Stress ... it can come in many shapes and sizes, especially for our wives. I can remember recently coming home after a long and stressful day at work and being able to immediately sense that I wasn't the only one who was dealing with stress. The pressures of motherhood—a sick child, another needing help with school work, unfolded laundry, and dirty dishes—seemed to have come crashing down on my wife all at the same time. She was feeling stressed.
Whether your wife has a job or is a stay-at-home mom, understanding the daily pressures that your wife faces will help you be aware of her needs and the many ways you can come alongside her and lighten her load. Here are a few small, practical ways that I've found successful:
1. Overseeing the family finances.
For the first few years of our marriage, my wife managed the family finances; however, over time, I began to notice it was taking a toll on her. Since that time, I started handling all our finances and have found it's been a huge stress reliever for her and a positive thing overall for our marriage. While many couples do this differently, I think it's important to do whatever is best in your situation. As the husband, you need to be able to identify what that is.
2. Doing the dishes.
Living in a home that doesn't have a dishwasher, our family has become good at dishwashing. And believe it or not, the dishes don't seem to ever take a day off! Because everyone in our home contributes to this daily dish dilemma, we don't believe Mom should be the only one (or even the main one) to do all the dishes. So, a couple times a week, you'll find me standing at the sink, dishrag in hand. And surprisingly, my wife thinks it's pretty sexy.
3. Maintaining her vehicle.
One of the simple things I try to make sure my wife doesn't have to worry about is her vehicle: fueling it up or worrying about any maintenance concerns. It's not that she can't do those things, but there's no need for her to have to. It's an easy way to take one less thing off of her mind and do my best to treat her like the lady she is.
4. Putting the kids to bed
In our family, Mom stays home with the kids throughout the day as we homeschool our children. That means that by the time bedtime rolls around, she's been with the kids all day long. So the nightly bedtime routine (teeth brushed, pajamas on and tucking in) is a precious time for me to close out their day every day by giving them one last hug, reassuring them of my love, and tucking them in tight. And it's one less thing my wife has to worry about.
5. Doing family prayer and devotions.
Our family gathers before bedtime three to four nights a week for family prayer and devotions. I lead our family in doing this as a way of transferring our values on to our children. Sometimes this includes Bible reading, memorization, storytelling, songs and discussion. I find that when I take the spiritual lead in my family, it puts my wife at ease.
While the specific ways to relieve your wife's stress may look different for you, could you stop right now and identify what they are? If you're having trouble thinking of them, maybe it's time to step up your game. You and your wife are a team, and it's important that she knows and sees that.
In what ways do you help relieve stress for your wife?
Andrew Linder is a husband and the father of four awesome kids. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation.
This article originally appeared at allprodad.com.