When Mothers Know Best, It’s The Worst

mother-baby

When you’re pregnant or a new mom, people like to bestow all kinds of useless advice on you. Pearls of wisdom like “enjoy every moment” or “sleep when the baby sleeps.”

Please. I don’t know much, but I have one piece of advice that I think might actually help some new mommies out there. This is what I sorely wish someone had said to me when that little one arrived: You Don’t Want to Be That Mother Who Knows Best.

I see you over there, Control Freak New Mommy. You’re just like I was, reading and Googling and list-making. You’re figuring that with all this knowledge you’ll know pretty much what the hell to do with your baby, but take it from this mentally exhausted, overwhelmed mom of five: you’re setting things up all wrong. Whether you have one or five babies, YOU DON’T WANT TO BE THE EXPERT. Here’s why:

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane back to when I had my first baby. There we were, yours truly and my dear husband and our precious baby boy. The hubs was home from work for two weeks as we got settled, but I was generally the one caring for the baby. I spent more time with him and knew better what to do, you know what I mean? Plus I’d read all those nifty books!

So I would change him, and burp him, and feed him, and decide what he needed to do and when, and make all the little plans for his little life. If my husband picked the baby up, I’d usually give him some “helpful” pointers about how he was holding him wrong or burping him wrong and oh, now he’s crying…better give him back to me.

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Now let’s fast forward, shall we, to last Saturday morning, chez moi.

Mommy wakes up (very early). She puts out breakfast because only she knows what the kids eat that day. Mommy tells the chitlins what to wear, because only she knows what they are doing that day (soccer), even though they have been playing soccer for two months. And only she knows where each kid’s soccer clothes are (including shin guards, cleats, uniforms).

Time to head out? Mommy crouches down tying all the shoelaces while Daddy catches up on the iPad because Daddy doesn’t get the kids ready because he doesn’t know all the ins and outs. Mommy hands Daddy the bag with the change of clothes, lunch and the water bottles. The kids are firing questions at Mommy and she’s fielding them like a catcher during bating practice.  “Can I do this?”  “Why did he get that?” It’s only 9 a.m. and you’re so drained from the excess of planning, details and decision-making that you’re ready to head back to bed.

The afternoon?  Mommy’s spends her “downtime hour” answering emails from schools and coaches and teachers and PTA groups, all starting with the refrain “Just a friendly reminder!” Picking a library hour for each of her kids. Deciding which insipid birthday party we are going to have to go to and trying to find a creative way to lie her way out of at least some of them.  Oh, summer is around the corner — better start researching camps!  Meanwhile, the kids are parked in front of the TV, which leaves Mommy guilt-ridden …and what’s Daddy doing? Downloading music onto his iPod!

Oh wait, it’s time for dinner. Time to order the Saturday night pizza.  This is “Daddy’s job.” And even though we’ve ordered exactly the same pizza from the same restaurant every single Saturday night for around 6 years – that’s about 336 times – Daddy still waits for Mommy to TELL HIM to order the pizza and TELL HIM what type of pizza to order because she has trained him NOT TO MAKE ANY DECISION WHATSOEVER REGARDING THE KIDS.

So, who would you rather be? The 1-800 Call Center or the pinch hitter brought in to do the only task that is actually fulfilling as a parent: having fun with the kids?

I thought so. But if you aren’t careful, you’re going to turn out just like me. And if this happens to you, you might bitch and moan, sister, like almost all of us mommies, but fact of the matter is that it’s pretty much your fault.

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You told the hubs the second that baby came to let YOU be the one. You told him NOT to make the decisions, nor to sweat the details but rather to be instructed and guided by your wisdom at every turn. Now he’s been well trained, for years, in WAITING IN THE WINGS TO BE ASKED TO APPEAR.  Go Mom!

So STOP. Nip this baby in the bud. Stains, mismatched outfits, missed naps, unfinished bottles, leaking loose diapers, letting the baby watch TV on his lap while he downs a beer during the game …BRING IT ON.

Get the hell away from that baby and let Daddy do his messy, sloppy, imperfect, thing. He’s setting you up to be happier with every mis-hap. You might actually get a shot at enjoying something once in a while and having one moment’s peace.  And when you get home, zip your mouth shut and don’t say one single critical word when you see spit up on the carpet!!

I’m trying to change my ways, but I have to be honest, it’s too late for me. So I’m trying to save you.

You’ll thank me later.

Related post: Why I Won’t Get Divorced

About the writer

Melissa Lawrence aka Cloudmom is an un-recovering control freak, Mom of 5, and video blogger. You can find Melissa’s how to video guides for moms at www.cloudmom.com.

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Heather 9 months ago

Yep, I fell into this trap and with 3 kids, I think I’m beyond saving as well, but this article really speaks the truth!

Mrs.Klein 10 months ago

Did you actually read the article? She hardy demonizes the fathers/husbands, but says that she felt that it was HER fault for micromanaging.
And here’s another solution to the issues you listed:
TALK TO YOUR PARTNER. And if you can’t have a conversation about what’s going on in the household, you’re not enough of an adult to be married. Acted passive aggressive and shitty is hardly going to fix anything.

Mrs.Klein 10 months ago

God bless my mother for telling me this when I had my daughter. Now, my husband and I actually parent as a team and get to BOTH be the fun/not-fun parent sometimes.

Wendy 10 months ago

Somehow I knew that. And I kept my mouth shut. And my husband is as helpful as can be. And I think he enjoys it more than I do quite often. Of course he also gets to go to work. He doesn’t understand the value of a 20 minute commute in silence without small people in the backseat. I know where their shoes and clothes are and which food our son is more likely to eat at any given moment. But he fed both our kids FIRST. Because you know what? Forget the breast vs bottle debate. I actually straight up jus suck at formula feeding. I bet you didn’t even know that it’s possible to fail at bottle feeding but it is. It was the day after our son was born and I am still not as good as he is 8 weeks into our daughter’s life. Oh well.

Lillian Connelly 11 months ago

This is so true. We started out this way, but somehow around age 2 I figured it out and started leaving my husband and daughter alone. When he has a question I say, “Just do what you’d do if I wasn’t here.”

It goes beyond kids too. Like the other day my husband asked me where we keep the clean sheets.

Jennifer 12 months ago

So which is it? Does your wife “play with the kids all day” or does she do housework and take care of their needs? I’m the primary breadwinner in my family, but I can’t imagine shirking my parental/home responsibilities because I make the money. When does your partner get to play on her apple product?

Honestly, I consider being at work all day, around other adults, to BE a break. Taking care of children is immensely tiring and time-consuming. Being at work for eight plus hours a day is a comparative cake-walk.

Jennifer 12 months ago

“My kids”? Yikes. You need to give your husband the chance to make mistakes and learn from them. I can’t imagine wanting to do everything. That’s why I have a partner :)

Corie 1 year ago

This is 100% me! I breastfed our daughter and stayed home with her the first six months, so I micro managed the HECK out of my husband’s relationship with her. I never thought about it like this, but I’m slowly having him taking over more and more to improve their relationship. It’s working and my husband is happy because he’s closer to our daughter and I’M happy because I have to do less– even though it grates my nerves to send her to preschool in a mismatched outfit….

Kevin 1 year ago

Bingo. And therein lies the problem.

Candace 1 year ago

I planned to be a control freak… then I had an extremely difficult delivery and daddy had to do almost everything but nurse the baby. I guess it was a good thing, because 9 years and 3 kids later, hubs is VERY involved and I actually have somewhat of a life (I mean, I do have three kids and homeschool), but I do still manage to sleep in occasionally, do things outside of the house with friends, and read novels. So, yeah, your advice is good.

Natalie McCabe 1 year ago

Love this website!

