There have been a few times where I’ve stopped myself from what I’m doing and thought about how I’m taking my role as a mom differently than Eric takes his role as a dad. There are things I do that he doesn’t think to do. Things I notice that he doesn’t notice. Things that I worry about that he doesn’t. These nurturing things are coming natural to me and I am really starting to love it so much.
I want to clarify that there is nothing wrong with being different. Dads are not moms, and moms are not dads. And that’s perfectly OK. We are both still figuring out our roles as parents, and I’m sure it will be an ongoing process. We agree that we love Rooney differently, but not any more or less than each other. By the way her eyes follow him around the room–I know she loves him, too.
But sometimes we fall into the trap that we know how to do things better than the other person. We have been parents for the EXACT same amount of time, yet occasionally we will make a comment that makes the other person feel like they are doing something wrong. That the way they are feeding Rooney or giving her Tylenol is not the best way. It’s great to encourage and teach and better each other, but sometimes it can come off or be taken the wrong way.
How I’m a Different Parent Than Eric
- I manage the relationship with our day care. I’ll stay up late emailing her about her schedule, how things are going when we get her home, and brainstorming ideas of how we can get her all the sleep she needs during the day.
- I choose her outfits (shocker, huh?). I pay attention to when day care uses air conditioning and when they just open the windows, and the projected temperatures to see if she should wear shorts, pants or capris. Her outfit is laid out every night before we go to bed.
- I research what her poop should look like. I research how to cure torticollis. I research which solid foods are best to start with. Heck, I research almost everything.
- I am more cautious about spending money because what if she ends up sick, in the hospital? We have an emergency fund, but I still get worried about it.
- I analyzed her eating and sleeping patterns and created a schedule for her when she started day care.
- I called her pediatrician to discuss my disappointment in our physical therapy appointments.
- I have a list of questions for our physical therapist and chiropractor.
- I schedule all her appointments and hope to never miss one (although I did have to leave last week when she got her shots…I just didn’t think I’d be able to handle it!).
- I take her rectal temperature when needed. Eric shutters at the thought.
Eric has his own things that he does. He does baths, consoles her after her shots, hangs her upside down and other doctors’ orders, submits the paperwork every other week for our dependent care FSA, washes bottles, drives the minivan, and carries her in and out of places in her car seat. It’s so nice to have each other. To have someone else who knows her to ask what they think and brainstorm about things like phasing her out of swaddling (probably our biggest issue right now).
Bath night is our best example of parenting as a team. We’ve got it down. Eric preps the bath while I prep Roo, and then he gives her the bath while I make a bottle, tidy her room and get a towel. Then I take her from the bath to her room (after a little run/ride around the house) for drying, diapering and pajama-ing. Eric comes in after the bath is put away and brushes her hair. It’s really fun to have that little routine.
We’re always wanting to get better! I’d love to hear how you and your spouse parent as a team.