If you want to receive thanks, you need to give thanks, too.
So thank your husband.
I’ve seen a trend online that bugs me. From some of the things I read online, the message seems to be: “never thank your husband.” Whenever someone praises a dad for being a great dad, a handful (or sometimes a tonne) of women start to complain that those dads are just being dads, that’s their job, and they don’t need to be praised for it.
I get it, I really do. Women have been caring for babies for millennia, they rarely get thanked or praised for it, and it’s disheartening to do all this work 24-7 (especially when babies are breastfeeding), not get recognition, and then watch a dad change a diaper or give a kid a bottle, which is met with “what a great dad!,” and “you’re so lucky he’s so involved.” But at the same time, I feel it’s not only perfectly fine to thank and praise dads and husbands, it’s actually a necessity, if you want to be thanked, too. You should thank your husband. Or at least, I’m not about to stop thanking mine. Let me explain.
I’m unashamedly someone who likes gold stars. I want to feel appreciated, and I do want recognition for doing simple everyday tasks when it comes to parenting. Parenting is hard work! Particularly if you’re the primary caregiver, there is a tonne of self-questioning involved, and getting a “great job, Mama!” feels really good. And because I strongly believe that you should treat people the way you want to be treated, you bet I’m going to thank my husband for taking over bedtime routine, or for cooking an awesome meal.
Our family believes so strongly that praise is important, we created a whole tradition around it. We go around the table each evening at dinner, and give each person in the family a compliment about something they did well that day. And we each leave our dinner table with a little spring in our step—because someone noticed us doing something simple but important, and they noticed we did it well.
I want to be recognized, so I’m going to recognize my husband. I’m not about to stop thanking him for “just being a decent parent.” Being a decent parent is hard work and should be recognized—both for moms and dads.
I can’t complain. As a freelance writing, homeschooling mom of 3, I get my fair share of criticism. But I also get tonnes of praise. My husband frequently tells me he appreciates everything I do for our family, and random strangers have told me they enjoy seeing me with the kids at the library frequently. I’ve gotten compliments on my storytelling, and I’ve gotten words of praise for the amount of work that goes into raising three kids in a homeschooling, adventurous family.
I enjoy every single one of these compliments (yes, even from the strangers who have nothing to do with my life), and you bet I’m going to shower my husband with praise, too. If you’re someone who craves that thank you, then be sure to thank your husband… and everyone else who plays an important role in your life. Maybe even that random stranger.