I’ve noticed a super-alarming trend lately – hating on our partner’s parenting abilities. I know that it’s often done in jest….I have definitely made plenty of light-hearted jabs at Mike, and he has made them back at me. But the alarming stuff I’ve seen goes soooo much farther than joking. At least once a day I come across full-on parent-bashing.
I have a friend on Facebook who posts a “daily daddy moment.” I cringe whenever I come across it in my feed. It is, without fail, something horribly awkward. One time she said, “Husband gave the baby a bath, THEN fed him peas. Baby got peas everywhere, and Husband had to give him ANOTHER bath! Poor baby. Husband is so dumb.” Was that a less-than-ideal order to do the nightly routine? Probably. Did he deserve to be called dumb in front of all of her friends? No.
A girl I went to school with recently posted that a few weeks earlier her husband had forgotten to pick up diapers at the store, and she only discovered it when she was cleaning up a diaper blow-out. She was livid. A couple nights later she went out to dinner with friends and she TOOK ALL THE DIAPERS IN THE HOUSE WITH HER. “Let’s see how he likes trying to change a diaper when there aren’t any in the house.”
(I clearly need to do some Facebook friend-cleansing.)
A former coworker of mine recently went back to work after maternity leave, and her husband stays home to care for the baby. The mom thought the dad was going through too much breast milk, so she started leaving him exactly the amount of breast milk she wanted the dad to administer. When a friend on Facebook questioned why she would do this, the mom said, “because I am the baby’s mom, and I know exactly how much food she needs.”
WHAAAAAAAT?! I am completely baffled by these women who are basically sabotaging their partner’s parenting efforts. I used to work outside the home, so I understand how hard it can be to have your child be away from your care. But in these cases, it’s not just anyone caring for the child – it’s the child’s father. This is the person that you created a family with. A person that you love and should respect.
Can you imagine if a man wrote anything like that on his Facebook wall about his wife? He would be torn apart.
I definitely have preferences to how things should go in relation to my children. I want Annie up by a certain time, fed and dressed by a certain time, etc. Mike places value on different things. He doesn’t care if she sleeps later, and he’ll leave her in her pajamas if they aren’t going anywhere, but he puts way more effort into making sure Annie eats veggies than I do, and he never forgets to brush her teeth before bed. Our parenting styles are our own, and they compliment each other. I am so lucky to have a partner in child-rearing – why wouldn’t I want and value his input?
One of the learning songs on Yo Gabba Gabba goes, “just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it’s scary.” Dads aren’t scary, so why do so many of us treat them like they are?
PS I am giving away another computer. Yup. You know you want it.