Chris 1 year ago

So I scrolled down and though it’s possible that I missed a post, I didn’t see a single male name here. As a Dad on the receiving end of this post, I feel that males are demonized as lazy, non-task executing people who sit around on Apple products and have no sense of organization. Yes, I sit at my Apple products (AFTER A LONG DAY OF BRINGING HOME MONEY SO SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING BUT PLAY WITH OUR KIDS ALL DAY) and yes I order (cough, provide) the pizza on the metaphorical Saturday nights. I even let the mess pile up if my wife does, since I view the home front as her area of responsibility, and the work front/money making as my responsibility.

I feel that if you start to shirk off “home front” responsibilities and Dad starts coming home mentally exhausted to a kitchen counter completely overrun, dishwasher half full of clean dishes, washer and dryer full with no sorting, and that sort of thing… know this: Men are fixers. It’s what we do. If you have a problem, you bring it to our attention, we’ll provide our proposed solution. Men don’t talk to figure out how they feel. They talk to seek a solution from an alternate source. If we believe that talking will only result in a hostile wife, eventually one of two things will likely happen.

1. Dad will do what men view as the honorable thing when faced with hostility towards a woman: They establish a safe zone “ie. man cave” where the kids aren’t allowed in to destroy his efforts. This results in reduction of communication between husband and wife; never a good thing.

2. Dad will become increasingly hostile each time he has to do additional work that he views as additional to his primary job. Eventually as the article states, he will take over the responsibilities mom is neglecting. However, this cause him to work all day, and then come to resent the wife for not doing what he feels is her fair share during the work week.

I considered writing an anti-chauvinistic counter-rebuttal here, but I feel I’ve expended enough time on this random topic with my Apple product.

Sincerely,
A husband who didn’t agree with demonizing males as the solution to marriage.

Jennifer Weldon Lyons 1 year ago

I definitely need this!

Laura Lewinski 1 year ago

I really don’t like the image of Dad as imperfect, sloppy and messy-it’s an annoying stereotype that I read about often in these “Mommy Blogs”. Sounds more like Mom is a complete control freak. So Dad does it different-doesn’t make it “not right”.

Daniel 1 year ago

I find this awesome advice. My wife works and I am the stay at home dad for the time being. I handle a lot of the items described above and wife pretty much just plays with the kids (when she isn’t working or working towards being a doctor). I will admit, things don’t get done around the house very fast, but they do get done. Slowly training the kids to take care of some of the tasks too.

Oh, as a comment, if the father had his game on like I do, he’d be taking care of the kids and still be downloading stuff on his iPod. Just sayin’.

Scott 1 year ago

Seriously good advice… I remember feeling unqualified to do just about anything because whatever I did, it wasn’t wrong or not quite the way she did it. My wife was trying to help but in turn she made me feel like a clumsy oaf unqualified to bounce a boy on my lap dare I ever want t work up to a trip to the park. After a few months on difficulty I found a decent time to ask if any of her books had discovered when and why husbands who were once quite capable become incompetent children themselves… practical fools who couldn’t be trusted with the simplest of things without tiger mom telling them what to do. (It came out much better… at least less blunt since I’m here typing about it today 😉 but it really got her thinking) SHE was worried about not being a good parent so she did what she thought she could to prevent it… instead she set herself up for more stress and “control” she didn’t want and honestly couldn’t handle solo (sort of the beauty of a 2 parent family… nobody has to “know best” you just have to help each other. .

We made it real simple as new parents… if it’ was a matter of health and safety, by all means tell me how you want something done, and don’t hesitate from telling me “I’m doing it wrong” but if it’s a matter of preference and nobody’s short or long term health and safety is at stake; shut up, leave the room or find another way to deal… it was important to learn how to let things happen differently than you’d do them… unless you want to be permanently responsible for doing everything for everyone.

We broke the cycle by the time our twins came thank God but for any new moms out there, don’t get on this cycle. Your man will appreciate not being mothered like a child and if you appreciate a father who wants to be involved, who wants to take the kids to the park and who doesn’t want to look at you and feel belittled or disrespected save yourself a whole lot of trouble and don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember, most of it is small stuff

Kelly Phillips 1 year ago

This isn’t just a tactic to get him to help with the kids, it’s a way to have a better marriage. Criticism can become a habit and starts wearing a spouse down so they stop trying. “No matter what I do, it’s never good enough. Why try anymore?” And it’s not just a wife thing – both spouses can get into the criticism habit. The next time you find yourself criticizing, try appreciating instead. It works wonders in a marriage.

Elly Rosen Spiewak 1 year ago

If you just let the fathers in on everything from the beginning you will train them faster to help out and not just stand on the side lines while you do it all! The laugh is on those moms who think they know it all!

Drakkar Noir 1 year ago

Sorry guys but one of my beggest ‘pet peevs’ is grown ass men who play video games………how do U women allow that? Video games T for kids
Anyway, I wd wait until my husband left before going over the “cleaning” he presumably did, not much, but enough to make me happy…..lol…….VERY IMPORTANT ADVICE

Judy Cem 1 year ago

Yeah it’s too late for me too…

Trippy 1 year ago

But yesterday after toddler made a giant mess in the bathroom i thought – okay, this time I’ll volunteer to clean up the mess (usually husband’s job) and let husband dress him up in sleep clothes. I called my husband and said “can you dress him up please?”

After 5 mins or so of cleaning the bathroom, I go out and see my son running around butt naked, wet and giggling, while my husband is on the iPad.

*slowclap*

Angel Blake 1 year ago

I read this and the first thing through my mind was Where The Hell Was This Advice When I Was Having Kids! I sure wish I knew this back then. The one thing I will make sure of is that my daughters know it!

Meredith Bryden Warren 1 year ago

Definitely not a Design Engineer!! LOL

Meredith Bryden Warren 1 year ago

Carrie, I hope so! It’s been a rough journey but been worth it. I am stronger than ever and my son thinks I am awesome…and he is the best kid I could ever hope for despite all the speed bumps!!

Carrie Golden 1 year ago

Holy hell are you me 4 years from now? I swear you just summarized my ex. Only I left at 20 months old (while 7 months with my second). But yeah to the tv and video games, or swaddle him and dump him in the bedroom so he can play online. Fast forward to my son no walking until 17 months, nearly 2 1/2 with speech delays. He did crawl till he was nearly 11 months and didn’t sit on his own until about 14 months old.

Bottom line: not every “dad” should be taking care of the kids solo.

Katie | The Surly Housewife 1 year ago

Amen! Great advice that all moms should be required to read before they leave the hospital. Well done!

Bill 1 year ago

I like your atricle. I disagree with one part.

> And if this happens to you…it’s pretty much your fault. You told the hubs the second that baby came to let YOU be the one. You told him NOT to make the decisions, nor to sweat the details but rather to be instructed and guided by your wisdom at every turn. <

A Dad would have to go along with this. If he opted out of parenting by agreeing to such, he would share the blame. I never experienced such treatment but can say with certainty that if I had, I would not have agreed to it. Nothing could have kept me from actively parenting my kids.

Thanks for the wisdom, still.

Nicole 1 year ago

BEST. ARTICLE. EVER. WRITTEN. THANK YOU!

Diana Taylor Preston 1 year ago

My kid texted me while I was at a concert to ask me to order pizza. My husband was home.

Joye Moore 1 year ago

Best piece of advice I ever got was my mom telling me not to criticize the way my hubs was caring for our newborn (she’s 12 now) because he wasn’t doing things the “right” way (i.e. MY way). She said keep on fussing and complaining and correcting and he will quit trying! That made me shut up quick!!!

Wanda Olugbala 1 year ago

Spot. On. Literally.

Olivia Christensen 1 year ago

I have two-a toddler and a baby….is it too late to fix this mistake? Haha seriously important advice!

Simi Tolani Shukla 1 year ago

Totally my type a fault

Erin Kumor 1 year ago

This is great advice I struggle with my partner and his “help”. It’s fantastic that he does help and wants to but I get the “perfect mum” hat on and try to fix his attempts such as when he does the girls hair. I am learning to relax and appreciate his efforts for what it is. I hope it’s not too late for us :-)

Alicia 1 year ago

Ooh! I just bought a pump! Thanks for the idea! I will be having a c section and will have to let everything get messy for a bit. Might as well make DH useful; he has certainly stepped up for baby #2 I’ll tell you that!

