• Mums needs to learn to step aside when Dad takes over in parenting
Mothers are automatically the primary caregivers of babies since birth. But as the babies grow and start to recognise people and move about independently, they form other deeper relationships with different members of the family.
Fathers tend to shy away from heavy baby duties with smaller babies, perhaps they fear breaking or hurting the delicate offspring. However, as soon as the babies are grown enough, here comes the rumble tumble master!
Fathers become more involved when babies are semi-independent as they can walk on their own, talk or gesture their needs and, moreover, when babies can spend long periods of time away from mum.
Our baby is old enough to spend long periods of time with my husband without him needing my assistance. However, as our little one is still breastfeeding, his watch is rigged with some challenging times.
As a mother, my first reaction has always been to intervene and comfort the baby immediately, but when I watch my husband’s method of parenting unfold, I couldn't help recognising how integral it is for me to step back and let him take control of the situation.
As mothers, our instinct is to comfort our children and ‘coddle’ them out of difficult situations, but the reality of things is that babies need to learn how to overcome hardships from a young age. Whenever my son starts banging on the door to get to me, my first reaction is, “just let him in”. My husband, however, steers him away even as he throws tantrums and cries, but manages the situation in a calming manner so much so that I can't help but be envious.
I am a mother who is around my child 24/7. I can't tell you how many times a day I lose my cool or have little meltdown moments of my own. Watching my husband manage difficult situations while maintaining his composure is inspiring. I want to manage my son’s tantrums without feeling like a failure. I want to have the patience my husband does as he repeats the same things for an hour straight because the baby wants to hear them.
As the baby grows and spends more time with each of us individually, I cannot help but recognise that while we have different strategies in parenting, it is not that one is right while the other is wrong. It might be that mine is the ‘easier’ approach as I have been doing it for long, but it does not mean that the father’s methods are wrong.
I realised that for us to parent effectively, we must support each other in the way we handle the baby individually as well as the way we choose to parent together. For that to happen, I must accept and allow him to implement his own methods.