If you’re a single mom- this blog isn’t for you. But if you’re NOT, then keep reading on. I work with women from a variety of backgrounds, but there seems to be ONE common theme present among them all- no one wants to have their spouse step in and help or they feel guilty asking them to.
The reasonings vary from: they work hard all day and they want them to relax to- they don’t think they can handle it. Well here’s where I dose you with some tough love.
You weren’t the only one in the relationship who had a baby- YOU BOTH DID. And by both- that means your partner too. So it’s about time you started relinquishing some control and letting them step up to the plate. Because guess what- if you keep on with this single parenting act when you’re NOT an actual single parent- you’re never going to have an equal share in parenting.
Now I realize for moms- it can be hard to have our spouse doing something to help. They don’t “understand” how the baby likes to be held, or they may not dress them appropriately, or make the wisest decisions regarding food and screen time- but guess what- none of that will hurt them. What it will do is show them that people do things differently and that is okay. It will make them flexible, see that they have two strong role models are parents, and instill trust and belief in each of you as parents.
Each of you as a parent have strengths and weaknesses and it’s about time as parents you start leaning on each other for them.
If you’re having a hard time letting go of the control reigns- start small. For example- when my husband isn’t working nights- he does bath and bedtime routine. When we were still nursing our daughter, I would nurse her and then hand her over for bedtime. It gave me a solid hour to do what I wanted and then we could spend time together.
Ways they can help:
Ask them to get them dressed- and if you have expectations about what they SHOULD be wearing- communicate that. Spouses aren’t mind readers, but critiquing them when you ask for help is a recipe for getting them to never help again in the future.
Take them on errands- if you’re sending your husband to the store ask them to bring a child or two to have some 1:1 time with them. Every week my husband takes my daughter grocery shopping and it’s their little secret outing- she gets a muffin and her 1:1 daddy time and comes back completely happy and worn out.
Have them do bath time- Bathtime is a great way to give mom a break and let the other parent have all the fun with the kids. Have them wash the kids, play with them, and you mama can put your feet up for a little bit and just relax.
Ask for a day or afternoon to yourself- Your kids may eat boxed mac and cheese and stay in PJS all day- but last time I checked no one died from their second parent not being exactly like mom. If you’re a mom- YOU NEED A BREAK. Like a BIG break. And leaving your kids for a day or few hours is NOT going to harm anyone.
Stop controlling their every move- It is OKAY for each of you to parent differently. If you don’t agree with something, don’t criticize, instead ask them why they made X decision. We each were raised differently by our parents and sometimes different ways work better with different kids. Let them parent and observe and don’t be quick to rush in and correct them. What that communicates to your spouse is that they are A) incapable B) untrustworthy and C) that they are unneeded.
What are ways that YOU let your spouse help out with the kids or things that your spouse does better than you? I’d love for you to drop a comment below to help our readers!