This Is For The Men Supporting Women And Mothers

woman, man and baby taking photo surrounded grass
Derek Owens / Unsplash

To the moms who do it all, the ones pushing a cart through the Target with more kids then arms, the ones surviving in between the hours of coffee and wine, we acknowledge each other, we lock eyes and nod in some secret glance of solidarity. We have learned to praise moms in every stage of the trenches…we have acknowledged our struggles, we have opened up about sleepless-nights and postpartum depression. We have accepted the messy bun and yoga pants style and locked arms in the fact that raising human beings is exhausting and frightening and all-be-it incredibly rewarding, it’s equally draining at times. We pat each other on the backs and pay for each other’s coffee and deliver meals. It’s beautiful and a gift the sisterhood of motherhood is….

But ladies, don’t shoot me please…

What about the Dads? What are we doing for the men behind the scenes? The ones that work extensive hours so that we may stay home in the trenches. The ones who endure way more hen the 40 hour work week so that we have all we need. The ones who get up before the sun or work through the nights.

The men behind the stay at home moms…

…is anyone cutting them slack? Is anyone checking on their mental health and well being? Is anyone patting them on the back when they’ve taken the entire brood of children out for groceries and ice cream in moms absence?

To the man who wakes up before the sun,

The man who is getting texts about children fighting, the leaky faucet and the “you forgot to take it the garbage” messages…

The man who is trying to manage a crew or run a machine or answer work calls or save a life…

To the man who carries the burden to pay the bills and provide for their families needs,

To the man whose “honey-do” list is greater than the “thanks honey for all you’ve done” list

To the man who has had a rough day but has to come into a house full of disasters, to a wife full of doubt and a dinner not fully thawed…

To the man who is trying to figure out how to start a new job or end an old one because he wants more for himself but has to risk so much to move his family …

To the man who has spent over an hour in traffic just to get from that job to home and his nerves are fried but his wife has sent out the SOS message that she is just done with the kids and needs him to handle it when he gets home so he has got about 5 minutes to regroup and gain patience again before walking through the door,

To the man who has to be gone more days then he is home in order to give his family all he has dreamed they deserve,

To the man who’s so unsure if he’s on the right path but wants so badly to be sure because he has a whole family depending on him,

To the man who has missed a ball game or a birthday,

To the man who has tried to wash the baseball uniform or the ballet dress and gotten crap when he shrinks it, even though he was just trying to help,

To the man who has rocked a crying baby or changed a bed sheet in the middle of the night just to let his exhausted wife get some rest…

To the man who has used his only day off to do household chores, or takes the kids just so his wife could get a break,

To the man who once had a woman in heels and lipstick and now comes home to a messy bun and poop-stained oversized shirt,

To the man who pushes that same brood of kids through the target aisles but gets comments like “oh dad has his hands full”…

To every single man who is a dad, a worker, a husband, and a partner…

You are what fuels us. You are who saves us when we are run down.

You are who loves us when we feel too ugly to be beautiful. You carry the responsibility and weight of our family and there are not enough people singing your praise. There aren’t enough people checking on your mental health and patting you on the back for the endless work you do outside and inside the home.

Ladies I am guilty. Soooo guilty. I am guilty of putting my mental health before his. My to-do list more of a priority. I am guilty of greeting him with a list of things I failed at today the moment he walks in the door. I’m guilty of asking “how are you?” And not taking the time to listen….to truly listen.

I am so grateful to live in a culture that is continuing to empower women and mothers.

Because motherhood is hard. But so is parenthood too. And marriage. And maintaining communication and a loving relationship while raising children. And if we’re being honest, most days I’m only succeeding in one of those fields. In a time when keeping my little people alive is grueling and hard work, I sometimes forget what it takes to keep my marriage alive. To pat my partner on the back.

Friends, can we please remember to pat our husbands on the back? To remember that our trenches may seem to be messier but that we are both on the same team together. We are equal partners, each doing our best in the role we have in raising a family and keeping a marriage alive.

Two days ago, my husband took our three kids out of the house for a few hours so I could do some lesson planning for the upcoming homeschool year. While outside letting my kids live large on some ice cream cones he had an elderly man observe our children, asked him a few questions and patted him on the back and told him he was a “damn good father and husband.” I lit up as I heard him re-telling the story. I couldn’t agree more with this total stranger and I was so grateful for his kind words to my better half. But it was a reminder to me that I need to be patting his back more. To be thanking him for all things big and small and to remember that he deserves a break just as much as I do.

So today I’m going to slap some post-it notes all over the house as kind and positive reminders to my husband for how grateful I am for all he does. When he walks through the door later I’m going to ask him how his day was, and genuinely listen, and I’m going to remember that these men are the other half to our whole and we need to remember to recognize them and fill their cups too.

To that man…

The man who is all those things. That does all those things and still finds time for it all. I see you. I love you. I am grateful and proud of you. TC mark

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I don’t know how to swim and hate being in water where my feet can’t touch the bottom. Follow Amanda on Instagram or read more articles from Amanda on Thought Catalog.