Jeanne Fulk 1 year ago

EXCELLENT ADVICE !!!

Holly Walton 1 year ago

I have my specific things (I prepare most of our daughter’s food, because I’m careful with the seasonings and it being as organic/GMO-free as possible), but my husband does a LOT for the baby. He feeds her, changes her, dresses her, bathes her, plays with her; anything she needs, he can do. I can’t imagine a better dad. We’re able to tag-team everything, and it’s awesome.

Nicole Francisca 1 year ago

Jep. So True. Ik did it all wrong the first time round. Stay at home mom of three and exhausted at the end of every day while dad came home, fell asleep on the couch and only lifted his but when dinner was served.
Second time around,New hubs, new baby (my fourth lovely little humpy), I learned from my mistakes and am now enjoying to see them having so much fun together changing,bottling, burping and playing.

John Hart 1 year ago

I really liked this

Tash 1 year ago

Why are they your kids & not our kids?

Jane Graham 1 year ago

My husband does half of everything!!! He’s great at it. Children need both parents.

Marilyn Jolliffe 1 year ago

Great article! Funny….but wistful,too………

Beth Buchanan 1 year ago

our daughter is now 5 days old and from the beginning he’s helped out. We tag team her feedings-shes bottlefed due to my health. He does everything and more to help out. We’re learning parenting together even though my mommy instincts sometimes try to take over I let them take a backseat and enjoy watching my hubby with my daughter.

Monica Durr Buckalew 1 year ago

Best advice ever! Shane has been such a good daddy, and I let him!

Tracy 1 year ago

I had a c-section as well. My bf was grate but only for 6 days or so maybe the full two weeks he was home but I had to suck it up throw the pain (no meds) because I’m basically like a single mom he’s a truck driver so he’s gone most of the time I hope that I can use some of this advice

Tracy 1 year ago

Question I’m ” that mom” but not by choice my kids dad is gone most of the time with his work ( truck driver) witch allows me to be the stay at home parent I do leave him to his own vices when he is here with the kids but as they (twins) are my fris and second and his second and thired is it a bad thing that the twins freek out when he does get the “daddy” time and mommy takes a brake??????

Jessica Kassar 1 year ago

Please…I have 2 and I’m exhausted! I work nights and take care of my 2 & 4 year olds all day. I understand what she is saying here! Moms, let the dad’s do more things with/for the kids . It promotes bonding and lets dads feel more involved. Maybe they will actually volunteer sometimes! New mom’s should take this advice if they they choose.

Josh Aleshire 1 year ago

Sorry i not the perfect parent

Lisa Brookover Moore 1 year ago

So true!!!

Eli Hudson 1 year ago

Wish I read this 3 years ago.

Michelle Molinari 1 year ago

Love it!

Stephanie Salehi 1 year ago

I wish I had read this 7 years ago!!

Carole Lynch 1 year ago

Perfect!!!!!!!!!

Monica Renee Rutland 1 year ago

I completely disagree with this. Children need stability. Being mothers it is OUR job to provide that stability! It is OUR job to teach our children how to be organized! If we allow the man in the household to take over and us be LAZY then we aren’t doing the jobs intended by nature! Thr only reason most mothers feel run down is because a lot of people don’t know what to stop having children. Congrats on a huge family but it was your decision to do that. I have one child. I do EVERYTHING that you do along with going to work and going to college but I have set that path for my life. Look at the animal kingdom. Look at lions…and I’m not talking simba and mufasa….the lioness raises and teaches her young in all the ways of nature including how to raise their own young! Stop and think before you throw nature out of a loop.

Suzette Luna 1 year ago

I couldn’t agree more! Although it’s in our nature to try to control EVERYTHING especially when it comes to out babies, your husband is there for many reasons and that is one. To give you a break, so take it!

Karen Helm 1 year ago

My husband wasn’t trained by me but I have to direct him to do things. It gets draining and annoying. I wish he’d just step up some days.

Ackerman Mikasa 1 year ago

As a new Mommy who already has control freak issues, I’m gad to have read this. I will officially be a Mommy on October 31st ish. Thank you for showing me this. <3

Alison Johnston 1 year ago

Amen!

Katie Barnes Webb 1 year ago

Guilty. This actually made me think a lot. Haha.

Amanda McDaniel Perkins 1 year ago

You got that right!

Jennifer Pace 1 year ago

This is so totally me. Wish I could go back and change some things too.

Cathy Parthun 1 year ago

Absolutely spot on correct! DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

Sherry Wood 1 year ago

I AGREE!!!!

Travis Kinney 1 year ago

I don’t even order the pizza! 😉

Rachel Ann Termini 1 year ago

This post is actually really sad. I would hope that by the time your kids are going off to play soccer that they are capable of tying their own shoes, picking up their own toys and finding their own soccer supplies. Raising children to be dependent on their mothers in this extreme way is unhealthy! How are they going to cope when they leave the nest? I’m not talking about infants! I’m talking about raising capable children from the moment they walk. Helping them but not doing EVERYTHING for them.

Maria Koutroulis 1 year ago

Agree except for the part at the end…not all dads are incapable, even from the get go. It’s a team effort.

Shannon Trani Fredericks 1 year ago

I wish I’d read this 7 years ago! Now how do we fix this mess?

Jennifer 1 year ago

You’re so right! I have also trained my daughter who is currently telling me to turn off my phone and clean up the mess she just made. Darn.

Allison Spiva Hunt 1 year ago

I had a c-section so hubby had to jump right in since I couldn’t get up first day. He was the one who changed all the diapers for the first month, gave bottles when he could and was super hands on. I also leave him and kids alone to bond and keep my sanity. Drives me crazy when moms have this control freak-ness about kids but them complain when dad doesn’t help.

Lianne 1 year ago

Sooo true xx

Ronda Dyer 1 year ago

This is some really great advice!

Rachel Whitechurch 1 year ago

Yay….finally

Tramequa Surratt 1 year ago

Mother Gothel knew best and look what happened to her. (I’m on my 104th viewing of Tangled….willingly)

Blanca Zelaya 1 year ago

Even though I am not a Mommy yet, I am systematic and neurotic!! Thank you for sharing Linesister! Daddy WILL share duties

Tif Sue 1 year ago

Ugh, yes.

Allison Diehl 1 year ago

Another reason not to position yourself as the “expert”: I must have acted like I had this breastfeeding stuff down because the lactation consultant took my word for it that everything was okay. It wasn’t.

Angela Grimes 1 year ago

My husband is a environmental emergency response operations manager. Which means semi truck wrecks, plane wrecks, weird chemical found in the creek or river etc. well he gets called out to clean it up. So for the last 20 of our 22 year marriage he’s been gone more than he’s been home and at times it’s like being a single mom. When he’s home I have no problem giving him the kids for a bit

Megan McCleskey Pierce 1 year ago

This article is spot on! Wow! Thank you for the new perspective, too. I will try and be more patient when I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off and my husband is lost in his own world of electronics.

Britanya Von Hex 1 year ago

Any bitch that needs to reed this gets exactly what they deserve

Rebeca Fassett 1 year ago

I really like the premise of this post and I try hard to not criticize my husband when it comes to care taking of the children. But I will say that we both had to be super involved day 1 since we have twins and I still have to direct him on certain things 5 years later. Moms who are w the kids more than the dad just generally the ins and outs better.

Misery 1 year ago

When my husband makes parenting decisions, he does things like leave our toddler in the car, with the car running, while he runs errands. Many of his bad judgment calls have been so bad, I can’t even post them publicly. Bottom line: sometimes, the ol’ “let him fail” method is just too dangerous.

Ashley Gammon 1 year ago

This is 100% accurate…

Siobhan Rankin Watson 1 year ago

Just learning this now, bub is 15 months, as I release my hold a bit, the closer she is to daddy. It’s hard not to be critical when your tired though and the only one with milk producing boobs!

