7 Things Every Mom Can Learn from Dads
As a mom to 6-month-old twins, I've developed a certain way of doing things when it comes to parenting. It's hard for me not to cringe when dad steps in and takes over because let's face it, he doesn't know that the teeny-tiny washcloths get stacked on the right side of the drawer under the crib, or that there's a special pad that protects the pad that goes on the changing table.
But what I've come to realize is that when I refrain from correcting my husband or showing him how to do things my way, he starts to feel even more confident handling the babies - and I get some much-needed help! The bonus is that when we let dads be dads, we can actually learn something from them.
Here's what I've learned from watching my husband and other dads - let me know if you agree!
1. They don't read tons of parenting books
When the little one isn't sleeping enough, mom scours different websites, checks out online chat rooms, and takes out books from the library espousing different sleep-scheduling methods. The dads I know go by trial and error, and for the most part, the result is usually the same!
2. They don't feel guilty for working
I find that when I work, I worry about missing time with the kids. When I'm with the kids, I think about the work I should be doing. It's a losing battle. Since more dads tend to maintain clearer boundaries between work and family, they can be more present when they're actually parenting!
3. They don't stress about whether they're doing things perfectly
Plenty of mothers wonder whether they're doing mom stuff right, whether it's breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or burping their little ones. Dads, on the other hand, are usually willing to jump right in without a lot of concern for perfectionism. So what if the diaper is on backwards? At least it's on, right?
4. They don't freak out over kids' boo-boos
When our wee ones get a first bruise or cut, motherly instincts kick in and tell us to nurture. Dads are more apt to play things cool, which can be extremely helpful in teaching kids not to overreact during mishaps (although I'll admit it: mom still might!).
5. They do things with the kids that they're interested in... which makes it more fun for them
While moms investigate the proper books to read to their kids and which TV shows (if any) are appropriate, dads are often more easy-going in this area and tend to choose activities that they like doing with their little ones, from playing ball to cooking to just running around.
6. They don't care about coordinating babies' outfits
When mom's on wardrobe duty, the baby's decked out in a coordinated outfit that costs more than the one mom's wearing. When dad dresses baby, she's sporting clashing colors, mismatched socks, or a onesie that's not weather-appropriate. I've learned to relax a little on this front: The kid's just going to spit up on it in two minutes, anyway!
7. They ask for help when they need it
Let's face it: Most of us see ourselves as Supermoms who don't need help with the door or anything else, thanks! If the dads I know care about it, they don't show it: They're more apt to ask for help when they need it, including enlisting the help of moms they see when they're out for a stroll. (Note: Unfortunately, this doesn't mean they are any less stubborn about asking for directions or assembling furniture from Ikea.)
- By Ronnie Koenig
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