Dear younger Mama,
You know those wonderful kids you have, the ones you love so much that you would willingly lay your life down for – did you know that the best thing you could do for them is to love their Daddy? I wish an older mom had told me that when my babies were born – and maybe someone did, but I didn’t get it.
It didn’t seem so obvious when they were born. You stared at their tiny fingers, the sweet cheeks and their innocent gaze and you thanked God for the privilege of birthing such beautiful creatures.
As you cradled those little bundles you couldn’t get your thoughts past the next feeding or diaper change. You were thankful that you got your shower on some days.
It felt wonderful to be needed didn’t it? After all, you were this little one’s lifeline. The first six weeks were always the hardest – the sleepless nights, the sore nipples and the seemingly endless diaper changes – especially if you had two born right in a row.
As a mom, it was your job to make sure these little ones were alive and thriving, and you took your job with utmost care.
Then the email came with a signature quote:
“The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
And you paused and you wondered if the opposite was also true – was the best thing a mother could do for her children — to love their father?
And maybe the quote struck a chord in your conscience because even though you were pouring all that you had in caring for these little ones, you hadn’t done much to care for their Daddy?
But you reasoned he was a grown man able to feed and care for himself. He didn’t seem to need your help as these little ones whose very lives depended on you. Besides, it didn’t seem that he was really doing his share of helping you and did not seem to appreciate your hard work. So you let him fend for himself.
And the years passed and the babies grew up but their needs didn’t grow less – just changed. You found that yes, their Daddy could fend for himself but the intimacy in your relationship had fallen to the wayside.
While you studied books on mothering and agonized over ways to make sure these little ones were being molded well – you forgot how to be kind to their Daddy. Then you wondered why your relationship was so strained at times? For years you were convinced that it was his issues that were at the root of it all and occasionally maybe yours as well.
So you tried to put up a good front before the kids but you could tell they weren’t buying any of it. Whenever their Daddy wrapped his arms around you, it was like a magnet for them. They’d come and wrap their little arms around both of you with smiles that went from ear to ear.
That should have been a clue – for that was when they seemed the happiest. The opposite was true as well – they became the naughtiest on the days when your relationship felt broken and torn.
Then that horrible day happened when anger exploded over breakfast – over pancakes and syrup and ugly, painful words flew over their little heads and you said the “D” word that you promised you’d never say. You saw the frightened look on your oldest who understood what you meant.
You would do anything to redo that day but once uttered the words had done their damage and left their imprints on little hearts for years to come.
Thankfully, not all days were like that. The best investments of your time were the times you took the effort to be kind to him — that did not come easily to you. Admittedly it was hard because deep inside you felt he did not deserve it.
With each passing year, those little ones are going farther away as they rightfully should and you become more aware of the gap in your relationship — the one with their Daddy.
It’s the month of love — another Valentine’s Day you will spend together, and rather than just toss the day aside as another ordinary day — maybe it’s just the nudge you need to do something special, something kind for the one you gave your heart to?
Yes, you love the offspring you begot together but to make them truly happy and ultimately yourself, why not treat him as if he were Jesus? Yes, that was something an older, wiser woman had suggested years ago. She was right. She had also said treat your children as if you were Jesus to them.
Both seemed impossible to do and still do. But with God’s love, all things are possible.
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Yes, to love their Daddy is still the best thing a mama could do for her children.