There is a baby boom going on in my cohort. FINALLY! I am so excited for my friends who are starting their families. I get texts, emails and phone calls from them asking me which stroller I like best, how to lose the baby weight (still working on that) and almost all of them state what a wonderful father my husband is. He is a great dad. He’s outstanding but behind every good father, an aching mother once stood.
“She’s crying! Here, make her stop.” As my husband tried to hand over our newborn daughter to me, something clicked. I knew that if I took my daughter away from him that I would always be the one who had to console our screaming child and in that moment, as incredibly difficult as it was, I looked at him and said, “I have my way of making her stop, you have to find YOUR way to make her stop” and walked out of the room. It was so difficult to hear my little creature screaming at the top of her lungs. I ached but knew that my husband was not going to harm her and that he would do anything to console her and guess what? He did. He found his own way to soothe our daughter and knew that he could be a dad.
I have seen many women over extend themselves because in their minds, no one else can parent better than they do. They are the only ones that know how to feed, bathe, clothe, soothe, swaddle, and do anything for their baby. They will not leave their husbands home alone with their child because, “He’s going to go crazy! He’s not going to know what to do! He is not going to stop calling me! I need to make a list! He doesn’t even know when to pick them up from school!” What these women do not realize is that by assuming ALL responsibilities with their child is that they have stripped their partner’s confidence. YOU have brainwashed him into believing that he does not know how to care for your child. Imagine someone always telling you that everything you do is wrong, eventually you will start believing it.
I have witnessed marriages crumble because of this attitude. I’ve seen men completely detach themselves from their families. It starts with not wanting to be home. Then, hanging out with the guys every weekend, then once a week plus the weekend and when the frustrated woman asks, “What about your children? You are never here for your children” the man says, “What about the children? You say I don’t do anything right anyway.” I have sadly witnessed this too many times to count.
You may argue that these men are just jerks and that I’m talking out my behind because I got lucky with my husband. My rebuttal is that I allowed him to be a great father. I took myself out of the equation. I never asked him if I could leave our newborn daughter with him so that I could get a pedicure. If I knew he was going to be home, I told him, “I’m going to get a pedicure.” That was OUR child and caring for OUR child was both of our responsibility. I will never forget the first time he had to bathe my daughter. He was so scared but I told him to youtube the video I had watched when I needed instructions and guess what? He bathed our daughter and they both survived. Pretty soon he stopped asking me for tips because he found his methods and quite honestly, many of his methods worked better than mine.
On the day that my husband tried to hand our crying daughter over to me, I realized that the sooner I let him find the method to his parenting madness, the sooner he would feel confident as a father and guess what? We have all survived 11 years of parenting and I am grateful that my children have such a father that is willing to make every sacrifice for their happiness, even if it’s cross dressing. He is a spectacular father indeed and that is because one day an aching mother let him be a dad.
Happy Father’s Day to my favorite and only baby daddy! We love you!