Erin McQueen 1 year ago

Oh so true. Save yourself! I totally wish I read this 7.5 yrs ago

Rachel Shelton 1 year ago

Lol!!!

Jessica 1 year ago

I so agree with this! I went back to work when the baby was 4 months old. The hubs stayed home. I used to leave notes on what to do. Then hubs told me that I had to stop. He had everything under control. That was over a year ago. Now I come home and relax. The house has not burned down, the baby is happy, the hubs is calm.

Nicholas Kentros II 1 year ago

Dad’s rule!!! lol

Lisa Donald Orr 1 year ago

Yes!!!! And don’t criticize how daddy does things, thank him.

Hannah Fabiani 1 year ago

I needed to hear this you might have just saved me!:)

Vanessa Janik 1 year ago

I like this article. But I don’t like the assumption that if you let him do it that “daddy” will automatically do it wrong. Plenty of men are very capable. My husband might not do it the way I would do it but that doesn’t make it wrong or even sloppy. And we all mess up. Not even the well read, so called prepared mom is perfect. There are plenty of men who do a better job at parenting than woman. Just saying.

Tammy Nonkes 1 year ago

I look forward to handing the kiddos over to my hubby so I can enjoy a hot coffee or have a shower or even escape for a few hours to grocery shop. I never thought I’d look forward to grocery shopping as much as I do! Lol

Kristina 1 year ago

Can I get an Amen? My 8th child is a year old today. I have bestowed my otherwise very competent husband with the super power of ignorance. The children are his kryptonite. “But I don’t know where the… Well, how do you… I’m not sure which one goes with…” To which stupid me always responds, “Just let me do it”. In retrospect, who, really, is the dumb one? Sigh. You are a wise one, SM. May every new mommy be handed this little piece of literature before she’s fully dialated.

Melissa Durrant 1 year ago

Lol I was almost this way. But my husband is actually better at few things than I am. My son is 19 months and not completely a mommies boy he loves his daddy!

Patty Cartledge Joyce 1 year ago

Very good advice to all moms to be.

Amanda Gadoury 1 year ago

Women need to learn that [healthy] men love their babies too and don’t want any harm to come to them. So my son came downstairs wearing pastel green plaid shorts and a dark red onesie yesterday!? Guess what? I didn’t have to change or dress him. In fact, I got to sit with my daughter and eat some breakfast while attempting conversation with a 2 year old. Come on ladies … You chose to make babies with the guy, but now he’s not good enough to burp that baby!? Hit the nail on the head with this one scary mommy!

Carrie Breisach 1 year ago

Yes! Learned this in a new mama group: watch out for “gatekeeping” (mother knows best) and “scorekeeping” (I’ve done more than you). A great mindset that made parenting a true team sport from the get-go.

Joanne Reed 1 year ago

I think it”s natural to need a few weeks at minimum to get comfortable with new baby especially if nursing, this was called laying in and merely implied a period of quiet for parents to bond and settle in before the day to day reality of family life begins. The more time baby spends with other family the more easily Mom will be able to grab a shower without worrying the entire time.

Leslie Bailey 1 year ago

Yup!

Heather Jones Whelan 1 year ago

Amen sister!!!

Jillian Bonds 1 year ago

Wow! Well said. Really good advice.

Shorelines 1 year ago

Sorry but this one is not going to be laid on me! I have always encouraged my husband to be actively involved in the care of our children – and he has been. But is it really too much to ask that a father give a shit about doing his job well? I’ll use the example of dressing the kids – but my beef with this issue falls under many categories.

My husband once brought our youngest daughter (I was meeting him there with the older two) to a meal at a restaurant with our extended family in a shirt and a “Little Swimmer”. I’ll skip the part about how effective that swim diaper was, and focus on the shirt which was from the Goodwill bag. He said he thought it was a dress – failing to notice it didn’t cover her belly, let alone her butt. This is just one example of a million. Our children are ROUTINELY sent out in public looking like hobos – which drives me nuts not because they can’t make it through the day dressed like hobos – but because, fair or not, a) the nicer you look the more nicely you are treated by others and b) the way children look reflects back on the mother. Dad’s never get blamed for ratty looking kids. If anything people think it is charming that the bumbling dad gave it a try – at least they aren’t naked! Poor thing’s wife doesn’t keep things in order the way she should.

On the spectrum of parenting choices there are things that fall on the “right-er” end of the scale – and other things that, while not exactly “wrong” are still just lazy and thoughtless and really make it clear that you don’t give a shit. I know my husband is completely capable of sending our children into the world not looking like hobos – but because he doesn’t care, it becomes my responsibility to make sure it happens. If anyone is training anyone here it is him training me. You know – the old “if I do a crappy job she won’t ask me to do it again.” Works every time!

Maeve Rhuad 1 year ago

I thought this was going to be about know it all moms. Glad I read this cause I was probably bound to fall into this trap with my second husband and baby.

Erme Erma 1 year ago

I wish i knew, since im a first time mom.

Mária Kovács 1 year ago

Great post! Thank you! I already do this but it’s a good reminder for my DH to do more lolol

Amber Cheramie Null 1 year ago

I love this woman!! I felt like she had peeked into my life. Talk about a truly useful piece of advice.

patty 1 year ago

Listen to her! I have 5 kids and as i type this it’s 9 am, i was up all night with the baby, am now taking care of all the kids and my husband is still sleeping. It’s too late for me too damnit!

Sue H. 1 year ago

I messed up… I am in the boat where Dad is on the ipad. :p

Meredith Bryden Warren 1 year ago

Hmmm… First 3 years was “Daddy” raising him because Mommy was off to work very long days to support the family while “Daddy” stayed home, parked the baby in front of the TV and played video games. Mommy had to still take care of the house as well. So, amongst other reasons, Mommy left “Daddy”. Baby had to be put through speech, language and behavioral therapy at 3 to undo all of this. He’s a thriving 6 1/2 year old boy with ADHD and Anxiety issues, but I am the one “in control” of his treatments and that’s the way I want it right now. It would be nice to have the help and I will gladly relinquish some of my “power” once I find a suitable man to be called Daddy.

Ashley Allen 1 year ago

Hahaha this is hilarious!

Jessika Leatherbury 1 year ago

Wonderful advice! Now if I can only take it…

Samantha Seekins Johnson 1 year ago

I am so thankful that my hubby helps so much!! Until I became a SAHM he did the housework and laundry. I made the dinner sometimes. Now that I stay home all day I do all the housework and cook. But he has weekends off and helps me with anything I need to get caught up on!! Btw I have a 4 year old and a 5 month old. Hands are full and we are in the process of moving!! Hahaha

Erica Meyer 1 year ago

But…. What if there is no Daddy in the picture? Then what?

Erin Matt 1 year ago

Oh this is so true! And exactly the reason I enrolled in a yoga class when I had a fresh little newborn – so the two of them could figure eachother out without me hovering. Just because he does it differently doesn’t mean it’s wrong!

Sierra Burkes 1 year ago

My husband is in oil 14 on 7 off. So the raising of the children has been all me. I had to learn to let go of the small stuff, but for the most part my husband and I do both our parts which I greatly appreciate. I’m not sure what kind of dads are out there (mine was abusive so was my mom) but we both know we made the decision to bring these beautiful creatures into the world whether or not they were planned. We communicate daily on the ins and outs so he basically knows what to do when he comes home, then I get to sleep in! But I guess nurturing is my God given task because I am also going to college to become a teacher (graduating in August!) Good luck ladies, one thing the article didn’t do enough of was letting the reader know how important mommy is.

Kathy Baker Kramer 1 year ago

There is hope…if this is your current situation, you can still change it. Granted, it’s easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. :) Your sanity will thank you.

Telena Sellars 1 year ago

Hell, my husband was like this when I got him. His mother ruined him.

Corey Lynn Harvey 1 year ago

Crap where was this article 9 years ago!!!

