Most likely a fantastic husband will also be a fantastic father. And it’s important to realize it might not happen overnight. As we settled into parenting in our marriage, it gave us a lot of things for which to welcome—shall we say—good conversations.

Joe would admit that initially, I (Cindi) was the one carrying the heavy load of meeting the needs of the household and children. Joe was clearly doing the heavy lifting of meeting the financial needs of the family and providing for us, but would also admit that sometimes it was a great escape.

Joey’s early diagnosis that he would have special needs—cerebral palsy, epilepsy, low muscle tone, lack of verbal skills, mentally slow, and some severe to fatal allergies—plus two daughters, all the usual life needs, doctors and all the rest made for many conversations on how we could each help each other, and the need for Joe to enter into the household workforce even though his work day was over. Joe needed to understand that I didn’t clock out at the end of an eight-hour work day; my day kept going often until bedtime. Thankfully he was a willing, able, and fantastic learner!

Some of our conversations were as simple as this:

  • Joe: “Why are you frustrated, Cindi?”
  • Cindi: “Did you see the laundry next to the coffee table that needs folding?”
  • Joe: “Honestly, no.”
  • Cindi: “Feel free to fold laundry I put there. As you watch the news, it would be great to have you fold it.”
  • Joe: “I’d be happy to.”

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