Back to School

Back to School: 5 Tips for Dads

Written by Chris Kostelc, a dad from Minnesota

DadsBackToSchoolMy wife was going over the file cabinet of back to school sheets the other night:  “And this one is for…And this one says…Oh and don’t forget…” I wish I was a better husband and could really concentrate on what she was saying, but to be honest, I was just worried about only having one defense on my fantasy football team.

Finally my wife stopped and said,

“You know what, I’m just going to put these on the top of the toilet for you to read.”

My wife knows me well. In fact, she has a PhD in me.

My wife’s brain is a magical creation. Somehow she can keep 437 multicolored sheet’s worth of information straight, manage our calendar, sooth a tired husband home from work, and dominate a 40+ hour a week job. Honestly, I don’t know how she does it.

School Papers
There must be a secret lobe in the Mom Brain that keeps all the school paperwork straight.

A priest at our parish once said in a homily,

“The best thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother!”

Yes, I can do that. I might not be able to keep all the school info straight or remember what day is picture day or organize school supplies, but I can do things to love my wife – special things that will make the school year a little easier for her:

  1. Flowers & Congratulations. We don’t celebrate the “normal” successes enough. Getting the kids back to school is a ton of work and my wife deserves a big “Well Done!” for everything she did. Flowers couldn’t hurt.
  2. Sandwiches.  Nothing says love like completing other people’s…sandwiches. What is one thing I am good at? Making sandwiches. What if I made lunches for the kids? I could do it the night before and the kids would be good to go in the morning. Lunch is about the only thing I can pack correctly. One thing off my wife’s list right?
  3. Give her 1 hour.  I can find a time in the next 2 weeks to give my wife 1 hour. I am thinking about taking the kids biking at a park near our house on Saturday morning. She can use the time to relax, go to daily Mass, or check a couple things off the list, uninterrupted.
  4. Calendar.  I did this last night. We sat down and went over every day on the home/work calendar for all of September. We do this every month, but usually after we double book ourselves in the first week. This month, I initiated the calendar audit before a conflict happened.
  5. Bless my children.  Every night after baths, teeth brushing, and prayers, I give each of my daughters a kiss and then bless them by making the sign of the cross on their foreheads. One of my prayers for them is that this blessing gives them the grace to be good daughters for their mother.

My grandfather used to say, “Happy Wife. Happy Life.”  At 10 years of marriage, I can say that is mostly true. Keeping my wife not just happy, but sane is my number 1 job at back to school time. At one of the most stressful and busy times of the year, my wife needs me to care not just about our daily tasks, but more importantly to care for her. Hopefully these five little things help me to love and care for her well.


Chris Kostelc is the Coordinator of Adult Formation at Holy Name of Jesus in Medina, MN. Chris is happy husband, proud father, and currently in 3rd place in his fantasy football league.


2 thoughts on “Back to School: 5 Tips for Dads

  1. Love! Yes, you are lucky to have Liz, no question. But never short-change yourself! The simple fact that you actually thought about any of this is testament to your commitment to God, Liz, Ella, Sophie and all who will read this.

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