7 Ways Husbands Can Keep Their Wives From Cracking Under the Holiday Stress

Love & Learn 9

cracked eggAh, the holidays. The lights. The presents. The spirit. And of course ... the stress.

We guys know that being a mom is tough on any normal day. Some of us may not admit it, but trust me, we know.

Toss in the holiday shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the cooking, and the preparing to spend way too much time with your family, and your wife's lucky if she doesn't have a nervous breakdown long before the fruitcake is sliced.

I'm not suggesting it's time to listen to the Grinch hiding out atop that snowy mountain. No. Instead, I've come up with a list of ways to reduce that stress. To make the holidays a tad more comfortable for your wife.

Because everyone knows that when Mommy's happy, the whole family is happy.

So instead of spending thousands of dollars on that gorgeous diamond necklace (sorry, ladies), give some of these tips a try. You may just save Christmas after all!

1) Take the kids - I don't care what you do with them, just take them. Go to the movies. Shop. Hit the library. Just get them out of the house so your wife can do her own thing, whatever that is.

2) Make a list - Not a naughty or nice list -- someone's already got you beat on that one. Sit down with your wife and create lists for gifts and menus. Write down everything you'll need. Once it's written down, she'll feel more organized and more in control. Plus, it's fun to cross things off the list when they're done.

3) Deck the halls - You don't need to be an interior decorator to get the house all ready for the holidays. Pitch in. Grab some tinsel. Hang some mistletoe. If you really feel adventurous, send your wife out shopping, then grab the kids and decorate the house yourself! She gets some much-needed shopping done, while you take care of the decorations.

4) Take a day off - It's the end of the year, so chances are you still have a few vacation days to use up. If not, play the "sick" card. Take a day off work and tell your wife you are hers for the entire day. Whatever she needs, help out. Whether it's laundry, shopping, driving the kids, cleaning, etc. You'll be her own little Christmas Miracle.

5) Run a bath - Fill the tub and add some bubbles. Then, when your wife's at her most stressed, regardless of the time, force her to go take a soak and think about nothing. Even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes, the calming effect of that "me time" will go a long way toward recharging her batteries.

6) Split the chores - Just because there's loads more to be done during the holidays doesn't mean your wife has to go it alone. Ask her what she needs and then make a plan of attack. Split up the work, playing off of each other's strengths. Just don't slack off or you'll find a lot worse than coal in your stocking.

7) Do nothing - On the other hand, if you're the type of husband who always tries to help but inevitably makes things worse every single time somehow (ahem ... yeah, this is why I'm no longer allowed to touch the laundry or cook rice in my own house), do your wife a favor ... don't do anything!

How does your husband help keep the holiday stress down?

Image via John Liu/Flickr

love, marriage


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Estel... EstellaHavisham

Deck the halls with gender roles, fa rah rah rah rah ra ra rah rahhhh. 

nonmember avatar A

Oh my God, Estella, lighten up! You're really going to bash this guy for suggesting nothing more than that husbands could try to be a little more helpful around the holidays? Really?
A woman who actually feels confidently equal doesn't feel the need to cram snarky gender equality comments down everyone's throats all of the time.

Estel... EstellaHavisham

But, A, you don't even like my A Christmas Story reference? Not even a little bit? Not even at all?


kiri8 kiri8

This is kind of a pointless and regressive post.  Do nothing?  That's supposed to be helpful?  And do nothing because you dads are so "helpless" that you do things wrong all the time?  (We're supposed to believe that's not on purpose?!)  And the other stuff is kind of obvious.

I have a very equitable marriage.  We have split up responsibilities in ways that work for us, that we both think are fair.  I'm in charge of the cars and the lawn.  He's in charge of finances.  I cook.  He washes dishes.  We both grocery shop, taking turns.  I'm in charge of packing for the children, he's in charge of the children once we are on vacation.  (I chill out and read books.  Seriously.)  And I'm in charge of Christmas.  He does things to help me (like online shopping & placing orders, keeping the house clean, and so on), because he is a great husband and a decent human being.  He doesn't need pointless reminders.  It's too bad that apparently other men do.

the4m... the4mutts

For once... I agree with Andrew. Event/holiday prep is MY job in our house. What I need for my s/o to do is to keep him and the kids out of my way, then to be my kitchen bitch when I want help.

Btw, "kitchen bitch" that's his nickname that he calls himself when I'm cooking in large quantities. He can't cook for shit, but he's a great stir-er, and gofer, and cleaner-upper of dropped eggs lol

momof... momof1teengirl

Seriously?  Why is this just a "holiday" thing?  Why do men not realize that their stressed out wives could use this help all year?  Men can help with chores:  laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.  Every week, not just at holiday time.  And "take the kids"?  Excuse me?  I am sick and tired of daddies saying they are "taking the kids" to help out mom; or worse yet "babysitting".  No.  They are your children; you are not a babysitter.  And taking care of them is just as much your responsibility as the  mothers.  And if you "KNOW" that being a mom is tough -- help out every single day!  Off my soapbox............

jessi... jessicasmom1

yes help with taking the kid 

nonmember avatar Brittany

Wow you feminazis are nuts! The man is trying to just suggest that husbands help out their wives- it was a totally innocent, sweet article. Props Andrew! Please ignore the women here who feel otherwise- apparently they're not confident enough to feel unthreatened by men, because equality MUST mean that we conform to NO GENDER ROLES EVER! Bahaha please. Yall need to chill. I appreciate the sentiment of the article :)

Michele Lopez

My husband helps out and does his "father and husband" role everyday.  So the #1 on the list should be marry the right man!

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