Not sure about you guys, but once I became a mother the majority of the questions I was asked to answer revolved around whether or not I would be working or staying at home. Very rarely did the option to work from home come up, though that’s exactly what I’ve found myself doing (after forays into working out of the house and not working at all). I’m thankful to have the option, and I’m also thankful for a partner who has supported the choice to work from home.
Working from home sounds amazing. I mean, I can work sans pants and be the one to care for my son and play with him when I can and I don't have to deal with traffic while simultaneously contributing to my family financially. That's the dream, right? Yeah, well, sure, it's great, but it's also sometimes the freakin' worst. What I thought working-from-home as a mom would be like vs what it's actually like, day in and day out, are night and day and the learning curve has been, well, anything but kind.
Thankfully, my partner recognizes the extra pull of dual responsibilities I face every day and, most importantly, he gets it. While there are so many options available to mothers now (yes, gender equality FTW), being a work-from-home mom works for me and my family, in part because I have a grown-ass man who supports me. While action goes a long way (*hint* any romantic partner ever *hint*), saying something seemingly small, but very significant, can help, too. Grown-ass men, start taking notes.
Hopefully, he's shouting this one from the rooftops during regular waking hours. Even if he's not going big with it, the occasional show of gratitude is surely appreciated.
“Do You Need A Break?”
You do. Even if you don't feel particular strapped at this one particular moment in time, you should still take the break. Trust me.
“Do You Need Some Time To Work?”
Not to be confused with an actual break (because it isn't), offering a working mom time to actually, you know, work, is right up there with back rubs and wine and an uninterrupted hour to watch UnReal. (Not necessarily in that order, mind you.)
“How Are You?”
Let's not forget to check in on each other, too. A grown-ass man who takes the time to ask how you're doing, and actually listens to the answer, is someone to write home about.
“Did You Get Any Chores Done? JK! I'll Do Them All. Every Single One. All Of Them."
When you're working and tending to your kid simultaneously, things that aren't absolutely necessary (like laundry and dishes and anything remotely related to the house) will fall by the wayside. A grown-ass man isn't going to assume that his partner can take care of things at home, just because she's working from home. Nope. Not how it works, fellas.
“I’m Proud Of You”
This is a shorthand version of a grown-ass man letting you know how hard you're working, how he knows it's not easy, and how he recognizes how divided your attention is. He's proud of you for handling it all because it's freakin' hard, and he's choosing to express it like Kanye West. Win-win.
“You’re Setting A Great Example”
This one is especially nice to hear because, if you're anything like me, you will feel doubts. No, I'm not saying that in a fishing-for-compliments kind of way, but more in a this-is-just-how-it-is way.
“Don’t Worry About Work-Life Balance”
Sure, easier said than done. Still, it's nice to hear that we shouldn't be spending our precious time worrying if we can "have it all."
“You’re Doing Great”
Not to be confused with other compliments on this list, telling someone that they're doing great, especially when they feel like they're not, is going to help them feel like all their efforts aren't being wasted.
“You Have Nothing To Feel Guilty About”
We could spend lots of time debating why working moms feel guilty over their decision, or requirement, to work. Honestly, that's another conversation for another day. In the meantime, being reminded by their partner that they don't actually have to feel guilty, is a good way to start combatting the sexist idea that a woman should feel guilty for doing something for herself.
“I Support You And Your Choices”
Not only is he not threatened by them, but he might even be stoked about them. Because, as many grown-ass men know, supporting their partner is pretty much non-negotiable.
“I’ll Watch Our Kid(s) For A While.”
Not in a "dad's a baby-sitter" kind of way, but in a legit team-player, active parent kind of way. That's pretty much the kicker for what makes him a grown-ass man.