Dads, if you are a home school parent reading this article, then your wife is amazing. Now, how do I know that? Well, first she puts up with you (just kidding). Second, she is working with God to make your kids everything He wants them to be, and she does not charge you a thing for that service. I think that makes her amazing. A couple of years ago, I realized how easy I had it as a home school dad because of my amazing wife. That realization bothered me a whole lot.
Monday through Friday, I would ramble off to the office and spend about nine hours a day building things, participating in fulfilling projects, going to lunch with my buddies, and receiving recognition for my diligent efforts. On weekends, I would spend my day playing with the kids and participating in some fulfilling power-tool projects.
Meanwhile, my sweet wife, Belinda, was spending 16 hours a day, seven days a week as a wife and home school mom. She was working harder than I was, and there was not too much building, fulfillment, or recognition at her job. Her job was mostly teaching, reading, cleaning up, and answering the same question about bugs over and over again. My sweet wife was getting burned out, and I needed to change something, and change it fast.
I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do about the situation. It was pretty obvious He had been waiting for me to ask because He immediately gave me a number of solutions. These ranged from teaching a few subjects myself to taking on some of the house cleaning duties (yikes!). One of the most powerful solutions was to give my wife a Night Off.
So what is a Night Off? At our home, Belinda gets Tuesday night to do anything she wants. From 6:30 p.m. to whenever, she goes to her ladies’ Bible study, to a movie, to the library, to the store, to anywhere she wants to get away for a while. She gets to talk with adults for an evening, and she does not have to answer any questions about bugs. I make no plans for Tuesday night other than to watch the kids while Belinda goes outside to play.
The result of the weekly Night Off is that my wife has hope; she has something to look forward to. Belinda loves our kids and loves to homeschool; however, she needs a regular break from her responsibilities just like I do. The Night Offgives her a chance to refresh and recharge. I get one night a week to take care of my kids, change the diapers, and answer all the questions about bugs. This is good.
Dads, please consider giving your wife a Night Off or even a Day Off. Make it a regular event. Budget some money for this Night Off so she can go out and do something fun. Coordinate with another enlightened home school dad, so that your wife can have another home school mom to go out and play with. Reward your wife for her faithful, diligent work, and watch her spirit blossom.
If you’d like to share your thoughts on all of this, or if you have any questions about bugs, please contact me at ImperfectFather@Gmail.com.