How to Step Back and Include Dads

By: Debbie Mandel, MA

One of the most common high-stress-on-the-Richter-scale complaints I hear from women: “I don't have any time for myself. My husband says that the kids are my number one priority. And if there is no time for me, well that's how it is and I have to make the best of it. When I ask him for help, he lets me know loud and clear that he works hard all week and needs to detoxify on the weekend as he is the primary breadwinner. I guess I am stuck.” The major part of this problem is not being expressed and is festering behind the scenes.

Resentment is building up to a crescendo and a whole lot of nagging is going on. Suppressed anger creates fatigue, depression, physical aches and pains and needless to say, passion for the husband flies out the window. When a person feels stuck, that is tantamount to a declaration of helplessness - playing the victim. When a person is so busy that she has no time for herself that indicates a lack of empowerment and self-esteem. Ladies, take back your power. But remember, when you take back your power, ironically, you give up control of the children!

Here are some tips to motivate dad to become a helpmate:

Get motivated to change your home environment. The most important fact: Don't expect to change dad. Anyone who ever got married and expected to change a spouse, what a laugh! However, if you assume responsibility and change your own dynamics, everything else will change around you. Change the past story of your life to create the present story. Become the heroine who lives happily ever after.

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Brooklyn College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit:

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