Not to long ago while out sans the rest of my family, someone asked me if I got nervous leaving Ben home with Henry. Puzzled with such a question I responded, “Why? Should I?” She politely said “Of course not, but some moms get really nervous when hubby is with the kids.” Of course I laughed and said anything I can do he can do better. Which is true. Ben is a far better parent then I’ll ever be. He has WAY more patience than I and is definitely the fun parent. I’m uptight and scheduled while he’s laid back just going with the flow. He always tells me you can’t control every situation so just roll with it when you have to. After nearly eight years together I have yet to completely listen to this advice, but possibly one day I will.
Later, what struck my nerve about the whole conversation was why would any mom get nervous leaving their child with their husband. It seems like such an oxymoron to me. Hey, you’re good enough to marry, have sex with and give sperm to my egg, but you aren’t up to par in the parenting field.
The thing is Ben and I both became parents on Father’s Day of 2012 and for real on February 13, 2013 at 11:29am. He may be a bit older than I, but it’s not like he was a parent first. Being an uncle well before I’d ever become an aunt (only by marriage at this point) doesn’t mean he parented his nieces and nephews. Our experiences were just that at the time and not one of us was better than the other. We learned everything we could together. Did I read more books than he? Of course, all first moms do. (He totally had a baby app on his phone that I once found, but never said anything). Did I carry our child and feel all the aches associated with that? Yes, but I’d be damned if I didn’t fill him in on all the details.
We became a united front the day we exchanged vows and that has only carried over in this new chapter. We made the decision to become parents together and that’s what we’ve done the entire time; parenting together. While I was a nursing mom he often felt helpless, but did what he could when needed. The man would cut up my food and feed it to me so I didn’t have to eat much later or skip meals. We deemed him the baby whisperer as he could calm Henry down during his witching hour. He gives Henry a bath every night, puts him to bed, takes him to daycare daily, picks up him on a whim when I need too and so much more. Heck when I mentioned having to take off work for one of Henry’s doctor appointments he said why, I got this. Just like that, without even second guessing it. (We all know I sent him with a list of questions, quizzed him before and after the appointment). He’s constantly asking if there’s anything to do the moment he walks in the door while I’m juggling making dinner, feeding Henry and entertaining the dog. Earlier this week he thought HD might need to go to the walk-in and I had to work late. Did it pain me to know that I couldn’t be there? No, it didn’t. I trust him. I trust him more than anyone and I have to. I have to have faith that after all we’ve discussed and been through he’ll follow through one hundred percent. I’d be so exhausted if I didn’t.
I can’t do it all. The cleaning, cooking, shopping, parenting, working etc. It’s just not possible. It pains me to see moms who are constantly on the go while dad is at home or doing who knows what. Why? Break it up. Give him a chance. Stop trying to control it all and just let loose. Have time for yourself. Find that spark in your marriage that often gets lost when kids arrive. Have fun. Be you. Don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of trying to do it all alone. It’s why we get married. To have a companion to share the trials and tribulations of life.
I think me giving Ben a chance has allowed both of our confidences as parents to build and our relationship to be stronger. Our faith and trust in one another makes for our idea of perfect. Henry is and will always be our number one, but my marriage and husband still come first. I fear that if I didn’t have such faith in my husbands ability to be a father we wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s hard to be a parent and having children has taught me you can’t control everything. So why not parent and figure things out together. We’re constantly sharing adventures that happened while the other was gone (he’s even taken to shooting videos or photos), offering easier ways of tackling the life of the monster and leaning on one another. We still do nudge one another if HD wakes up in the middle of the night, but seriously sleep is awesome and shouldn’t be interrupted.
For us, our system works. I love my husband now more than I ever could and it’s because I give him a chance to do what he was meant to do. While women are born with the motherly instincts so are men. I just don’t think women give them enough time to let those instincts shine.