I don’t know what your routine is like or what hours you work, but you probably end up exhausted at the end of a long day of working like me. There are some days when I’m on my way home and I feel so tired I could just lie down on the footpath and sleep right there. It’s pretty tempting to just stay at work a little longer, get “a little more done”, push out the day and delay the inevitable crazy time between when I get home and the kids go to sleep. (“witching hour”, a phrase you’ll understand if you have little kids)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Ephesians 5:25, 28
One of the best ways to love your wife is by showing your love and care for the kids. (regardless if she works full-time outside the home or looks after the kids full-time) Your availability to spend time playing with the kids, fixing them dinner, giving them a bath and getting them into bed every night is a way you can spend your energy showing love to both them and your wife.
Why not make a point of looking after your wife even more on hard days for her? If she’s exhausted, let her take a nap or have some alone time. (My wife is pregnant and constantly tired at the moment, so this is particularly good right now) Rejoice each day that you get to serve her and the kids by giving her a break! It’s not just a 50/50 partnership in parenting—give it your all and expect to do most of the parenting when you’re around. Your kids need you just like they need their Mum.
This is what I try to do:
- Get away from work at a time agreed to by your wife. If you know you’re going to be late in advance, make sure your wife knows! Make sure a last minute/urgent stay at work is very, very rare (never if you can do it)
- Don’t dilly dally. There’s always a way to take extra time to get home. Just go the fastest way, even if you’re feeling tired. Once you’re home you will get into the routine and forget you’re tired. (Haha—no one every really forgets, do they?)
- Make it fun! For a while my daughter’s favourite thing to do was jump on the trampoline with me, so every day I had that to look forward to when I got home!
- Don’t kick up your feet and relax until your kids are in bed asleep. At least one of you has to be dealing with them, it may as well be you.
- Pray for your wife and kids each day. This one is extremely important and the one that I need to keep reminding myself to do.
Hopefully that will encourage you to start/keep powering through the day when you get home from work, by investing careful time with your kids!