Dad has new appreciation for mom's duties

  • Sunday, March 2, 2014

Have you thawed out? How did you recover from almost two weeks of unscheduled winter break with children home from school?

Dear Liz,

I'm a dad and have a whole new respect for moms. I have a more flexible job schedule, so I stayed home with my three children, ages 4, 8 and 10, during the time that school was closed. And the bridge was closed. And there weren't many places we could go. My kids are pretty good kids. But I had the worst headache of my life, saw our vacuumed and mopped floors turn into mud flats within 15 minutes of finishing, and discovered that neatly folded laundry can easily become mixed with unclean clothes or in wrong rooms in 3 minutes... basically chaos. I found out my kids' favorite foods (which we quickly ran out of of) and least favorite foods (which we had most of in the house). I heard whines, crying, laughing and screaming. When my wife came home, it was love at first sight! I just wanted to send a shout out to her, who does double-duty as mom and breadwinner, and a note of appreciation for all mothers out there who make it look easy. Wow, what an eye-opener. And thank you. (Honey, I love you.)

PS: We survived, and I think I have a much closer relationship with my kids!

Grateful and Exhausted

Dear “Grateful,”

GREAT letter! Thank you! It is funny how we hear sounds from our kids we've never quite heard before when we are cooped up. And thank goodness you didn't lose power, I assume.

This has been an unusual challenge for us all. I hope everyone has recovered and learned how to better prepare for such events. I always recommend that you collect and hide crafts, games and other indoor activities as part of your preparedness kit. It is a character builder for kids and parents alike.

Our over-entertained, plugged-in kids need to learn to be self-sufficient themselves and go back to simple ways of passing time. And PATIENCE. We gain appreciation for our kids' teachers as well. Now all we need to do is find a way to keep ice off the Ravenel Bridge cables, we'll be set.

Dear Liz,

I was moved by the Facebook mother who created a page as a birthday gift for her autistic son who is lonely and left out at school. She asked him if he wanted a birthday party, and he said, ”Why bother, no one will come.”

How sad. I hope everyone will google it and sign the page. Why can't we be nice to everyone?


Dear “Moved,”

I have posted on that page. I was very moved by the story. Sadly, it is not an isolated issue. You don't even have to have a special need to be ridiculed or left out. It is one of the most painful things kids go through (I experienced it – and it motivated me to become a counselor). At the extreme, we see time and again that school shooters have that history.

We need to teach our children that their worth comes from God and no one can take that away.

And we need to arm them with understanding that we know it hurts (don't minimize it), listen to them, and help them have activities such as non-violent martial arts where they can create friendships with common interests and emotional self-defense as well.

Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master's degree-level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.

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