I consider myself an easy going person, a silly mom and fun partner who doesn’t take herself too seriously. Rarely do I get upset when other people correct my kids…I do believe it takes a village! With that said, I do not understand why I CANNOT let my partner, the man I love, my baby daddy, the guy I chose to have children with, take a more active role with the kids in his own way. My way, is not the only way.
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Now to make it clear, we are on the same page about our endgame; and that is to make sure the kids are healthy, happy and kind. It’s the road we take to get there, that is not parallel. Which is why I secretly have issues with the way he dresses the kids, bath time, bedtime and the activities he chooses to do with them. I know our kids are safe, and we both try and set an example on how to be good people, I just don’t know if they will have socks on with their tennis shoes at the end of the day. UGH this sounds so petty and rational me knows this.
Buuut that is not what my internal Momster is yelling; she’s telling me all the things he could have done different or compares his technique to mine. And That. Is. So. Wrong. He is the best dad (the kids adore him) and so funny (biggest reason I fell for him), and I’m telling you, he knows everything about everything, but is so humble about it (one of his best attributes).
Oh and the songs he makes up are so clever and done on the fly; his intention is to make us laugh and he excels at it. I smile as I write this, because he brings that out in me. I just received some cute pictures from the park and The Momster rears her ugly head again. The pictures are a little blurry, ok we are not all photographers and it is cloudy today…..but he didn’t comb their hair and what is on their faces. WHHHYYY? They both have really curly hair and it gets matted so easily; I don’t know how their hair is standing up that way. And ummm, were they eating dirt or chocolate and why is it on the forehead and the chin?? I try to focus on their smiles and the body language; they really do seem to be having fun.
When they get home, they excitedly tell me that the park has new equipment…they climbed to the sky by themselves… and how they got a special snack for being brave and the beast is tamed inside.
I feel like I am getting better at deciphering what his special path is with the kids (when I need to tell the voice inside, to slow her roll) and when I need to address an issue. For example, the other day our work schedules overlapped and he needed to bring the kids to me at work; thankfully my job is understanding and they are allowed to sit with me for a few minutes, while i wrap things up. They run inside, excited to be at mommy’s job (the staff spoils them) and they are wearing clothes that don’t fit and mismatched shoes. I just look at him with raised eyebrows and big buggy eyes, which are screaming ‘REALLY Ryan, I put out clothes for you!’ But using my smiling, public voice I ask about their day…the 2 yr old was so proud that he put on his own shoes (mismatched) and the 5 yr old said she loved her unicorn shirt that grandma had given her, but she thought she lost it, but daddy found it for her! Doh! I almost ruined their happy accomplishments by letting the beast inside dictate how the kids should be presented at a place that doesn’t judge them. Daddy didn’t care, so I followed his example, he let them make their own choices that day because who is it hurting….no one, and they were so proud.
While coming up with examples to write about, and there were many to chose from, I realized that this opinion piece evolved dramatically. It went from me just complaining about how my guy puts our kids to bed (mismatched pj’s, blinds open, too many night lights STOP), to figuring out why I want him to model my actions with the kids.
My way IS NOT the only way to raise these kids, and I need to give him the respect and room to make mistakes, but also make him accountable for some of the choices he makes with them.
It sounds so simple, but it may help squash the judgey Momster inside. For instance, if he chooses not to comb the hair of our adorable children in the morning, he can do it at night; so he can witness first hand all the yelling that happens, when you mix a whole day of sweat and dirt to curly hair.
In reality, I know our kids won’t turn into mastermind criminals, if my little family of three decide to mix all the play doh together and it turns brown. Will the trajectory of their lives be altered, if the markers dry out during craft time with daddy? NOPE. But what may change their lives, is that their daddy played with them and they experienced ugly colored play doh TOGETHER.
Photo Credit :: Lindsay Herkert Photography