Monday, July 30, 2012

Building Up Dad {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

"Hold still...don't move!  Guys, come look at this."

I'm sitting out on the lawn when he whispers in my ear.

"Eek!  What is it?  Get it off me!"

The kids come running up for a better look, inspecting something on my back.  "Awesome!"   "Cool!"

"It's no big deal," he grinned. "Just a caterpillar."

"Get.It.Off!"  I shrieked.

He finally gently tugs the caterpillar free and I turn to see it there, in the palm of his hand - yellow and fuzzy and very much alive.  The kids crowd closer for a better look and a chance to hold it.  He referees the madness and I step back to take a moment to watch him with his kids.

I don't always understand him.  His ways of parenting these kids are not always the way I would do it.  Sometimes I struggle against telling him how it should be done.   I tend to be softer and offer more second chances.  He stands firm and refuses to let his children misbehave.

We're a perfect pair, really.  And when I think about it, I know that I wouldn't be able to be the mother I am without him beside me, a counterweight, keeping this cooperative parenting project balanced.  Sometimes, because I'm the one at home all day, I find myself thinking that I'm the main parent, and that he just plays a supporting role.  Not so.  He is every bit as important to the development and the raising of these little ones as I am.

He's  a great father.  Why is it sometimes I fail to notice?  And when I do, why do I fail to tell him?  He brings a masculine quality to this family that I could never produce, and I see how it impacts the children.  How they respect him and bask in his attention.  How they respond to his standards, even if I think they are steep, without complaining.

I head inside and wash my hands and look at them all out there.  He's intervening now, taking the little caterpillar and setting him on a nearby tree, up and away from the inquisitive hands of 3 less-than-gentle kids.  I try to remember the last time I told him I thought he was doing a great job...and couldn't think of it.  The last time I told him he was too hard on them?  Well, unfortunately, that was much more recent.

What if I built him up, the father of my children?  What if I told him all the things that I see him doing so right, the things I would never think of or be able to pull off that he does with such a natural grace?  What if I saw our differences as being an asset to our children, giving them a well balanced childhood?

At bedtime, he takes over for me when the 3 year old becomes a challenge.  I sit downstairs and hear my little one cry and know my husband is standing his ground.  It's hard for me to hear.  My instinct is to rush up there and say "oh, it's alright, he doesn't have to stay in bed."  But it's 10 pm.  He does need sleep.  And his father is merely sitting outside his door and refusing to let him out.  I bite my tongue and, when he comes down stairs after a heroic bedtime battle, I breathe a little prayer of thanks.  For a man who has strengths where I have weaknesses.  For a husband who loves my kids enough to stand his ground.  For a father to my kids who helps me be a better mother.

Is your husband a wonderful Dad?  Tell him!

{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes.  A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life.  A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now. 

You might post recent struggles or thoughts.  Maybe just a picture or a quote.  Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post.  Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together.  Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday!  Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below.  Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us!  And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter.  This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:



  1. Wonderful post! And I definitely fall short in this area. I, like you, am more likely to point out when my hubby is being too hard on our little guy. Thanks for the reminder :)

    1. It's hard to see another person making parenting choices you wouldn't...but I'm beginning to see that it may just be God's plan of putting 2 people together and giving the kids a balanced upbringing.

  2. Thank you for such a wonderful post! I too tend to think on some of the negative instead of focusing on the positive. Thanks for pointing that out :o)

  3. You are SO right! For all the times I seek affirmation of my mothering from my husband, I seldom take the time to point out all the ways he is a wonderful father! Thank you for the beautiful reminder!

  4. I love this post. I really need to remember that God made my husband to be the father he is and the mother I am...and that's never going to look the same. I really need to not forget to appreciate my husband even when things are hectic.

  5. Thanks for the reminder! So many times I forget to tell my husband all the wonderful moments that I notice. It is hard when we do things differently...but it does make us a perfect pair. :)

  6. Oh this is so good, if all young wives would get this concept ... that the children HEAR what you say about daddy and also what you 'don't say' through your attitude... a wise mommy will keep her voice quiet and let him have the respect he so deserves. It is very important.

  7. I struggled with this tonight as I do many nights. He's so firm. "Stop crying and go to sleep. You're fine." It took that to finally calm my son down, even as I cringed outside the room. As many said, it's not the way I would do it, but it apparently is just what my son needed. Far be it from me to stifle what God created in fathers. I will be sharing this with my husband. Thanks for always sharing your heart!

    1. Yes! This is just how my husband is at bedtime. But my son calmed a lot quicker with that approach than with mine. God knew what he was doing!

  8. I took the cutest picture of Eric and Charlotte laying on the floor together talking about her day--he was dressed in full work attire . . . a special moment when he drops everything to just be.


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