This week, I want to touch on something that I feel is very crucial in my parenting journey, and that I believe should be in other’s as well. I’m somewhat new to the whole motherhood thing (4 months in and haven’t had a catastrophe – yet!), but I feel like I’m familiar enough now that I can start to chronicle my journey, and share my opinions on what works and what doesn’t.
First, I’ll tell you what doesn’t work. Sharing 50% of the responsibility with your partner (if you have one – single moms and single dads, this article doesn’t really apply to you, because you rock!). Here’s why: there is no such thing as being a parent 50% of the time, and if you truly believe that, you probably shouldn’t be a parent. As a breastfeeding mother, a lot of the work falls on me. I feed her, cuddle her to sleep, and since we have the mother-daughter bond, she naturally just clings to me like her life depends on it. That doesn’t mean Ryan gets to just disappear for the hours that I have her though, and he doesn’t.
I have to say, I never thought I could love my husband more than I did on the day we got married, and seeing him as a father completely changed that. I love him on a much deeper level. I mentioned before that since I’m nursing, I have Princess a majority of the time. During this time, I get thirsty, I get hungry, I get tired, she gets tired, she gets bored, she needs boogers sucked, sometimes she even spits up on me (super fun!). When you have a small child clinging to your body, who doesn’t want to be moved, it’s pretty hard to fill those other needs. That’s where dads come in! Ryan is so wonderful about these things. I’m sure some days he feels like my personal slave, but he has no idea how helpful just grabbing me a glass of water can be, especially when I’m nursing and I suddenly feel like I haven’t had a drink of water in months. Like I said before, we are both parents 100% of the time. Even when you’re not holding or watching your child, you still have to give 100% of yourself to the kid. I mean, let’s be honest, have you ever seen your child playing quietly to themselves and thought, “Hey, I can probably make a phone call right now!” Yeah, how did that work out?
To expand on why parenting isn’t 50/50, it’s because it’s 100/100. That’s how it should be, at least. I know there are people that will disagree with this and say that each of you deserves a break, and I agree with that, but at the end of the day, you’re still a parent, and you still have to give 100% to your child.
I also think that mothers get all the credit, and dads don’t get the recognition they deserve. So this is my open letter to you, dads.
You’re incredible, you’re wonderful, and downright amazing. We’re thankful for you. You’re doing a great job, yes, you! That woman next to you, feeding and cuddling your child, she loves you. Sometimes she may forget to show you or tell you, especially with the chaos that is having a new child, but she does, with every part of her being. That glass of water you brought her in the middle of the night is equivalent to 10 dozen roses. That dirty diaper you changed at 2AM so she could get a few extra minutes of sleep, might as well be a 10 carat diamond. Take comfort in knowing that while she watches you play with your baby, you are the most handsome, most amazing man on the planet to her. Take comfort in knowing that you’re providing a sense of comfort and safety to both of them, even when you’re not doing anything but being there. You’re appreciated, more than you know.
There you have it. Feel free to share with me your own open letter to the dad in your world! Also enjoy this super awkward selfie of my family!