7 Effective Ways a Partner Can Support a Mom While She's Raising Kids
Hey Girl, let's talk about motherhood.
These days, there’s a lot of focus on the first 6 weeks postpartum. We know that women need lots of support to recover from her birth and to adjust to the pace of becoming a mother. This is a time that brings a lot of physical and emotional changes to a woman, and it’s important that women are prepared for it.
But what about the first few years of a woman’s journey through motherhood?
If the first 6 weeks postpartum are like a short sprint in the race of raising a family, then the first few years are a marathon. And while it’s true that you've probably recovered from childbirth by the time your baby is a toddler, there’s a good chance that you’re still going to need emotional and physical support while you’re doing the hardest job on the planet: raising little humans.
If you’re raising toddlers and young kids right now, you’re probably not going to argue with me when I say,
Raising kids is a non-stop job, whether you like the working conditions or not. Whether you’re healthy or sick, full of energy or dragging like a dead battery, you're expected to get up, show up and shut the fuck up.
Too often, women just go on auto-pilot to get all the things done. I know that I’m guilty of this sometimes- what about you, Mama? With all of the stress of working in and out of the home, raising kids, organizing your lives, and dealing with family it can feel easier to take on more of the load of motherhood rather than ask for help, amiright?
And if I know you, you’re feeling pretty stressed out and stretched thin; unable to give one hundred percent to any one area of your life. And because of this, you feel a lot of guilt and doubt about yourself. Sister, I’m just like you!
But if you’ve been unable to muster up the energy to tell your partner what you need to feel like more of a human being, I’ve got you covered.
So, read on and get ready to hit the share button- I'm about to give your significant other a few ideas about how to support YOU, while you support the weight of the world on your shoulders. ( I told you I had you, Girl! )
Pass that phone, tablet or laptop over to your partner now!
Oh hey there, Partner in Parenthood!
Have you been looking for insight into how to support your baby-mama while she takes on most of the emotional load of motherhood? I know it's hard for you, too. Sometimes it can seem like all of this parenting stuff just comes naturally for her, right? That may or may not be true. But I know how difficult it is for a couple to raise kids together; that's why I wanted to give you 7 ways you can reach out and help her. It may seem like she doesn't need you to get all the stuff done, but you're so, so important to her right now.
So for now, let's imagine that she's the best goalie in the NHL: she can't keep everything out of the net without the help of some awesome defense. That's you, you're the D. And I know how much you can help her by clearing the puck of parenthood once in awhile!
Read on to start formulating a game plan that will have you both winning!
Give Her a Miniature Stay-Cation.
Well that one surprised you, didn’t it? It may shock you to know how many moms would LOVE to have a party-for-one in her own home. It requires no makeup, no conversation and no pants. And while the typical GNO’s are fun once in awhile, feeling the freedom of the house to yourself for a couple of hours is…epic.
If you leave the house with the kids she can do whatever damn thing she wants and needs to do for herself, without feeling any guilt or responsiblilty for anyotherthing. So pack up the kids and head to the park or even to grandma’s for a sleepover and give her some S P A C E.
Give Her the Gift of Sleep.
I mean, duh. Nobody can exist on a sleep deficit forever without finally getting sick or losing their minds, and that includes the mama in your life. Just throw her a bone once in awhile, and offer to deal with the night/early morning routines. Even if you work and she stays home with the kids, she needs sleep too.
Ask Her What She Needs You to Do.
Honestly, this is so easy to do but it can be so hard for her to ask! It may take her awhile to get comfortable with this one. It's not your fault if you aren't already doing this, especially if she seems to really have her shit together!
Give her a chance to start counting on you. In the meantime, you can do things like shooting her a text her to say, “On my way home, Sexy- need me to pick up anything?”
Seems like a small thing to do but it can have some big impact. Because I’m gonna be really honest here- she does need you to pick up something. Dinner and the vacuum would be great, actually.
Give Her Permission to Admit How Hard This is.
Look- I know it’s not easy to support someone else when you’re also stuggling to juggle all the stuff (have I mentioned how challenging it is to raise kids?). But the truth is that nobody is suffering like a mom is suffering. Even if she seems to have it all together, she’s probably beating herself up inside because she doesn’t enjoy every second of it. In fact, some days she may hate it more than she loves it and that’s ok. It’s really helpful if you give her a little space to vent about it all.
Just a simple question like, “This is really hard, isn’t it? Want to talk it out?” All you have to do is give her permission to admit that this shit is really hard. That's it.
Talk About Sex.
I’ve been married for 17 years and 4 kids so I have some experience when I say this: the first and easiest thing to be neglected when you’re in the trenches of raising kids is sex.
Let me be perfectly honest- when all she does is save the net from every shot and rebound, every second of the day, sex may feel like an overtime game. We all know that when the game goes into OT, everyone is tired and burning out.
But, she wants to talk about it. She wants to communicate with you and hear how you feel about it, too.
So, instead of saying something like, “Babe- I’m so horny and we never have sex anymore” how about trying, “I totally understand that sex isn’t a huge priority for you right now because you're exhausted –is there anything I can do to help you? I love you and I want us to feel close again.”
You just never know what could happen next…
Stand UP For Her.
It’s hard to be a mom today- every choice she makes is subject to criticism: from family, friends, co-workers and even the sanctimommies who judge her online.
So the next time you hear your mother trying to tell her how to do something or question why she isn’t doing something, stand up for her.
Trust that your baby-mama has instincts and reasons for every decision she makes for your children. You’re either on her team or you’re a loser. You decide.
Accept That She's Doing Her DAMN Best.
The minute your sperm and her egg collided, you signed up for a lifetime job. It’s not just co-parenting that you’re doing: you’re also her co-pilot, her ride-or-die. She needs all the acceptance you can muster up to make her feel supported.
Accept that she may not always remember appointments. Accept that she may need a day of rest and the housework may suffer. Some days, your kids may get more screen time than others and it’s ok. Because she knows when she needs to slow down and if you support it, and accept it, she’ll probably be a better partner and mother for it.
I did mention how hard it is to be a mom, right?
Now that the coaching is over, I hope you find it easy to implement these plays into your parenting game. I promise that you will just become stronger together and you'll be doing it as a team.
Well Mama, I hope this helps your partner.
You deserve to feel like you have all the tools you need to keep yourself healthy while you do a nearly impossible job. Burnout is a very real problem for a lot of moms. Trying to appear to have your shit together for the ‘gram while you’re falling apart inside is no way to journey through motherhood. And imagine if we all spoke up about how hard this job sometimes!
We might just start a Mama Revolution.
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!