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Home > Support > Mothering > How do I "transfer" duties to an uninvolved husband?
Question: How do you "transfer" duties to an uninvolved husband? With homeschooling our 4-year-old, taking care of the baby and everything else, I'm really tired. How do I get my husband to lead our family when he has never done it before? I've asked for help and he has obliged but only for two or three days. I'd like him to be more involved with our children's faith formation. He says "I don't know how," and leaves it up to me. He's the cradle Catholic. I converted while in college. I've bought books and audiotapes. However, he hasn't touched a single one. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Mom,

I would imagine that this concern is felt by more homeschooling families than realized. Many times we moms are so filled with zeal about our vocation of parent/teacher, that it can intimidate our spouses. I can only compare it to the zeal we embraced when breastfeeding. Realizing that our responses and duties will directly affect the success of this endeavor is an awesome task. At times it feels like a burden.

In my own household (30 years of marriage) it has always been very difficult for my husband to instinctively know what to do to help me with the tasks that lay before me. I have learned through the Lord's strength to be patient (understand that I backslide quite a bit) and express my needs. It never works for me to just "trust" that he will know what is needed. In the same respect, when he needs my help with a project that concerns his domain, the car for example, he has to be so detailed in his instructions that I know he thinks he is talking to a simpleton.

Keep communicating the needs as they arise. Embrace the goodness of your husband and his position as head of your domestic church. Many times we wives are better at going forward into tasks and our husbands likewise appreciate our competence and ability. However, it takes a good deal of patience and communication to express our need to lean on their strength. This may be an unfamiliar role for them and needs to be cultivated.

Remember that the Sacrament of Matrimony has given you and your spouse a wellspring of graces. It has been my observation that many of us only partially tap into this vast well of strength. Go to the Lord as husband and wife and accept the graces, the strength, and the spiritual help that is rightfully yours as a result of your marriage covenant before the Lord.

Pray together as a family. The rosary is a powerful prayer and one that many families could benefit from daily. In the evening come together before your family altar and have your husband lead the prayers. Ask that he pray aloud for the needs of his family. It is an extremely powerful witness to hear men pray for their families' needs. It is always uplifting and enlightening to hear my husband pray for our needs. He sees the situations in such a different light from me.

Go slowly into this new spirituality. Be quiet and wait on the Lord to show you the correct words and directions to take. Pray for your husband by name and by need. The Lord wants your union to be fruitful and filled with spiritual advantage. He will honor the prayers of a wife for her husband. Be specific and state clearly what needs to be done and the way you want it accomplished. However be prepared to defer to your husband's better judgment when the occasion arises. If we look to our husbands as partners in the endeavor of homeschooling then we must feel the courage to trust in their counsel. If there is a difference of opinion then use this as an opportunity to call upon the Lord and seek His counsel and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I admire your desire to work through this difficulty. Too many times the Tempter puts obstacles in our path and we feel overwhelmed. Talking problems over is probably the most difficult thing for humans to do. With that said, let me express one important caution: Do not let the Tempter into the details. If you find yourself resenting or disliking your husband that is a clue that the Tempter is trying to interfere with normal married life. Send the Tempter away with the authority of the Lord.

Each evening before retiring, pray together as husband and wife, holding hands and kneeling beside your bed. A simple Hail Mary is all that is needed. This is your way of coming together before the Lord and asking for a fresh anointing of His Holy Spirit.

Keep up the good work. Your witness is powerful and of the Lord.

Dearest Jesus, we praise You and thank You for the love You generously bestow upon us. This love is but a shadow of the glory that is to come. Keep all married couples bound to one another through the clear knowledge of this powerful love. Let us be a witness of this love to our spouses. Help us to remember that Your love is the force that should stir our hearts. Give us the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to believe as we have been told concerning the strength of the marital union. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

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