The other half of my parenting team…
I talk of Motherhood and all it means to me often. Being a Mum has been my life for the last 7.5years so of course it’s never far from my thoughts, in fact I’m pretty certain it’s a part of all my thoughts the majority of the time! As the years have gone by I’ve become stronger, more confident in my parenting choices and I’ve found the Mother I want to be. It is no coincidence that I also have one hell of a teammate supporting me at every step, at every stage we journey through. He’s been there for me through every sleepless night, the painful nipples in early stages of breastfeeding when I was determined to get to my personal goals and every wobble I might have had since. But do you know what? I may feel thankful to have this amazing supporter and friend to share my life with but we also need to remember that this is his role. We are supposed to support each other on this incredible journey.
We talk of being lucky to have a man that “helps” with household chores or plays with their kids. It’s not luck, it’s his role as a Father and husband. We both use this house, we both need clean clothes and eat here. Could you imagine asking a father if his partner is a good mum or if she helps with the chores? Does she change nappies or get up in the night with the baby? Nope! I very much doubt it anyway. Why do people assume that mums know what they’re doing anymore than a father does? Pretty sure we’re all just winging it. Maybe the parent that stays at home the most has just had more practice at winging it? A winging it expert?! Maybe.
I’m not completely ignorant to the fact that there are some dads out there who aren’t so willing, Mums too! But I think it’s really important to remember that the “good” Dads are simply caring, sleep deprived dads who want the best for their children. They worry about whether they’re doing a good job, if their children are happy or if they’ll dodge the latest bug doing the rounds at school. Just as Mums do. We are all doing the best we can and we’re all learning on the job!
Our language is really important and I for one am sick of hearing things like…
“Oh is he babysitting the kids today?”
No he’s not! He’s taking care of our children just as he does every day, he is perfectly capable. I just happen to be away from them. I certainly don’t babysit our children whilst he’s at work.
One thing I wonder is whether as new Mothers we don’t give our partners the chance to learn for themselves. I can’t teach my husband to be a Dad, just as he can’t teach me to be a Mum. We find our own ways, we do things differently. Perhaps we should cut our amazing partners some slack and allow them the space to find their own ways? I know I certainly haven’t always got things right or knew what I was doing! I also know that early on in Motherhood I was a crazy control freak when it came to our son and it’s taken all these years to relax a little and trust that he’s got this covered.
So I celebrate Motherhood through my work and I absolutely love getting Mums in the frame with their children. But I never ever forget the Dads. Motherhood is my life, day in, day out. Through a series of blogs interviewing my own husband I hope to gain an insight into what it’s like entering Fatherhood. From knowing you are going to become a Dad, through birth support and far beyond that into childhood and school days. I want to know what it’s like being the other half of this crazy parenting team I’m a part of.