stay at home and look after the children. Thank you for being an amazing dad to them and teaching them the importance of working. Thank you for being a brilliant partner. Thank you for being you.
And to everyone else who works their asses off to ensure their families have food on the table and a roof over their heads, and those who work their asses off to ensure their houses are tidy(ish), and the kids get to school on time and have clean nappies, well done you! We’re doing okay.
How do you show your partners they’re appreciated?