Whether you have one kid running around, or a bunch (6 in my household!), finding time to run an online business as a work from home dad can rely on some amazing multitasking skills. But let’s be honest, it’s not all about us and growing our business. The end goal is to make enough money to build a sustainable income, or pay off debt, or just take a cruise somewhere without the kids. But nothing can be done without the help of mom.
We have to make sure mom is taken care of too because if you are growing your business as a side hustle, that means there is simply less time to help her around the house. So I have 15 things you can do to help mom keep the chaos in order.
Get Up With the Baby
For some reason, whether it’s on reality TV shows, or just when talking to parents in general, most of the dads do not get up when a baby is waking up at night. Sometimes it’s out of necessity, sometimes moms are just lighter sleepers. If you can muster the energy to get up with the baby you will be doing mom a lot of favors.
One reason I did it (and still do) is that I wanted to make sure mom got enough sleep during the night because I knew her days were hectic. When my wife was a CNA and I worked at my hotel front desk everyone could hear me say “Jess works a million times harder than me so if I have to get up with the baby at night I don’t care because my job isn’t physically as demanding”.
I stuck to that claim and even now that she is up running around with the kids all day I still get up with our youngest one at night (even if I end up talking junk to the baby as me and her go back and forth about laying down at 1 am!). So do mom a favor and help out in the middle of the night.
Keep the Bedroom Clean
Ok this one I will freely admit I am not the best at, but I try for a few weeks at a time..then it goes back to being a mess. My wife gets on me about it, as she should because it isn’t hard to keep it clean, but if you are like me you are thinking”man stuff just goes somewhere for a few days and I forget about it”.
Trust me that is not the answer mom wants to hear!! So make sure when you see her cleaning up you jump up and help too (I also slack on that).
It becomes one less thing she has to worry about during the day and will make it easier for her to relax when she is ready to call it a night.
Organize Your Mornings
I am not an organized person when it comes to working. Whether it’s my office desk or just general important paperwork I may need from time to time, I am always a messy unorganized person. When it comes to the kids? I’m like a minute by minute planning robot.
If you have 1 kid the morning can be hectic and insane. If you have more than one it can be downright chaos for an hour. What’s one way to combat the chaos, create a structured morning!
During the school year we would get the kids up, have their clothes picked out, their teeth brushed and my daughter’s hair done (the only thing mom has to do unless we have an appointment) in 50 minutes.
After that, I would get my 5 year old ready for school at 8, and take him to his bus stop by 8:45. When I get back home I make the two youngest their breakfast and the morning tasks are handled.
Now that the kids are out of school it is a lot simpler. Everyone gets up at their random times between 6 and 8, they more than likely act up for a little while, then me or my mom will make breakfast for them. Having the routine down to the point where mom doesn’t need to help will give her a few more minutes to sleep in each morning.
Do the Dishes
It sounds simple because it is. If mom makes breakfast, lunch, or dinner, don’t make her wash and dry the dishes afterward. Cooking sometimes can be hard work, especially if you are using the oven in the summertime! Take one task off her plate by either washing the dishes and putting them away, or loading them into the dishwasher.
Do the Laundry
Sometimes doing the laundry can be a never-ending cycle for a parent. It may seem like every time you get a load or two folded and put away, 5 loads pop up from nowhere. Just because mom may be home while you are at work, or home working on your business, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help out with the laundry.
If you have a lot of clothes that need to be washed in one shot spend the 15-20 bucks and go to a local laundromat. You will be taking care of a hugely time-consuming task and even if you wait to fold them at least you can tell mom that you have clean clothes to choose from!
Help With Homework
Homework can be a pain in the ass, for a number of reasons. Mainly because your kid may hate homework. If they aren’t interested in it then it is harder for them to focus. Why should mom be the only one to deal with the stress and headache of figuring out this new math system?
Suck it up and help with the homework because it will help you become more interested in your child’s schoolwork, but you can also see the progress from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
Trust me there isn’t a better feeling than a teacher telling you that if you stick to the current system your child will improve a subject that they previously weren’t strong in (it makes all the frustrating moments worth it!). So open up a book and get ready to help your kids learn.
