Every once in a while you stumble across a wise word that changes the game. It opens your mind to a new insight, and gives you the hope to achieve it. I experienced this a few years ago. It reshaped my outlook on my marriage and parenting.
“The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” – John Wooden
I never thought the two were so related. As I began to look deeper at myself, I realized I wasn’t doing this well. This is how it changed me and the lives of my kids.
How this quote changed me:
I realized I was a little out of balance. I knew I loved my wife and believed our relationship should come before any other relationship, except with God. However, my actions showed I put my kids before my wife.
One of the most glaring ways was how I treated special days. For my kids, birthdays and Christmas were huge. My wife was being loved, but not loved like she should be.
Prior to reading this quote, I’d have no plan for my wife’s birthday or for Valentine’s Day. Sometimes I’d literally be rushing to the store the day of to get a card or gift. But for our kids, I’d start discussing plans and gift ideas with my wife weeks, sometimes even months, in advance.
What I did differently:
I had to admit it to myself, to her, and then ask for forgiveness. Then I began to make changes. Date night became a priority. Our time became more important. And I’ve even improved on those special days like her birthday and Valentine’s Day.
The first thing I did was have a plan in advance. This plan even included childcare, which in the past had been a big reason we didn’t do much. One of the most practical ways was to create a “secret” note of all things she mentioned that she wanted to do or have. I’ve also encouraged our kids to prepare for “Mommy’s Day” even if it was simply by making a handmade card.
Some amazing results:
Our kids respect our relationship in ways they didn’t before. In the past our kids would interrupt our conversations. Now they say “Excuse me” and wait until we are finished. In the past our kids had no idea what date night was, but now they expect us to spend time alone regularly. They even get excited about us spending time together and give us ideas. They see us relating to one another in a different way. It brings a sense of comfort to them and acts like a security blanket.
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