Natalie 1 year ago

When I saw this post I thought “another post about don’t tell new mothers they’re ‘so big’ or ‘don’t touch the bump'” etc. Yeah those are important but has been done, redone and shared a million times. After I was through I have to say great post! I did the same thing. Heart attacks if the 1st wore stained or mismatched clothes. After #3, I let hubs do whatever he wants. Oh the kids had Cheetos for breakfast? Good job hun! That onesie is 2 times too small… at least it’s clean! As long as he’s up off his butt helping that’s fine by me.

Yehoshu’a Duque 1 year ago

Ummm…duh? I’ve never understood why anyone needs to be told this.

Funny example, it took about 2 weeks to convince my ex to let me put the crib together before my daughter was born. She was scared I’d mess it up and it would fall apart or something. I was like, “fine, find someone else to put it together, but who do you plan on getting to do it who’s better qualified than the baby’s father with a degree in mechanical engineering?”

Jennifer Howard Farr 1 year ago

Where was this advice 4 years ago?!

Tara Simon 1 year ago

I’m so glad that my husband came into our relationship with a daughter (my awesome stepdaughter, FYI :) because by default, I turned to him for a lot of things once our littlest one was born. After all, he’d been there and done that! Now it’s all about teamwork making the dream work (and by that, I mean I actually get some good sleep when he’s with the baby)!

Marie Spikerman 1 year ago

Oh gawd. O_O I think I still might be able to save myself. I hope!

Adrianne Mattson 1 year ago

Very true!! & sometimes I think they do it wrong on purpose, so you get mad at them & never ask them do it again!

Angela 1 year ago

Ah! This is me!! I have a 4 yr old and a 1 yr old so I think there’s still time to save me :) My husband has worked long hours almost the entire time we’ve had kids. I know this has been part of the reason why only I “know” the kids schedules and quirks, but you’re right (and I didn’t really realize it till reading this), a lot of it is totally me. I’m being worn down to the bone and it’s not completely my husband’s and kids’s fault! (What a thought!) I definitely need to let go a bit. And not get annoyed when my husband does it his way, like you said. Thanks for this article!

Sheila Moreau 1 year ago

Thank you! !!!

Silvija Curkić 1 year ago

I tried to be this person, but luckily my husband had his perfect daddy ambitions too and didn’t let me take over everything. Phew. 😀 We both get our alone time when needed.

Alysia 1 year ago

Wow. I felt like I was reading a play by play of my own Saturday last weekend. Thank u so much for posting… Love your honesty! You have given me some much needed insight and possibly saved my entire future as a mother. Seriously. I needed to hear this. I feel the weight lifting already 😉

You rock!

Lena Meany 1 year ago

Been doing this since day 1!!! He is really amazing with our kids and we are a team!!!

Erica Gilchrist 1 year ago

Oh no…I have been doing everything in this blog! Right…he can do bath time tonight!!!

Jamie Turner 1 year ago

My husband’s a truck driver, so it is all up to me. If it were up to me, he’d be home feeding the baby, washing the clothes and dishes, spending time with both kids while I took it easy. Some women don’t know how easy they have it. Instead, they create their own hell and wind up controlling everything, and end up burning their selves out.

Jennifer Hanbury 1 year ago

She is 100% CORRECT!!!!

Aubri Armistead Girardeau 1 year ago

So true! Ugh!

Gina Iacano Ebbert 1 year ago

Wish I had read this 6 yrs ago!!

Courtney Jones Cox 1 year ago

I’m so glad I learned this early. My husband was not only capable of doing it all too, he did it well and I SO enjoyed the break.

Jill Hoover 1 year ago

The lesson I learned “just because daddy does it differently doesn’t mean it is wrong” and vice versa

Danielle Lussier Richards 1 year ago

Yup….

Courtney Cox 1 year ago

I am so glad it didn’t take me long to learn this. My husband is so great with our son and genuinely looks forward to their guy time together watching a game or wrestling (and often enjoying some unhealthy food). They love it and I love that I get some time to go out by myself for some me time, girl time or even nap time.

Katie Keenan Ten Brink 1 year ago

Yes! I’m so glad I have learned this lesson. I still do a larger share of the worrying/planning work but daddy can dress him just as well (ok, the outfits don’t always match but he is clean and weather appropriate) and honestly he plans healthier meals and snacks because I am always worrying about cleaning and laundry. His teachers have told me they can tell when daddy gets him dressed and we have a little giggle but I won’t complain at home.

Lulu MC 1 year ago

Hate this article because is so true

Jessica Hall 1 year ago

That explains a lot! Although I blame his mother too! Seems like she did everything for him!!

Karen Smith Converse 1 year ago

Amen!! This is so me & it makes me a little bitter.
But like she said, I did it to myself!

Ruth Strasser Fulling 1 year ago

So very true. Great advice. I live that same life too.

Carolyn Stejanko 1 year ago

Ugh, yea. I only have one and I’m guilty of this already.

Colleen Clancy Hassell 1 year ago

So true! The only thing I try to keep control of is the clothes.

Brandi Leak 1 year ago

So true!

Amber Michelle DeTar 1 year ago

I wish I knew this 4 years ago. It’s the Mommy Show around here, whether I am sick/sleeping/want Daddy to handle it.

Crystal M. Janarelli Laurens 1 year ago

5 kids. 5. And I have to think for ALL of them. A Hubby, perfectly capable of making decisions, but doesn’t because I’m a crazy, neurotic control freak!!! *sighs, ends rant*

Jamie Hall 1 year ago

Yup! The mommy syndrome as I like to call it. And now we’re all mad at our husbands for not taking on more responsibility. My boys are 7 & 3 and I am heading back to work full time and well, he can skin or swim. Time to catch up! I’m mentally, emotionally, physically exhausted and only have myself to blame.

Emily Cronin 1 year ago

I think me and Traci Snyder are the same person….

Tracie Roughley 1 year ago

S C A R Y!!!!!

Lianda Jane 1 year ago

Exactly! Teamwork! It definitely gets harder more you have. You have to work together or it all goes to crap! I was this mum with my 1st. And probably my 2nd (4yrs later) was a bit harder with 2… but then 3 and 4 came along straight after and I asked him to help more. I expected him to help more. But he was “trained” to back off… now we’re divorced. … so. Yep. I agree. Lol

Nadine Kashlan 1 year ago

So true!

Megan O’Leary 1 year ago

Truth

Michelle Nades 1 year ago

This is 100% true

Jennifer Sinnett 1 year ago

Amen

Traci Snyder 1 year ago

But i still love them 😉

Jenny Carroll 1 year ago

Just about

Traci Snyder 1 year ago

Son of a bitch i wish i would have read this 11 yrs ago. Here i am a 31 yr old stay at home mommy, totally burnt out, with no personal time for myself. As i type this a 10 month old is hanging on my leg, who knows what the oldest is doing because shes being quiet and thats scary, and daddy ….well daddy is sleeping still. FML

Keli Sanders 1 year ago

I’m sorry to say I’m guilty of this too

Jennifer Cantrell Morrow 1 year ago

Sooo true!!!

Ashley Fuchs 1 year ago

OMG. This is me. My husband runs million dollar accounts, but he asks me before he does anything with the kids. I have tried to cut the cord and I do leave him with them for long periods of time, but I know I have created this monster by commenting when I saw something “wrong.” I mistakenly thought I was educating him so that it would be done “right” next time. All I did was kill his confidence. Lately I have been biting my tongue and just trying to build it back up, but not doing it in the first place would have been better…

Ashley 1 year ago

My mom has a saying that “Once the cats outta the bag, ain’t no getting it back in!” Yep! I have pretty much kept this in the back of my mind since day 1, in regards to my hubby and kids. And thank God I did! We ended up having twins and he was a lifesaver! Even to this day, they are now two,my husband knows as much as I do, can do it all, and quite frankly is better at some of the parenting (and that’s okay). If I’d tried to know it all and do it all… Well he’d be outta the bag and I’d be the one standing here trying to keep my sanity. Note: I love and have a great deal of respect and pride for my husband. He’s our rock!

