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Moms shouldn't shoulder back to school burdens alone

Comedian Bill Cosby once said, "Fathers are the geniuses of the house, because only a person as intelligent as men could fake such stupidity."

It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I do not remember all of the names of my children's teachers. In fact, I am rather proud that I recall the principal's name at the school where my sons attend. However, my wife seems to know the names of everyone, including numerous school volunteers and parents.

Moreover, she is uniquely in tune with the curriculum and other aspects of school life that are so important for our children, while I simply show up when and where I am told. Additionally, she does the shopping for school supplies, uniforms and lunches in addition to scheduling.

Like-minded men can redeem themselves at the beginning of the school term, however, by becoming willing partners with their spouse or significant others in direct ways.

For example, before school begins, help purge the children's clothes to make sure every item fits properly or can be donated. If your spouse has not done school supply shopping, take down the list of items and save her the errand.

Sit down as a family and set schedules and expectations for the school year.

No spouse should have to guess about what needs to be done because tension can be reduced when expectations are preset. Establish boundaries for children regarding social media and electronics. For example, there should be limits regarding phone usage and television time.

Create a list of chores for children and stick to a bedtime routine. Lastly, keep the first few weeks of school light regarding outside obligations. Save time to talk to children about the new school year at dinner or other family times.

Society has created roles that are often too expansive for women to do alone. Single mothers certainly already know the difficulties involved in raising kids.

However, men should not become an extra child who needs attention. Couples need to understand the strengths that each person brings to a relationship.

I actually iron, wash clothes, clean the bathrooms, mop floors, and I can keep the kids from starving for about a week without resorting to takeout.

However, my wife has helped me recognize that just a bit of preparation before the school year begins can make me seem like a genius.

Keith Berry is a married father of two who lives in the Westchase area.

Moms shouldn't shoulder back to school burdens alone 08/14/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 1:08pm]
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