Dads are parents too!

As we approach Father’s Day, I’d like to thank all dads as they take on the task of parenting.

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, or a mother who works outside the home for pay, there still seems to be a tilt toward mothers being the primary caregivers. This is not always the case – every family is unique – but I think it’s safe to say that often times, moms are in charge of the kids; from what they eat and wear, to what their schedules are.

I think this sometimes undermines the importance that dads have in the parenting relationship.

When our children were little and I would head out for the evening or out of town for a couple of days, I would literally pack my stuff and go. I might let my husband know about an appointment or practice they might have, but I wouldn’t plan meals, or activities for them to do. I wouldn’t leave a list or timetable for their day.

You see, my husband was not babysitting MY children. They are his children, he is their father, and he was going to parent them.

Would he do things the way I would? No, of course not.

Is that a bad thing? No, of course not!

In fact, I think it gave them a uniqueness to their relationship. They would do things that they only did with their father. Or they would do things that I always did with them, but in a new and different way.

They are his children and he loves them just as much as I do. I realized that not only did I not need to control the way he was parenting them, but that they benefited from having two parents who did things differently. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I were on the same page about the big things, but it was totally fine for him to get them dressed, to decide what they would eat, to plan fun activities, and for him to be their parent.

Let’s face it, he didn’t tell me what they should wear that day or what to eat for lunch, so why should I do that?

I loved coming home and hearing about how dad did things.

  • “Dad puts way more cinnamon and sugar on our toast then you do.”

I loved that they got to do some fun things.

  • “Dad decided we should go to dinner tonight — at the bowling alley.”

I loved hearing about the special connections they made.

  • Eskimo Butterfly and the My Buddy Song

They developed a strong relationship with him, because they saw him as an equal parent. He was their dad, just as I was their mom.

Different, unique and important.

One thought on “Dads Don’t Babysit

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