Alyssa Miceli, the Mother of the Year® from Hawaii, is like mothers everywhere. She admits she’s complained about her husband when it comes to taking care of their three children. She’s even had arguments with him on Father’s Day.
Yet recently she’s had occasion to rethink all that fathers do, as her husband has been deployed for the last five months with the Navy and ALL the parenting has fallen on her. Here are a few of the things she appreciates more about her husband now.
Running errands. Just having him home so she can run to the store without the children – that’s huge, she said. With three kids, just getting everyone dressed and ready at the same time is an effort. “I can’t wait to not look stressed out all the time,” she said.
2. Different approach to parenting. She misses the little fun things he did with the kids – letting them jump on the bed before bedtime, having them help him wash the car in their street clothes, just the every day “eating jelly out of the jar, on Dad’s lap, watching cartoons,” kind of moments. While he’s away, everything has to be so structured to just keep up with normal things, Alyssa said.
3. Another brain – because you can’t remember everything. Recently, she put the 1-year-old down for a minute while she went for towels for the beach. When she returned, the baby had gotten into a can of powdered baby formula she had left by the door to give to a friend and was both eating and wearing it. If her husband had been home, the towels would have been prepped before, someone would have been holding the baby, or she’d have already remembered to take the formula to the friend.
4. Division of Labor. He reads a story to the kids while she does dishes, or he gets the kids ready while she does something else. While her husband is gone, there are the same amount of hours in the day, the same amount of chores, yet now, there is only one person to do them all.
5. Just being a family together. Going out, going to church, playing a the beach, having a picnic. “Just getting out of the car with my husband there is so much easier.”
Alyssa’s advice to other mothers – love on your husbands a little bit more. You don’t realize all they do.
Kim Hoey Stevenson is a freelance writer in Delaware and a member of the American Mothers National Board of Directors.