I recently read a comment thread on a previous post […]
I recently read a comment thread on a previous post I wrote regarding utilizing help with a newborn. In that post I used the word “I” a lot because it’s written from my perspective as a parent. A commenter raised the question, “Where is dad in all of this?” This is a fair question considering I failed to mention my husband, Matt, and it inspired my writing content for this week. I may be the primary care giver during the day, however, I wanted to set the record straight and sing his praises as a father. As we both have come into our own understanding of parenting an infant, I have had to let go of the idea that I am the “best parent.” One lesson I learned is the benefit of setting aside my personal system I have developed with my daughter for the betterment of Matt developing one, too.
I love that Matt has started to create his own routine with Bellamy during the evenings and on the days he is off work. I started noticing we have different mechanisms for helping her eat, calm down and get to sleep. One night I walked into our bedroom, and he was sitting on the edge of the bed bouncing her up and down. I sort of inwardly rolled my eyes because she never falls asleep to bouncing, and I knew it was a waste of time. Not even 10 minutes later, she was passed out and never woke back up until the following morning. It was then I realized she has a different and unique relationship with her dad. She responds differently to him, and it doesn’t always help to compare what we both do because we are two different people to our daughter. He has just as much intuition and insight into her wants and needs as I do, and although our methods and findings differ from time to time, we are still able to be a great team!
I appreciate his ability to be solution oriented with her and his desire to know her well. He consults me when necessary, but for the most part, he takes initiative and acts like the other parent—because he is! There are many times I feel as if no one could care for her as well as I do, but Matt has proved me wrong many times! It’s not that I ever doubted him; I simply had a narrow understanding of what was best. Backing off the “rules” and giving him space to figure it out on his own has been very positive. I can tell it validates and edifies my husband to successfully put her down for a nap or get her to smile amidst a meltdown.
Now whenever we are both together and Bellamy rings, I don’t flinch if Matt meets her need in a way that is different from my personal method. I keep my mouth shut and thank God I have a partner who loves us and is growing in his role as a dad. It’s not easy, but he’s killing it! I know this will translate into later seasons of her life, too. I expect us to remain unified while bringing different approaches to the table. We want to be the best parents we can be and ditch the idea that there is one “best parent.”