Wendy Cross-Gillespie 1 year ago

So true

Eddie 1 year ago

This is why I don’t want kids. Or to get married. Although maybe I might change my mind on marriage or both if I meet the right woman.

The issue is that every woman I’ve been with has pretty much hinted that they’d most likely turn out like a control freak with the children and I’d be one taking all the orders.

My parents are exactly this way. My mom is the quarterback and my dad is the benchwarmer that waits for the call to get into the game. I can’t stand it and I’ve never met a woman that has ever told me that if they have children that they would take a step back whenever the father wanted time with the kids or would allow them to make any sort of decision.

I’m sure women don’t intend for this to happen. But, I’d rather save myself the misery of going through this and not have to worry about the possibility of it at all by simply not having children.

Marie 1 year ago

Great advice! My husband pretty much forced himself on the baby (uh, in terms of helping) from the very beginning, which I am really grateful for because I have a difficult time asking for help. When the baby refused to sleep more than two hours at a time, we alternated nights sleeping in the guest room so we’d stop hallucinating; now that it’s been almost a year, he’s happy to take the baby and give me an extra couple hours of sleep in the morning despite the fact that we just slept the exact same amount. I honestly don’t know how stay at home moms don’t lose their minds, but I’m constantly grateful for the huge amount of help I get every day. Definitely glad I didn’t fall into the trap you described!

kim 1 year ago

I always say how the only reason I am a good and happy no! Is because I have an awesome and helpful husband. He cooks great dinners and assembles terrible outfits. And inevitably the children injure themselves (always visible facial injuries too!) on his watch than on mine. But he is a competent wonderful father who does everything different than I would. But the more I just “let him” the more I learn that not only is his way just as good, it’s, gasp, sometimes better!

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Brittany 2 years ago

This is some awesome advice! I just shared it on every mommy page I go on! Advice like this could save your happiness and even your marriage! A lot of women get irritated and done with their husbands because they “don’t do anything with the kids or family” but sometimes it’s because THEY have trained their men to be required to be told what to do and when and how to do it! I was very worried I would be a control freak when our baby came, especially since daddy was deployed the first 5 months, so I made sure to remind my husband to NOT let me try to control it all. Like he says “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” (might be a kind of bad saying…but it’s true!) . I still have to stop myself from saying things sometimes and he has to remind me on occasion that he’s got it down, but man oh man is it nice to have him give the baby a bath and put her to bed some nights, or keep her with him while I run errands or get some time out of the house, or have him take her with him so I can relax in our house alone, and have him do some diaper changes! This can also apply to anything – he doesn’t fold laundry the way I like it folded, but I bite my tongue because IT’S ONLY LAUNDRY AND I SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR THE HELP! There’s no sense in burning yourself out just to have things exactly the way you want it. Sorry, rant over :)

Melanie 2 years ago

P.S. I also got to be entertained with occasional backwards onesies and off key lullabies sung lovingly by a guy who would not look out of place on Sons of Anarchy. The perks of giving dad the reins. 😉

Melanie 2 years ago

This is insanely true. After watching friends make this mistake, I made a concentrated effort to tell my partner that, as the dad, I trust him to make decisions for our baby. He is just as capable as I am with her (now 2). He knows what she eats, has an easier time dressing her, and is the only one who can put her to bed with no fuss. When she wakes in the night, it’s his job since he’s better at it. Never would have happened like this if I hadn’t given him the opportunity. I love watching them together! She’s still first and foremost a mana’s girl, but she and daddy have a very special relationship. I know if I had to be gone for a weekend they’d be just fine. What a sense of peace! :) This post is awesome! :)

Jen 2 years ago

When I was with my second daughters father, this was me to a T. Thing is I didn’t want to be…he just laid in bed 90% of the time and I had no choice but to become a single mom of my two and his three. It made me feel like I had a purpose. When I got a job my perfect little world fell apart.

Now I’m a little more grown up. I have 2 SD’s now and a foster daughter, plus my 2 and one on the way. I have a stellar husband but we tend to butt heads from time to time. Mostly because he was the only real caretaker in his girls lives and me in mine. Even though I have learned to back down and let him take over when he gets home, it was still good to hear this from someone other than DH. To know I wasn’t alone. And it makes me even more thankful for him even though he never puts the girls clothes in the right spot or folds them correctly (I’m on bedrest with this pregnancy), even if he doesn’t rinse the dishes before he puts them in the dishwasher properly, even if he doesn’t follow my carefully laid out meal plan, even when he doesn’t remember that bedrest is hell on me, and even if he doesn’t remember to take care of the litter box that day. Because he does a hell of a lot and I’m damn lucky. :)

Launa 2 years ago

SO AGREE!

Launa 2 years ago

Great Article – and so agree.
I went back to school and then work after the kids had mostly been raised. I wasn’t even sure how I would find time to since I was so busy with the kids and all the “community stuff” that also entailed. I did and controlled it all – schedules, clothes, daily life etc.
I had to really work hard to let the husband and kids [4] pick up the slack of what I wasn’t able to keep up with. I had to learn to shut my mouth when the towels weren’t folded right, the floor wasn’t cleaned “right”, the clothes weren’t done right, dinner wasn’t cooked right – the right actually just meant “my way” – this was really difficult for the first while – actually about as stressful as doing it myself would have been. In the long run -it is so much better. Household became more of a democracy and less of a dictatorship. Life is better.
And some of those things not done “right/my way” were actually done better since each person looked at it with a new perspective.
Please all those young moms out there – let it go and just enjoy having the family. There is no one right way. And they really do grow up fast – Wishing now I had just spent more fun time vs getting things done time.

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Amy89 2 years ago

Jesus Christ, get your panties under control! I think it’s more about Dad wanting to help but Mum not wanting him to mess it up, so just doing it herself instead. Which is pretty much what you’ve just said. Good luck doing everything under the sun with no help, because you’ve scared your husband into not helping. Ffs.

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TK 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing this. I may be heading in this direction and I need to stop myself!

Jomen 2 years ago

Wonderful advice to new moms!! Thankfully, I figured this out a while ago. I’m the mom of three girls and both my husband and I work F/T (I work during the day and he works all night) and so, if not intentionally, I had to rely on him to handle school pick-ups, feed the kids dinner and take care of occasional runs to the market. I can be a bit control-freakish so constant texts and reminders must be sent his way BUT the job gets done and he is a good partner for it. I still cringe when he posts pics to FB of our kids at the park looking all crazy (uncombed hair, mismatched clothing, dirty faces) but I think the kids are all the better for it. Yes, the kitchen is a complete mess and the baby has scattered her entire toy chest contents in the hallway, BUT at least they have been fed and bathed and are in their PJs by the time I get home from work. Mommy may still have ALL the answers, but it is nice to know that daddy can be in charge while mommy is in the basement taking care of the laundry while sippin’ on sangria and the music is on full blast!

Trace 2 years ago

Ahh, you make it sound SO easy. In reality, it is virtually impossible! I will just stick to moaning that I have to plan, arrange and organise everything because giving up control,even for a second, is out of the question!

kathy 2 years ago

I did it – just like she said so aptly – Yep, that was and still is me sometimes. Listen up and don’t be her or me! Once you go there – you can’t go back. Life is short and no one will remember the messy days, mismatched outfits and imperfect dishwasher loading. The more thankful for and encouraging to Mr. Imperfect – the more perfect he gets. They age well like good wine that has been carefully tende.

Abigail 2 years ago

Love this one! thanks for the advice.

Erica 2 years ago

My children will be sitting next to my husband and will walk up 2 flights of stairs to ask me if I can make them something to eat. REALLY!!? There is a parent sitting right next to you! WTF?

Starla 2 years ago

I’m totally that mom. In fact, I just spent 30 minutes trying to figure out if the vibrating bouncy chair our 4 mo old loves and sits in all the time is actually stopping his spine from developing… I’m a worry wart, so I’m still going to be reading everything and googling everything. However, my hubby has mondays and tuesdays off work to watch the baby while i work mon through fri, so at least he has plenty of time to be the one in charge. (Although I still am fighting the urge to make sure he’s feeding him “right” when I’m home. Working on it. LOL)

Jessica 2 years ago

Oh how true it is!

