In my hustled efforts to make sure my children’s needs are met and love buckets are full, sometimes I knock my husband’s dad-legs right out from under him. I forget to let him be the dad.
I know Charlotte’s code language for eggs over medium and just the right way to scramble Audrey’s eggs so she’ll devour them rather than pick at them for 20 minutes. I can tell you how Beckett got the bonk on his forehead and predict (plus or minus 2 minutes) how long it will take him to bonk it again. In the evening, when Charlotte easily falls apart over a misplaced bouncy ball, I understand because her nap was cut short for grocery shopping.
I am privileged to more of the details of our children’s days because I spend the days with them, while Mark goes out into the world. Every weekday morning, he leaves with his coffee and his lunch to be used by God as a means of provision for our little family. Everyday he must choose to fight the good fight in the middle of a culture that tosses integrity out the window in lieu of making a little extra money on a business deal.
What a shift it must be for him to come home—still processing the events of his day—and try to catch up on the little, but significant, details of our day. (The fun part is trying to decipher the details while Audrey & Charlotte talk over each other and Beckett clambers at his pants’ leg).
So, while I’m finishing dinner prep, and Charlotte starts whining about that misplaced bouncy ball, and he holds her to our standard of “a girl with whiny words may be in her room until her words can be sweet,” I swoop in and explain she missed part of her nap and it really isn’t her fault and, knock Daddy right on his bottom. Charlotte observes that she can whine, when she’s tired, and if she’s not a fan of Daddy’s consequences, Mommy might swoop in anyway. Yikes.
Now, is the whining that big of a deal? Not really, especially if I have set her up to fail by not allowing her adequate time to rest. But, is her seeing Daddy knocked down a big deal? Yes. Is Mark feeling like I don’t trust his parenting, his discernment, his deep love for his children a big deal?
So, when Daddy jumps in and provides discipline or consequences even if he doesn’t have the whole story, I will remember that empowering him to be the dad is far more important than the impact of Audrey having an unnecessary time out or Charlotte losing bouncy ball privileges for the day. As we moms spend our days immersed in the details of little lives, we make hundreds of mistakes, and as we grow, we trust God to honor our hearts, and as only He can, make our mistakes work for good in our children’s lives.
Can we trust God to do the same as our men come home and transition, in a matter of minutes, from fighting out in the world to fighting for God’s will in the lives of their children? Can we decide to let them be the dads this week?
Join me in standing behind and beside our husbands as they father our children—let’s trust their love and His love to make even mistakes beautiful.