Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a few different women’s groups to share concepts from ‘Win at Home First’. The talks went great, the Q&A was fun, and then inevitability someone asks some variation of, “how do I get my husband to do anything when they are home?”
My internal response is frustration because passive men at home annoy me. However, if I am being honest I can fall into a trap of being more focused on my own needs when I am at home – the blog I need to write, the emails I need to follow up on, and the list goes on – that I may want to disengage with the family to do my own thing.
We all need to be reminded that although we may be great leaders at work, our day does not end when we walk through the front door of our house at 6 PM. Matter of fact, our families are for life, whereas employers are temporary, since we often switch jobs multiple times, eventually to retire.
However, we all need to step up and below are some great reminders.
Try this to get started:
Ask your kids, ‘when I am not working and at home, what most often do you see me doing?’
Kids in their naivety of social awareness most often will blurt out what you actually do, even if it could hurt your ego.
What answers will you get? Will they be, ‘you are always on your phone.’ ‘You are always on your laptop.’ ‘You are on the couch watching news.’
Yes, we all need to relax, look at our phone, and occasionally do some work while we are at home, but that cannot be the norm mode our kids and spouse see us in.
Here are 4 reasons why we can’t be passive at home and instead need to engage with the family.
1. Our kids need our presence over our provision.
Yes, we need to bring home a paycheck, but that is not our only role as parents. Matter of fact, our kids want our presence over our provision. Our kids would rather be with us, talk with us, play with us, then being alone on their technology, wearing new shoes, because we are not engaging with them.
What action can you take this week to be more present with your kids?
2. Our kids need a role model of what an intentional parent is.
I learned that men wash the dishes, help around the house, attend every kid’s activity that I can because my dad modeled it so well. I am very grateful that I had a model for what a serving spouse and parent looks like.
If you did not, then I am sorry, because it can be hard to go against the ways we were taught. However, we must model the type of parent we want them to become down the road.
How can you serve your family this week above and beyond your normal duties?
3. Our spouses need to be pursued.
We have to up our game so that our spouses know we care about them, think about them, and love them. Reality is, if we don’t, they will look elsewhere for that emotional connection. Our wives will get lost in romantic novels, TV shows, women’s porn is on the rise, or even worse to a man that does pay attention to them. As for women, your husbands may go to their work to find their value, porn as well, or other coping mechanisms.
How can you pursue your spouse, so they know you are thinking of them?
4. Our work team needs us to be engaged at home.
What?? How does my work team benefit when I am engaging with my family at home?? Because when you get back to work, you are energized! You are able to be present at work because you are not trying to manage a broken home via text while you are in work meetings. You are mentally present during the work meeting and not replaying the fight you had with your spouse that morning.
I also know from experience, the wins at work feel a lot better when you can celebrate them with your spouse as opposed to not sharing for fear of being reminded how much you work.
Come on, let’s do this! The teams we lead at home and work need us.
BONUS – Some of you may be asking, how do I encourage my spouse if they are the passive one?
I recommend finding ways to encourage your spouse for the good they do in the house. Often the best motivator to get desired results is to encourage the behaviors we want, instead of complaining about behaviors that are missing.
Thank you for reading!