I have the same problem and I was worried that this would be a forever thing. Here I go, treking!

The Next Step 2 years ago

Oh my god, do you realize what you just did for me? You just relieved me of all the guilt about being “the bitchy unhelpful wife” because I REFUSE to tell my husband how to do anything related to the kid and I REFUSE to just “do it for him” because I’ve done it 1000 times already. Of course, we are just now on this track – yesterday was the very first time EVER he poured out a dose of cold medicine for one of the kids – and the oldest is 5.

THANK you for validating what I didn’t really realize what I was doing – I was just running on exhaustion. I have plantar faciitis in BOTH feet and I just flat out couldn’t get up and run after him showing him everything. Wow – I never thought there would be a silver lining to this affliction but you just gave me one.

Thank you!!

kati 3 years ago

I completely understand how you feel,my husband was more than willing to help with out son…to the point that anytime I did anything with him HE would criticize me non stop,(he even went so
far that when my milk dried up at 6 months because of stress he told me it was my fault because I didn’t “do it right” and “hold my son in the right way”). I’ve always struggled with feeling like I didn’t bond as well with my son as his father has. He’s now my ex,and when we split up he even went so far as to kidnap my son and keep him from me until the court ordered him to give him back or risk imprisionment. It completely goes both ways,it doesn’t matter which parent is doing it,it harms the child and the relationship regardless. Respect your child,respect the other parent and respect yourself enough to allow their time together to be about them,not yourself.

Ashley 3 years ago

This describes the road I almost went down. I was miserable. I only have one but am a SAHM so naturally all the decisions fall on me and I wasn’t giving dad the credit or bonding time he deserved. I was a control freak about our daughter. So fast forward to y daughter being 16mnths old and a few marriage counseling sessions later. I learn to let go. I am so much happier, our daughter loves her daddy and daddy does thing differently but still good. Maybe his wardrobe isn’t the best choice sometimes but he’s learning to match properly.

Weekends and night time is daddy domain and I basically have the time off.

Maybe it’ll be different with two or more. One will be with daddy while the other is with me and only sometimes will they all be entertained by one. Who knows.

DZ 3 years ago

Yep, I wish I would’ve read this 8 years ago…now I get pissed cause “no one” (aka DH) will help me out. Maybe with baby #4 I will get smart!

Kristen Brakeman 3 years ago

Sage advice!
Too late for me too! My control freak nature has made the kids always turn to me. They even call me at work to ask homework questions when their dad is sitting right next to them. I wish I could stop but I do it to the kids too – I know they won’t make their beds right so I do it, same with cleaning etc etc. Must . . . stop . . . now!
Great piece!

Ashley 3 years ago

Oh how I wish I had read this before having my girl. She’s only 7 months, maybe there’s still hope??? Sometimes I look at my husband and say, how can you have no idea what to do?! And he says, I’m waiting for you to tell me! Oh the mess I’ve made for myself

Laura Glancy Evans 3 years ago

Well, I guess mental health has a reward after all–it has forced me to have my husband help with the kids–A LOT. I have a 2 and 3.5 yo very high energy boys and still am dealing with anxiety issues, so Daddy continues to help a lot, lot, lot.

taz 3 years ago

I kinda have the opposite problem. I am comfortable sharing parenting duties, Dh did a good amount of stuff- however he LOVES to critique everything I do. I mean he would lecture me about how to wash the bottles when I did it so I just let him do it. He is now the Ex for numerous reasons and loves to lecture me on how his structured plan of child-rearing is superior to my method of learn grow love. (At least w me dd (4yrs old) doesn’t have a stressed out look on her face when I come in the classroom (her teacher told me she looks worried when he comes in))

murphy must have had kids 3 years ago

I’m actually glad I went through (hellish) ppd. It forced my hubbie to help out WAY more then I ever would have let him if I had been totally healthy. Now…5 years and two children later, he’s a superstar! :) Great post.

shannon 3 years ago

I tried to do this!! However in my case whenever the baby cried my husband would pass him off to me, he wanted to be the parent our son associated with fun, now at 10 months old my husband gets mad when he can’t calm the baby down. All I want to say is “no shit you can’t do anything since day 1 you never tried”

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

HI Jeannette — I really appreciate that! This is a really amazing community here — it is an important topic because how we allocate caring for the kids has so much to do with family harmony!!! Take care, Melissa

Jeannette 3 years ago

Your post really resonated with me and what Eryk said did, too. Altogether, a great topic for a discussion. Thanks for your honesty.

Judy 3 years ago

This is marvelous advise! I second it!!

Kristen Mae 3 years ago

This is SO AWESOME I REALLY DON’T EVEN HAVE AN ADEQUATE VOCABULARY TO SAY HOW AWESOME IT IS!!!!

I’ve got two kids, ages 6 and 3… it was about a year ago when I just started… leaving. Leaving to go do something for myself, or just BY myself. I had to just GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY so that my compulsion to micromanage my poor willing-to-help husband could not rear its ugly OCD head. Now he helps with EVERYTHING. And I’ve even learned to keep my stupid mouth shut! (Well… most of the time.)

I just wish I had better words. Such fantastic advice.

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

I actually think you’ve taught me even more about this whole problem, so thanks! See how screwed up it is that Dad could take care of the baby for a few hours, Mom comes home and all she notices is some small stain on the rug. So unimportant compared to the fact that Dad bonded with the baby and Mom got some time off. But that is the type of stupid, trifling, unimportant detail — like mismatched clothes – -that certain control freaks like me have paid attention to!

Eryk 3 years ago

You’re right, and I’m sorry, Melissa. This is a subject I’m particularly passionate about and I get angry about it sometimes. I actually really appreciate you taking the time to write this, as it’s something that definitely needs to be heard. Thank you.

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

My subtext is not that dad can’t parent too, or do it as well, it’s that we control freak moms need to loosen up and not just have ONE idea of how things should be done! And that if the imperfect moments arise, which they do for all of us, that’s fine and not to come down too harshly, lest dad be discouraged…

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Jeanette — as you can imagine, it was hard for me to be this honest and come out with all the mistakes I’ve made. But the point of my blog was that I HAD MESSED UP by having these rigid visions, not Dad… so when I said he was “messy and imperfect” that was in the eyes of me as perfectionist control freak, not the real world… in the real world, if he does it differently and you get a break, great! Thanks for commenting…

Ilene Moore 3 years ago

Not just “He can!” but “He does!” My husband is the best– his style is different than mine, that’s all- and that has more to do with our different personalities than anything else.

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Jon, you must a good husband make. And I feel like you could be repeating what my husband tells me! Sometimes he says “you’re discouraging me, remember the Daddy Doesn’t Do It Right” show you did (it’s a video i did)… So hooray for your comment!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Hi Eryk — obviously, I didn’t make my point well enough. My point is not that dads can’t do things as well, nor that they are messy and imperfect. TO THE CONTRARY, my point is that when you are a control freak and a perfectionist, you have this idea that everything should be “just so” and you shoot down different ways of doing things. Thus, you disempower dad and get stuck with all the work. There is nothing perfect about my ways, nor imperfect about my hubbies, but I needed to back the hell away… Melissa

Ilene Moore 3 years ago

I probably would be like that if we had a singleton, but with twins, it’s not a luxury I can afford, what with my only having two hands, two legs, and one brain. I had a moment in the early days when I saw my hubby holding one of them in a very “messy, sloppy, imperfect” way, and I realized that they LOVED it. They need a “mommy-style”, and a” daddy-style” (in quotes, I’m not making a hetero statement by any means). They love that dual energy. It gives them adaptability– and who doesn’t want an adaptable child?

