Why My Husband Is A Better Parent Than Me


He doesn’t worry whether the top of her sippy cup matches the bottom, just that she has milk in her glass.


He doesn’t worry about if the onesie he put on under her outfit for the day matches the rest, just that she has one on to keep her bare stomach from feeling the cold winter air.


He doesn’t worry about if her meal consists of a little of each food group in it, just that she’s fed.


He doesn’t notice the last of the yogurt is gone, just that she had some for lunch that day.


He doesn’t notice her blanket is dirty, just that she has it to soothe her for naps and bedtime.


He doesn’t worry about the dishes in the sink or the unwashed sippy cup, just that he’s engaged in playtime with her.


He doesn’t care that her doll's hair is in knots, just that she has her companion to hug when we go to the car.


Ultimately, all of this makes him a better dad to Adelyn that I am a mom.


I spend so much time making sure everything is put together, always. Trust me, I fail so often, but having all my t’s crossed and i’s dotted is just a part of me, and a part of me I can’t fully get away from no matter how hard I try (and no matter how often my husband probably prays that I would =D).


My time with our daughter is still special. We’d probably describe her as a mama’s girl at this point (although I’m pretty sure that’ll change after one or two more trips where she’s with Daddy 100% of the time!), because it’s not that I don’t engage in my time with her. But instead of fully giving her all of my attention when we’re home alone, I’m usually making dinner, washing dishes, changing over the laundry or any other household task that needs to be done.


Now I don’t think what I’m doing is wrong or that I'm a bad mom, and I’m not giving myself a pity party. She excitedly sets the settings on the washing machine with me, and pours different ingredients into the pans for dinner. She looks forward to sitting on the counter to help me scramble her egg with a fork in the morning, and she asks for baby wipes to wipe down the entertainment center when I’m dusting. She already loves picking out her clothes and asking to look in the mirror at the final product, and she plays with my hair and asks me to put a “pony” in hers.


But my husband, he does it different. He doesn’t incorporate her into what he’s doing; he incorporates himself into what she’s doing. She’s the center, and that’s something I don’t do often because I’m always so caught up in things that aren’t always important…like making sure the pattern on her socks don’t clash with the pattern on her shirt, or that the lid to the purple container her lunch is in for the next day is in fact purple (and then spending time digging in the cupboard to find the purple one if it isn’t).


My husband adds an element of balance to our daughter’s life that I don’t always provide. And while I may cringe every time I see the red sippy cup top sitting on the counter next to the pink chevron cup (rinsed but not washed), I just need to remind myself it’s because he has this dad thing down. Because when it really comes down to it, the matching sippy cup or immediately washed dishes don’t equate to being the perfect dad or mom. The real formula has to do with the time invested in a relationship with the child. When it comes down to that aspect, the man I’m married to has it down perfectly (even when it means being her stool to watch Elsa on for the 55th millionth time).

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© 2013 by Heather Anders : Meet Me on the Intersection of Richmond & Style.