Boys Club

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting by myself and having lunch. I was reading a magazine, watching sports on TV, and checking email on my phone. At the next table, there was group of 3 guys talking; and I wasn’t really listening until one of them said this:

“There’s no way my wife could leave for a couple of days. I don’t think I could handle it with my kids. All the meals and baths and stuff. It’s more than I can deal with.”

I stopped. I wanted to get up, walk over, sit down, look at him and go, “REALLY?!?” (and then slap him). You couldn’t handle having the kids for a couple of days? Really? You couldn’t handle being the sole care giver for 48 hours? Really?!?

Listen, if you are a dad and you couldn’t be solely responsible for your kids for a couple of nights, without…

…your wife preparing all the meals
…your wife writing out instructions on which kids get which medicines, etc
…your mommy coming over to watch them so you can go golf or to help get them to bed
…just putting them in front of the TV, Wii, or Game Boy for a couple days…

…then you aren’t doing your job as a husband and father. You’re immature at best, selfish at worst, and I guarantee you cause your wife more stress than anyone else in her life. It’s time to grow up.

Your kids need alone time with you. They need to bond with you without their mom around. They need to see how you handle dinner (and carry out doesn’t count…cook something!) They need to see how you do bath time. They need to see you doing dishes, picking up, and keeping the house in good order. They need to see you take them to swim practice, to their basketball game, and to church on Sunday! Quite simply, they need to see their dad being dad.

My boys love Boys Club. In fact, we are just coming off a Boys Club weekend this weekend. That’s what we call it when when my wife is gone for a few hours or for the weekend. They look forward to it. I look forward to it. She really looks forward to it!

Here’s the point: Be engaged AND intentional in the life of your kids. Don’t just be a paycheck.

40% of babies born in White families today have no father in the home. The number jumps to over 70% when you talk about babies born in the African American community. Those are homes where there is no father at all. That doesn’t count the homes where a dad is physically there, but in all the ways that matter he’s not there!

Here’s the challenge: Be alone with your kids for an overnight or for a weekend. Send your wife away somewhere. I’m guessing you won’t have to twist her arm!

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Now, in case you are a mom reading this (or you men want to show her this post when she looks at you funny for suggesting she go away for a night), you need to understand your husband is not a mom. He is not going to do things the way you do.

He’s not going to feed them the way you do. That’s OK.
He’s not going to treat them the way you do. That’s OK.
He’s not going to do bedtime the way you do. That’s OK

Why? Because he is their father. He loves them, cares about them, and will protect them. They will still all be there when you get home. Let your husband test his own parenting skills. Only doing everything you tell him to do when it comes to the kids isn’t having an engaged father/husband…it’s having a male nanny that brings in a paycheck.

You want and need your husband to be engaged in your kids’ lives. You need him to be willing to take them off your hands for a change. You need time away from the kids, and just as importantly, they need time away from you.

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OK, back to the men. I think it’s time more of us men Stand Up, Step Up, and Suck It Up when it comes to being actively involved in the raising of our kids.

So, don’t tell me you don’t think you could handle your kids alone for a couple of days while your wife gets a much needed break.

You can do it.

It’s called being a dad.

Comments

  1. Hector Rivera says:

    This is so on point! I have 8 y/o twins (boy and girl) and we love our time together. We call it Papá-Kids day and even my prissy ballerina gets dirty. I was at her ballet recital a few weeks ago and saw the saddest thing. A little girl in the younger dance class was frozen by fear. The poor girl looked so scared. Their teacher noticed a few of them were a bit uncomfortable and told them to get a partner from the crowd. The little girl got her dad, who walked heron stage and simply stood off to the side without engaging. He lost such a great opportunity to make a memory…
    Thanks for all you do. I live reading these posts!

  2. Daniel says:

    Good words, Dustin. I don’t think I’ve done it for a full 48 hours, but even taking care of the kids for a few hours always gives me new appreciation for all that my wife does every day. Plus it gives her a chance to rest and recharge. Thanks for saying it so well in this post.

  3. Kevin Bogus says:

    I’ll be honest. This week I came home after work to spend the time with my son while my wife was at work. I was tired and worn out from work and would enjoy nothing more than watching tv. But I decided to suck it up and be the husband and father that I’m called to be. I helped by cleaning the kitchen, playing with my son, and then got him to bed, before I took care of my needs. Thank you for the

  4. David says:

    My mother tried to get my father to spend time and activities with his four sons. I have always remembered his response to a very heated argument between them…..I put food, clothing and a roof over their heads…what else do you expect? I am a “baby boomer” my kids are grown and gone with their own families now…..Men did NOT “take care of children….that was “womens work” God forbid that a man should feed his kids, change diapers, put them to bed, put a band=aid on….comfort them when they were injured or hurt and on and on…..my father was a closed drinker and a very abusive man….if police were called for incidents of “domestic violence” they would NOT get involved as it was NOT considered a crime how a man “ruled” his family. In raising my children, I often recognized what NOT to do, but had no idea how or what were the best things to do. I had no idea about how to be the “leader” of my home. It is the greatest thing I failed in. I’m 67 yr old, married for 45 years (to the same wonderful wife) and retired. Men, that time with your children will NEVER come again, one day at a time. Being a father and leader is a sacrifice and a servant. Eph 6:4 Fathers,do not provoke your children to anger, bring them up in the nurture(discipline) and the instruction of the Lord. “

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