It’s a BFBN pinterest day! With Father’s Day right around the corner, the ladies of the BFBN are talking about all things dad.
As a mom that has the kids all day, I am pretty much the default parent for most things. I don’t mind that, it’s how our family has chosen to divide the labor. Not to mention the girls are still nursing, which makes me super important in their lives. Ben is still only two, and he tends to be super into mommy. I think it is easy to overlook a dad’s role when the kids are so young. Despite the fact that I tend to be the go-to parent in a lot of situations, I for sure couldn’t do all the parenting on my own. As I mentioned in my post Letting go and letting Dad, it is so important to let dads do things their own way. More than just letting each parent do what they think is best, it is important for Pat and I to work as a team. We made a big jump when we had the girls. We went from two on one to being outnumbered. With the girls being so young we can do a modified man to man- one parent with Ben, one with the girls. But overall we are zone defense here. That means constant communication and teamwork. It also means I had to realize that in order to meet the needs of everyone, I couldn’t try take over and do everything myself.
A great example of how I’ve really come to rely on Pat to do his dad thing is at bedtime. When the girls were newborns they had a later bedtime. I was able to put Ben to bed, then later put the girls to bed. Well now that the girls are a little older they have moved to an early bedtime. This puts their bedtime right when Ben’s is. Now yes, we could move one or both of the times around a little bit. But my children’s sleep is one of the most important things I work on, and in order to give each child the best sleep we could the times had to overlap a bit. Add to this that Ben is kind of potty training. I say kind of because we are doing a very long, drawn out method. I’m not going to go into the details of it now, but a part of it involves Ben of course sitting on the potty before bed. The girls also nurse right before bed. Both of these things take time, and it means one parent can’t do it all.
Fortunately for me, Pat has had no problem handling the bedtime routine with Ben. (Obviously if the girls need to nurse that’s where I am.) The first night was a little confusing, but now we have it down. We bring all the kids upstairs. I start nursing the girls while Pat does teeth brushing and using the potty with Ben. Then the boys come in to the bedroom with the girls and I for prayers and songs. Pat puts Ben down to sleep, and I put the girls down. It can be a bit of back and forth. There is some yelling as I cheer Ben on for going potty while in a different room. Sometimes Pat has to run in and hand me a burp cloth for the girls. Ben just runs back and forth between rooms because, you know, two. But it works for us.
We went from me trying to do everything for each kid, and bedtime routine stretching out for almost an hour, to a much more efficient system. Each kid gets their needs met. Each kid gets into bed at the proper time. And with Pat and I working together, we get it all done in about 30 minutes, which means more couple time in the evening. Could one person do the whole thing themselves? Yes. And sometimes that has to happen. But bedtime is a much less stressful time with both of us pitching in.
This is just one example of how important a dad can be. I know our roles will change a bit as the kids get bigger. We will be able to take turns with bedtime for the kids. (I have the easy part now, I get to snuggle with babies while Pat deals with pees and poops) As the kids get bigger we will need to rely on each other more and more. As a pretty solid do-it-all-myself person this is a challenge for me. Bedtime currently reminds me that I don’t need to do it all myself. I am fortunate to have a partner to work with. I am fortunate that my kids have a great dad who loves them more than anything.
Be sure to check out the rest of the ladies today, and our Pinterest page on fatherhood!
How To Help Your Spouse Succeed as a Father (in a non-nagging way)
Parenting Isn’t Easy on a Relationship- The Real Truth
The Importance of Dad’s Support with Babywise
5 ways to celebrate Dad