An Open Letter to Home Schooling Dads

Men we have work to do on ourselves. When we became a home educating family I had expectations. I envisioned well adjusted children and a clean hone and warm meals. I saw the plethora of text books my wife was buying and thought we were just going to be awesome. Off to work I went. Then when I came home reality showed up for a conversation.I quickly learned that the kids would not always be on their best behaviour, our house would always be clean just because my wife was home and a hot meal didn’t always make it to the table. There were still nights of take-out and I was pitching in to do the laundry and clean, yada yada yada. We were living our new lives which didn’t look drastically different from the old lives of both mother and father working. Further more I expected my wife to be instantly happy. She was out of the workforce and a previously toxic social environment. She was home all day with the freedom to travel. What was better than that? Apparently a lot.

What we never considered were the benefits of vacation days for her or myself. Days without children where she and I could just do our own thing or something together. Nope, gone. I still get paid time off but when I am home so is everyone else. It is truly awesome. But there are still times when a day of quiet would be nice. And what about for our wives? Guys we need to consider that for those of us who have the ability to take a day off, that we do so (pre-planned) to give our wives a reprieve to their selves  a few times a year.

A Messy Home
I understand that we work outside of the house all day. Many of us guys would love to come home to a quiet and tidy home. For many of us that is not the case. We come home to a loud home with screaming kids and toys all over the floor and perhaps a wife that is looking at a screen as if the kids didn’t exist. Maybe she has just had it with them and is on the verge of tears. We need to remember that the home is her office. Do any of us clean our offices, cubicles or workspaces every night before we leave? Oh wait, that’s right, we get to leave our work environment and perhaps a cleaning crew comes in to empty the trash and vacuum the floors. She doesn’t leave her office. And while it may sound like paradise to us, if we had to stay at our office for days on end we’d surely start to go a bit batty.

Consider that you even have a house that can get messy. Newsflash… it is messy because it is lived in. God gave us homes and jobs and the ability to earn money so that we can support not only the mortgage and the food, but the people within. As much as we would like to be treated like kings when we walk in the door after a long day at work that isn’t reality. Your day was just as hard as her day. In fact you probably had the pleasure of talking to adults during the course of your day while your wife talked only to children to which she was in authority. Your commute home is your time to wind down a bit from the day, so make the most of it. Ask your wife if she would like to have [insert commute time here] to wind down at the end of everyday.

Ready to Serve

Being a father doesn’t mean we get to come home and sit on our butts after our day at work either. We get to come home to a family and we are blessed with the gift of participation in the lives of our family members. When you were dating your wife you probably took every opportunity to “server” her. Well that obligation has not stopped. No one said this husband/father/home schooling gig was going to be easy on any of us. For those of us who have a wife that is seemingly able to do it all with flying colours, bless you! Even she deserves a man who is ready to serve when he comes home. If your wife is truly lazy and I mean truly, that is a matter tWe hat needs to be addressed biblically with your pastor. However most of our wives are not. But they do get stuck from time to time just as we do on the job. They struggle as we do just in different areas. You need to serve your wife, your family, your home, bottom line. We also need to reach out and have honest conversations with other men. Brothers we must share our junk as well as our joy with each other. That is how iron sharpens iron.

My challenge to us all is that for one week when we come home from work, we jump right in and serve our families in a way that we would not normally. Ask you wife how you can help her when you come home during the week. Ask your children how you can best spend time with them. Show them that being a leader is about progress, not perfection, not entitlement. Show them you are always ready to serve.