I had this post perfectly written in my head at 2am this morning and now I am all tongue tied, with words flying around everywhere in my head. About how men and women are different and therefore the inevitable comparison into Mums and Dads too.
I was thinking about this post
, which I wrote about resentment and how it can rob us of our motherhood joy.
One of my suggested solutions was to hand over the parenting reigns to your husband/partner for an afternoon and go get your hair cut, a facial, catch up with a girlfriend for a coffee or go for a jog.
I know this can be especially hard if you are breastfeeding; I remember feeling like I was joined to my baby by a rubber band when I went out – I could only get so far before it snapped back and I was ricocheted back home for a feed.
It can also be very hard if you don’t trust that your husband/partner can look after your baby as well as you can.
Are you kidding, I hear you say?? LEAVE MY BABY???
I know I was very dubious for the first few times, leaving G Man alone with Mr Point Five.
What if the needed a nappy change?
What if he cried? (the baby 😉 )
What if he didn’t stop crying?
What if they fell asleep together?
What if he was hungry?
What if the house caught fire?
All the what ifs.
I asked hubby what would happen to all these what if’s??
His answer was “I’ll just deal with it. I will cope, don’t worry about us. If baby cries, then he cries, so be it. If that’s the worst that can happen, we will be OK.”
Go out and enjoy yourself.
Also it was similar when we left G Man with my Dad and his wife for the first time. He would have been 12 months or so and had been put to bed but already I was fretting, what if he wakes up? What if he cries? What if he is hungry?
And again hubby said to me, “what’s the worst that can happen? G Man wakes up, cries, and we come home to find him on the couch snuggling with Poppy and Nanna, is that so bad??”
I am a member of a Mums group on facebook and a few weeks ago a comment was made by one of the mums that she was freaking out that her hubby had given the kids morning tea of juice and rice crackers whilst she was out, whereas she usually gives them water and fruit. All I was thinking is Yay for hubby; firstly for recognising the kids were hungry and secondly for not feeding them lollies and chocolate. I have come home many a time (in the early parenting years, not so much now) to whiny kids who are hungry and a husband totally blissed out on ignorance.
But the thing is, Dads are different – they are not Mums. Sure, us Mums usually do it better (in our own minds) as we are the ones who are around our kids most. We know them. We know the routine and the pitfalls. We know what they had for breakfast, what we are planning for dinner and therefore what is appropriate for lunch. All I am thinking in the above scenario is that we would have achieved the same result
; our kids are not hungry and they will live to see another day. They prolly secretly prefer Dads morning teas but that’s OK. That’s how Dad does it and it’s cool by me. Well, apart from the disaster zone that is our dining table and the toddlers hair, it’s cool by me.
I am hands down the better nappy changer than Mr Point Five. I can whip that pooey sucker off, wipe the offending brown matter off with the clean part of the nappy before commando rolling it into a scented bag one handed. Rarely do I need to use more than one wipe. I gauge whether powder is needed and we are done in under 24 seconds. Hubby on the other hand is all thumbs. He flounders and flaps; uses an inordinate amount of wipes (considering how frugal he is with his own sparse use of toilet paper) and inevitably ends up with more powder on the change mat than in the nappy, regardless of occasion-specific powder need. He sometimes forgets to toss the used nappy and leaves it there for me (or the dog) to discover. He is done in 24 minutes.
But you know what? We achieved the same result
– a happy, well looked after baby.
I also remember when I was little and my Mum was in hospital for lengths of time and my Dad would be in charge how he would do my hair. I would stand on our lounge room couch and lean as far back over as I could. He would gather all my hair on top of my head and unceremoniously stick in in a high high ponytail. I’m sure all the teachers at school knew when Mum was away at home. Hee hee.
So if you want to get out and are dubious about leaving your Man in charge, make like Nike and
just do it.
Give up some control.
Enjoy some well earned down time.
Things will get done. Maybe not exactly as you would have done, maybe not in your timeframe. But that’s the beauty of having two different parents isn’t it? To be able to hear you kids whine “But that’s not how DAD does it” to you and for you to smile and say, “well, that’s how Mummy does it, so suck it up princess!!”