Every mom plays an important role in her baby's life. In adition to providing our babies with life, with milk to grow and a home for over 9 months, we have a special bond with our little ones. And for some reason in our society, it seems that the men are always considered the "next in line." They are mommy's loyal helper, the one who takes the baby when mom is too tired, who changes diapers when mom just needs a break and the ones who are always learning how to take care of a baby. They are always learning "the right way to do things" because mommy knows best.
Well that's what so many dads (and moms) think of the role of the daddy, but in reality, were are on equal levels in our kids' lives and guess what? Mommy isn't always right! The way she changes the diaper is her way of doing it, and dad has another way of doing it. The way dad dresses his little girl and the color bow he picks out is adorable to him, and could never be the wrong way. I often find myself correcting my husband on the way he takes care of Ava.
"You know if you roll the dirt diaper up like this, it works a lot better and creates more space in the trash can."
"You know that the water in the bath tub can be warmer than that, right?"
"That outfit you put on her totally doesn't match!"
And because of all of this, he has come to ask me to pick out her outfits and asks me if he is putting her diaper up high enough over her belly. Frank is the most amazing daddy and could very easily do all of this on his own, of course, but because of how I have worded things and how many times he has been "wrong" in my eyes, it is almost as though we make our husbands feel that we are better at taking care of the little ones than they are. But we aren't.
Just because I am the mommy, doesn't mean I am right. And it doesn't mean that he is right. It just means that we are different and we have our own ways of doing things, just like another mommy may do it differently than I do.
To all of the mommies out there: Stop telling your husband's how to do it right. If the baby's diaper explodes all over the place, he will learn how to do it differently. And if she spits up all over him, he will know next time that a blanket may be better than a small burp cloth. And guess what? He will continue to choose funky outfits that you never would have thought of, and may even put her romper on backwards but does that all matter? In the end, no.
At one point, you didn't know how to put the diaper on correctly and you didn't know how to swaddle and guess what? He is as smart as you are and will figure it out just like you did. So let him do it his way. He is a daddy and is just as good of a parent as you are. And he is doing it all right, just differently.
And to all of the daddies out there: You are doing a fabulous job. Whether your wives say it or not, society always tells us that mommies do it better. But we don't. We all have our own ways of taking care of our little ones and we aren't right and we aren't wrong. So when it comes time to pick out her outfit, pick what YOU think is adorable, change the diaper the way that works best for you and sooth her the way you think will be best to comfort her while she is crying.
Daddies, you are amazing at being a dad. You aren't mommy's little helper and although you may not be able to provide milk out of your boobs (which still makes me feel like a super hero), that is literally the only thing that you can't do that mommy can. The one and only thing. You are equal to your baby's mommy and you, too, play an overwhelmingly important role in your kids' lives. So take ownership of that and know that you are learning every day, just as mommy is. And you are doing a great job.
Dear Dads: You aren't mommy's helper. You're an amazing dad.