A letter to my wife: You’re doing good
Last night, as my wife, Jen, and I sat around the backyard fire pit with our neighbors after Sunday night football, we began to talk about life in the 'burbs and raising a family. We jabbed (with heads in hands) about how, once the weather and leaves turn, as parents, we seem to have less and less time to do anything. Our weekends are filled with neighborhood parties, chili cook-offs, festivals and the most time-consuming activity of all— preparing for the hectic holiday season.
Just when Halloween is over, Thanksgiving hits you with a left and then, just as you try and gain your footing, Christmas and Chanukah follow through with a hard right to knock you to the mat. During the last few months of the year, the pressure is higher than ever to create the picture-perfect family moments we always dreamed our kids would have this magical season.
Unfortunately, my wife and I have been nomads over the last few holiday seasons. Being new to our neighborhood of Smithfield, Virginia this year, we've absolutely fallen in love with this long-time farming community on the inlets and tributaries of the Pagan and James Rivers, which lead to the precious Chesapeake Bay.
Within the first few weeks of our arrival, almost every neighbor on the street came by—offering a hand, willingness to help in the event of an emergency, or simply their recommendation for the best baked goods in town. Our new friends have invited us into their weekly stay-at-home parent groups, Bingo, Bunk-0 and a legit old school Fantasy Football owner's draft at our neighborhood clubhouse on the river. Who does that? This neighborhood.
And my wife and I are forever thankful.
Still, the past few weeks have been extremely difficult on us; not just on a personal level, but compounded by the stress that accompanies the end of the year. As parents, we struggle day in and day out, juggling being at home or getting the kids off to school and clocking in on time at work. It's difficult to understand unless you're actually “in it.”
My wife and I try our best to support each other. Parenting is often a thankless job, yet one of the most rewarding positions that we could ever be fortunate enough to have. But I often forget all the behind-the-scenes work that my wife does, putting every ounce of her energy into making the holidays magical for our kids as she juggles the office work-life balance.
So, before the holidays arrive this year, I wanted to take a moment to write a note to Jen letting her know she’s #doingood as a parent and reflect on what really matters over the next few weeks—spending quality time together.
We all need to offer one another an occasional reminder that we're #doingood each and every day—even if we feel like we're doing our worst. Your kids love you and even if they don't show it, it's true.
Let's take a deep breath this holiday season and join Minute Maid in its mission to help parents realize they’re doing better than they think by taking the time to tell another parent they’re #doingood before the hectic holidays are here.
It’s as simple as sending flowers, giving a friend a hug at school drop-off or even writing a letter telling someone why you think they’re an amazing parent. Check out Minute Maid’s Letter Generator at minutemaid.com/lettermaker and give the gift that counts this holiday season! You have no idea how far the sentiment will be felt.
This post was written by Adrian Kulp as part of the Minute Maid campaign to help more parents realize they’re #doingood! Check out his blog Dad or Alive for more stories about Adrian’s adventures as an unexpected, full-time stay-at-home dad!
Adrian Kulp is a former comedy executive turned full-time stay-at-home dad for three kids under the age of 6. He started his blog in 2010, published his first book 'Dad or Alive: Confessions of an Unexpected Stay-at-home Dad' in 2013 and also produced Modern Dads for A&E. Follow the family adventures on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!