Help Cook Dinner
This is piggybacking on the do the dishes section, but if you can help cook meals, or speed up the process why wouldn’t you. There will be sometimes where it just isn’t manageable (small kitchen area), but if you can help mom by peeling potatoes, or throwing something that’s been prepped into the oven then whats stopping you?
I personally love to cook so anytime Chef Thompson can get in the kitchen I am taking full advantage of it. Do the same and let mom catch a few minutes of relaxation while you whip up dinner for the family.
Go to Appointments
Depending on the size of your family you may have a lot of appointments to go to during the week. Whether it’s the doctor, the dentist, or any other type of appointment, sometimes helping mom by going in her place can be better in the long run. It gives you familiarity with the important people in your child’s life not named mom and dad, and you can provide a perspective that mom may not be able to. There will also inevitably be times where two appointments need to be done at once.
It doesn’t help if you go to an appointment without the proper information, so make sure you get a rundown from mom about the key talking points.
Take the Kids on a Quick Trip to the Park
One great way to give mom some time to relax is by loading all the kids up for a trip to the park. Even if you have a backyard that the kids can play in, going to the park can be a great escape for mom. She will have time to read a book, relax, or take a nice hot bath, and at the same time you are tiring your kids out by letting them run around all day.
If you want to make it even more enjoyable pack a few lunches (I recommend the Uncrustable PB& J sandwiches) and make it an all-day trip that you guys will enjoy.
When I go to the store I’m a man on a mission. I know exactly what I need to get and I’m in and out in record time. If you wife creates a list, take a few of the kids with you to go grocery shopping. If you are brave and want to take all of them I will wish you good luck right now, as they can be a cluster when everyone wants something from the 25 different aisles you may go down.
Give Her Quiet Time
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take the kids somewhere, but everyone needs to decompress after a busy day. If you notice that your wife likes to do certain things at night (like reading or listening to music) as a way to wind down, give her space and let her relax.
When you are trying to decompress it can be frustrating constantly getting interrupted, so make sure you don’t need anything from her before sending her to the couch, or upstairs to get some much needed “me time” for herself.
Spend Quality Time With Her
You didn’t think I wasn’t going to include this, did you? Mom not only needs time for herself but she also needs time WITH YOU. This could be something as simple as watching a movie together or giving her a massage or a foot rub. Any of those three things are surefire ways to show her you care, and you will make yourself feel better knowing it’s another way you can help her relax and enjoy her free time.
Treat Her to a Date Night
A date night can be a number of things, but it should include dinner and a fun activity (if anyone can talk my wife into seeing Equalizer 2 with me I’ll give you $5!!). Planning a night out where you can have fun and not worry about the kids is something that makes all relationships work, and it should happen at least once a month if you can afford it.
My recommendations? Her favorite restaurant, a movie or dancing, and relaxing when you get home. Call me old-fashioned and predictable but trust me it will work!
Let Her Have a Girls Night Out
Every mom needs to socialize with her girlfriends. Help arrange a night out for her to go out and have a few drinks with her friends. When I first moved here from Texas I made a point to coordinate a girls night out with my wife and her best friend, I didn’t expect them to be out all night clubbing, but I know she had a good time and I was happy to make the effort for her.
You need to do the same because sometimes mom will get tired of looking at your ugly mug! If you can plan a day for her to go out with her friends and enjoy herself without worrying about anything going on at him and will be another excellent way for her to keep her sanity.
Don’t Forget Important Dates
Do not..i repeat DO NOT forget her birthday, anniversary, mother’s day, or valentines day! I’m not saying you have to go all out and spend hundreds of dollars on each gift, but make sure you remember those dates. Last year I sent my wife flowers on June 26th…our anniversary is the 28th..she got a good chuckle out of that one!
Those dates are always important, and if you forget one expect to fight your way out of the doghouse. Even if you don’t have wads of cash to spend on a gift your thoughts and small actions can have a big impact on how her mood will be towards you for a couple of days. I had a genius idea of buying clothes for her birthday (something completely out of my ordinary gift selections), and it turned out being something the whole family enjoyed (sorry Macy’s you are way too rich for my blood!).
How Will You Help Mom Relax?
So now that you have seen some of the ways work from home dads can help mom relax, what are some of the things you will do on this list? Leave a comment below! Also, don’t forget to share this article and reach out to me directly at email@example.com.
I’ll talk to you soon!