Big disclaimer here: EVERY FAMILY IS DIFFERENT. I know this post may not apply to all, because it includes some generalizations about gender roles and family dynamics. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. 🙂
LIE MODERN MOMS BELIEVE #14: I’m Better With The Kids Than My Husband
Right after I had Sam, my firstborn, we ran out of groceries. So obviously I had to go to the store. Oh, was I ever afraid to leave Sam alone. He was SUPER fussy, and Todd, after all, had only been a dad for about two weeks. Well, I started driving out of the neighborhood, got about halfway (of the two miles) to the store, and I just couldn’t take it. I TURNED AROUND AND CAME HOME.
Yes, I am terribly embarrassed to admit this to you. (And certainly there were many other factors – my post-partum depression, Sam’s colic and food allergies…)
Y’all – I did not think my husband could handle watching my child for 42 minutes. I don’t know what I actually thought would happen…that Sam would scream himself half to death? I don’t know.
Please be assured I have made LEAPS AND BOUNDS in this arena. I do actually go to the grocery store, and I will even go on a girls’ weekend, alone. (Can you believe it?!)
Yet still, I confess that this vein of thinking will rear its ugly head every once in a while. Although my husband is a wonderful, loving, involved father, I don’t always treat him as my parenting equal. There is a subtle, subconscious assumption in my thinking that, “I just know what to do around here a little better.”
I hear this type of thinking in my friends and peers, as well. Here are a few examples.
- Oh, my husband is home with the kids. WHO KNOWS what they’ll eat for dinner?
- I’m sure the house will be a mess when I get back.
- Honey, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? (insert any random correction here)
- Honey, where are the kids? Can you please watch them? (implied: Are you paying attention?)
And I think what is troubling about this trend is that it is common and accepted in our culture today. It is “okay” (even funny) for the moms to rag on the dads for the things they’re doing wrong at home.
Now I’m not going to lie. Many of us moms are with our children more during the day than our husbands are. If this is the case, we may know our childrens’ likes, dislikes, schedules, how to motivate them, when they’re tired, etc. Or, we may naturally be more perceptive, organized – whatever.
But still. The “I know what to do around here a little better” thinking – it is unhealthy thinking for moms.
It’s unhealthy, because it ignores the following important facts.
- My husband has gifts that I do not. These will vary from marriage to marriage, but it’s the truth. And it is worth recognizing.
- My husband has ways to connect with the kids that I do not. PRAISE THE LORD there aren’t two uptight, neurotic, worried, harebrained, impatient and generally boring parents around here. My children are blessed to have a fun, patient, laid-back, and kind man as their father. It would be awful if both of their parents were identical!
- I did, in fact, choose this man to be the father of my children. I knew he wasn’t perfect, but I also knew that he had wonderful qualities that would be beneficial to our family. And one can only imagine that he may have felt the same way (gasp) about me.
- God, and not me or my husband, is actually in control of my children. My children are in God’s hands, always.
- And finally, and perhaps most convicting to me, I want to display public respect for my husband and his role to my kids. I want them to see me trust him, talk nicely to him, and appreciate him.
My husband and I are very different. VERY different.
And you know what? Our kids are lucky to have both of us.
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