Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Being a Better Husband

I wrote my Twin Girls Top 10 about things I needed to do about two weeks ago. It was all in good fun until I got down to number ten. The last item was to be a better husband so my girls will have a good example of how they deserve to be treated. This line of thinking has been stuck in my head for quite a while now. The fact that their idea of what a man should be will come almost entirely from me is beyond scary.

I don't know why setting an example seems to be more critical now with girls than it did with Braden. He is also getting his example from me. I guess it comes from that innate fatherly instinct to protect your little girls. They're not even here yet and I'm already wrapped around their little fingers.

For much of my life I thought I would be the typical Dad as portrayed on TV. I thought I would be the 1950 version of Dad. I would work. I would come home. I would sit in my recliner, drink beer, and watch sports. I didn't need to cook, clean, or do anything else.

Thankfully reality eventually set in. Now I don't even have a recliner.

After work I try to help the best I can. I like to cook actually. I don't think anyone likes to clean, but I help a little. I share the duties with Braden as well. Sometimes I may need to be reminded of what those duties are, but once prodded I can help.

Being an example for the girls is much more than all that though. It is not necessarily about dutifully pulling my share of the load. I can't represent my part in the marriage as the ox that carries the heavy load because he has too. Dad can't be the guy that does all these things out of a sense of duty or worse yet just to stay out of trouble.

I have to be loving above all else. I  read a verse from the book of John today where Jesus says, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." My attitude and help around the house must be taken in the same light. I am not being commanded. That is not the point. The point is that if I love Arica, I should want to help her as much as possible. I should show my love through my actions.

I should happily mop the floor.

I should joyfully fold the clothes.

I should rejoice in changing a dirty diaper.

Let me be the first to admit that this type attitude is not easy for me. I'm human. I would rather watch a ballgame than do any of that stuff. And that is why I wrote #10 the way I did. I have a lot of room to improve as a husband. There is always room to improve, and I want to strive towards a more perfect love that can be seen easily by my children.

These are just the things I think about when my mind wanders. I think it's a lot more productive than my pre-children day dreaming of fishing and cold beer.


Brandy@YDK said...

you have the right attitude though and i'm sure you are a far better husband and daddy than some.

WeaselMomma said...

Arica is one lucky and smart lady. She chose herself a good man to partner in life with. None of us are perfect, but you strive to be the best husband and father that you can. You're doing a marvelous job.

Rob said...

Knowing and working toward being a better man, husband and father is important and now that you know you can take action. I don't know you personally but from what I read you seem like a pretty awesome guy, father and husband. We can all be better that is just how it goes but admitting you need to be better is alot more then most people do.

Katherine said...

If you figure out how to happily mop the floor and joyfully fold clothes, please pass those things on to me....I'd love to know!

Seriously, I think it's great that you're thinking about these things. So many men (and women) would not. Arica is very lucky and so are your children.

PJ Mullen said...

I had the same sort of feelings when our daughter was first born, that I needed to figure out different ways to improve what I was doing in the husband department. I've added a few new things, but I still can't bring myself to happily fold laundry.

B said...

Wow! This was an insightful thought provoking post. I have been striving to teach my sons to go about their tasks each day joyfully. It's even in our house rules. So much easier said than done, but important to say it none the less!

Manic Mommy said...

I don't know that you have to do it joyfully. Oftentimes "without complaint" is the best we can muster.

I think the more important example might be to show them (boys and girls) that you do what you do because you love Arica, and them - and because it's your responsibility.

You get an A+ for thinking long and hard about it.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Great post man. Seems like you have your priorities in the right place, and those girls are going to benefit immensely from that.

Old School/New School Mom said...

I second the rejoicing in changing a dirty diaper! Good thinking!

Melisa with one S said...

Guess what? Arica would probably rather watch a ballgame than do any of that stuff, too. :)

You're a good man. Your daughters are going to be just fine.