I belong to a few different Facebook groups for Moms – some with Moms I know, some with Moms I don’t know. One thing that happens a lot is complaining about husbands. I know private forums like that are intended to vent and get feedback, but I am always hesitant to provide my own thoughts because it makes me seem like a know-it-all and no one likes a know-it-all. Plus, I don’t really know it all. BUT I know enough to have a blog where I can act like a know-it-all!
Being married to me isn’t easy – I am the ‘whatever, it will work out, I forget to replace the toilet paper’ one in the house. I can easily blame that on my ADHD, but I won’t. S. and I were lucky to have dated for almost 5 years together before getting married and we had just celebrated our 2 year anniversary when we found out we were pregnant. That’s a good amount of time to find out what makes people tick. In that regard we are lucky.
S. and I tend to parent the same on the big concepts, but the day to day stuff we are a little different. And here’s the thing. THAT STUFF DOESN’T MATTER. If S. dresses Mike in a denim shirt, denim overalls and too small socks- it doesn’t matter. If S. washes Mike’s body first then his hair – it doesn’t matter. If S. gives Mike juice twice in one day – it doesn’t matter. If S. puts on a nighttime diaper during the day – it doesn’t matter. Just because your baby daddy isn’t doing it the way YOU do it, it doesn’t make it wrong.
Here’s what NOT saying anything about S.’s ‘daddying’ does.
It empowers him. I am not standing over S. telling him how to do things so he feels empowered to do more things. I realized early on if I was snarky about how S. dressed Mike, he would stop dressing him and it would be on me. If I got on S. about not cutting Mike’s food small enough, he would stop doing it and I would be doing it. Every. Single. Time. Eventually I would get resentful because I am doing everything and life would get hard. For everyone!
If I was a good blogger, I would stop right there and let you think you are a failure as a wife. But as always, I’ll be honest – I sometimes suck at this. For example, I am neurotic about cutting teeny tiny pieces of food for Mike. When S. cuts Mike’s food, it is twice the size I would cut, but does S. want Mike to choke? Of course not. He is going to cut the food to a safe size so I need to just back off and let him do his thing. And sometimes that means literally biting my tongue.
When I feel a ‘nag’ or ‘exasperated sigh’ come on, I have to stop myself and ask DOES THIS MATTER. Most the time the answer is no.
If we have the same goal -to raise a happy, healthy, well adjusted kid, then we are going to do the absolute best we can. Even if it isn’t MY way. Dads aren’t dumb. They want to be involved so empower them to do so! It will make your life easier in the end.
Also, if someone buys you this onsie, toss it. Replace the word ‘dad’ with ‘mom’ and see how you feel. I am sure it would appear on Huffington Post or Jezebel and would go viral. Why can’t we respect Dads like we do Moms?