I've been working my way through James Dobson's book "Bringing Up Girls". Yesterday the part I was reading talked about the importance of both parents being available and committed to the raising of their children and how from infancy, our presence has a significant developmental impact on children.
One statement in particular really struck me. Dobson says,
"Before the Industrial Revolution, fathers and mothers worked side by side on farms or in family-owned businesses ... only in the last one hundred years have fathers left home all day to make a living."
Why does this strike me? Because it makes me realized just how "abnormal" our family is! My husband doesn't work from home, but he can when he needs to. And he has an extremely flexible schedule.
Take today, for instance. I ended up needing to get to the doctor this morning. Instead of dragging the kids along or Josh having to take time off to come and relieve me of the children, he simply came home, brought some work with him and had lunch on the table when I got home. Wow!
Now, I know that I'm blessed to have such a flexible, caring and capable husband. Many men, even if they could take the time at home, wouldn't be as helpful as he is. But what strikes me even more is the notion that this has a profound impact on my kids. They have Daddy around a lot. Yes, he works a full work week, but he's flexible enough to come and spend time with them as needed. He can come home if we're having major discipline issues in school. He can surprise us with celebratory McDonalds for a great day of learning. He can care for the kids when I can't.
In fact, my children are the only ones I know of that have both parents home for all three meals a day! Which is so vital to our family life. At breakfast, we set the tone for the day. We read the Bible together and talk about the day. At lunch we read a fun book - currently the Little House series. And at dinner, we review our Awana verses and when we have time we sing songs together or make up funny stories. I can't imagine what our family life would be like without these precious moments together each day. And yet, that's exactly what most families are like. Psychologists now tell you to try and have three to five meals together per week. Per week!!! When we miss two meals in one week as a whole family, we suffer.
Today, I'm thankful for the flexibility and tender care of my husband. He lets us know in millions of ways that he is always available to help and to love. I don't write this to make other women jealous, but rather to reflect on how society seems to have it backwards. Instead of spending our children's growing years endlessly working to get ahead and to have a great salary, my sweet man is spending hours with his kids, investing in their lives and trusting that God will provide what we need. He's a good man!