Jon 3 years ago

As a husband and father, this rings true. When I’ve been micromanaged, nagged, and had my parenting ability questioned, I’ve backed off. The advice I got when I got married was “always let her win.” I believe the wives I know got “if you want something done right, do it yourself” as their nuptial advice. That may sound great, and it may produce marital harmony, but it leaves him powerless and her doing all the work.

The way men learn is by trying something and seeing if it works. No surprise: That’s how both genders learn. Unless he’s doing something that’s imminently harmful, let him do it his way and see how it works himself. Two people making decisions and trying things out learn twice as much about being a parent as one person making all the decisions. Logical, right?

Anita 3 years ago

So true and way too late for me too. I look wistfully at my children and think maybe I’ll help them but then I’d be messing with the revered “mom curse” and I’m not going there. I am planning to be the spoiling grandmother who gets to have fun with the kids and I’ll use all this “don’t become an expert” advice then :)

Nanz 3 years ago

Eryk,

THIS! *applause*

Kir 3 years ago

this is so true. SO True. Because my husband and I both work outside the home, I want to be the one that takes care of things at home..so he doesn’t need to worry, wonder or god forgive me, ask me stupid questions…BUT wow, when I am away, even if it’s to shop or pee..my name rings throughout the house, “Mommy!” “Honey!” with one question after another..

we as women, want to have control of our household, but sometimes it’s a whole easier and sanity inducing to SHARE the reins. :)

Jeannette 3 years ago

I’m so glad I stuck around to read this comment. Lots of bloggers are ‘patronizing paternity’ and making it seem like Dads can’t do as good a job as Moms at parenting. In our house, I’m home primarily with the kids, but I don’t do a perfect job. Neither does my husband. We each have things that we do really well and when we work together and try to build each other up we do our best job. Our kids need to see this in action, too.

Jeannette 3 years ago

This is so great and absolutely right on par with how my family was going… Until baby #2. She was a total blessing because I had to let go. Sure my husband put tshirts on the toddler backwards, let her watch TV, and fed her who knows what, but they bonded. I can still do all the healthy and educational things with her (which I think are fun, too!) and now both girls will get balance from him. It’s an easy lesson to learn when there’s no other choice. Consider this one of the prime benefits of having two under two :)

Eryk 3 years ago

I’m a dad, and I was totally with you on this post until I got to this part:

“Stains, mismatched outfits, missed naps, unfinished bottles, leaking loose diapers, letting the baby watch TV on his lap while he downs a beer during the game …BRING IT ON. Get the hell away from that baby and let Daddy do his messy, sloppy, imperfect, thing.”

Messy, sloppy, imperfect thing?! Excuse me for not having a better way to say this, but WTF is this about?! My best guess is that you’re talking about your husband specifically, because otherwise you’re defeating your own argument by making a sweeping assumption that dads CAN’T do things as well as moms. Hell, if my son’s mother was letting him miss naps and sit around in dirty diapers, I’d take him away from her too!

You see, this is precisely why (lazy) dads get the impression that it’s ok to sit on the couch and do nothing. It isn’t just their significant others who are teaching them that it’s not their job, it’s society in general. It’s every blog post and commercial and magazine that makes the sweeping generalization that dads are something less than moms. That even when parenting jobs are split 50/50, mom will still do a better job at her share than dad will.

There are two parts to this equation. First, as you said, back off and let dad do his job. Don’t “let him help.” Let him do his JOB as a parent. He is half of the parenting unit. He doesn’t “babysit,” he doesn’t “help you,” he isn’t “an extra set of hands.” He is the child’s father, and the responsibilities of parenting fall as much onto his shoulders as they do onto mom.

But second, and just as important, stop making the assumption that he can’t do things just as well as you (or better). The world is FILLED with supposedly comical examples of bumbling dads who are sooooo cute trying to pour a bowl of cereal! And each and every condescending one of them makes good dads wonder why we even bother trying if we’re just going to always be the butt of the joke. Sure, if some dad has spent years as “mommy’s helper” then it might take him some practice, but there’s absolutely no reason…or I should say excuse…why a good first-time dad shouldn’t know just as much, and be just as competent, as mom is when the baby is born. I mean, let’s face it, if you were constantly being told that you’ll never be good enough, no matter how hard you actually tried, wouldn’t you eventually start wondering why you were trying at all? Let’s stop beating him down with “He can’t…” and start building him up with, “He can!”

Nanz 3 years ago

I love this post in that it reminds new moms to let dad in on the baby care-taking too. However, it still assumes that dad is going to do it “wrong.” My husband has told me time and again how damaging and hurtful this message can be to dads who want to be hands-on. It’s an antiquated ideal of fatherhood – men are more involved now. It perpetuates the myth that just because we’re women, we know babies better than the men. Look, I was an aunt to 11 kids before I had my first son. I spent my high school and college years babysitting. But did that make me more qualified to be a parent than my husband? Hell no. We were first-time parents TOGETHER. We both had a learning curve. So, while I applaud your message to involve the dads, I disagree with the subtext, which is that they won’t be able to do it as well as we women do. I say let the dads do their thing because they can parent, too, just as well as the women.

Fischy fisch 3 years ago

For 9 years I fought my hub about everything kids! I knew everything! Then one day I came to my senses! Remember , “wait till you Dad comes home!”? The threat of dad did not exist in our lives, what if? So, I let it all go and let dad be the authority figure! Now I say “what did dad say?”, “go ask daddy!” And ” wait till dad gets home!”. I now have the power of dad! And it works!

Jessica @scienceofparenthood.com 3 years ago

I WISH I had this advice before my son was born. I was barely convinced that I knew what I was doing, let alone that MAN sitting next to me on the couch. Now 8 years later, I’m still paying for it. Sigh.

Sara Thompson 3 years ago

My mom gave me the best advice when I was pregnant and it’s the advice I share with new moms –
1. Don’t wish away a moment.
2. It never gets better, it only gets different.

Alexandra 3 years ago

Let’s remember the bonding the children miss out on when mommy does everything.

Children who are taken care of equally by both parents, have higher IQ’s.

Let them bathe them, take them places, put them to bed, read to them, play with them, cook for them.

It really is win win. If you can do it, do it.

It takes a lot of maturity, esp. if the couple has huge differences, but it has to happen. Let the things slide, just let them.

Falon 3 years ago

Man, oh man… I have seen this happen to so many of my friends. And they wonder why their husbands can’t make any decisions! Because YOU don’t let them!! It’s maddening. Thankfully my husband and I nipped it in the bud early on after #2… I don’t know how we’d function with 3 if it weren’t for both pitching in equally – and letting sleeping dogs lie when we both screw it up.

Thanks for the post. Great job!

Laura 3 years ago

Hey, let’s not forget those of us that inherit this problem from motherinlaws. It’s not just your husbands, it’s your kids too. Let them screw up, make mistakes, learn their own life lessons. My MIL did EVERYTHING for my DH till the day we got married. Don’t sabotage your future daughterinlaw!!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Let them learn, love it!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

The only one who really pays the price when you try to control everything is YOU — which is why it’s a terrible idea!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

I don’t “do it” — I make some percentage of what I’m supposed to, I’ve started to “miss” homework assignments (hm, why are the “mine”, thank you notes, parties, all the rest… I get annoyed and we have the same old who does more fights… But I am starting to enjoy the liberation of not trying to do everything well, it is freeing … still have a long ways to go though! Good to hear from you, girl!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

We are sisters in the same boat — I am trying, trying, to lift myself out of this mess because I can’t hold it together anymore — wishing you the best of luck starting to “duck out” of some of these responsibilities!! Melissa

Jessica Smock 3 years ago

When my son was a newborn and infant, I thought this way, that I always knew best. I thought that I knew the best way to hold him, rock him, feed him, comfort him, dress him. After about a year of this, it got too exhausting. I’m just not a “high maintenance” person by nature. In the beginning, I felt so much pressure from all the baby books and other moms in general that there was so much to remember and learn about babies. Now that my son is a toddler, I don’t feel as much pressure for everything to be “perfect.” He’s bigger, more resilient, has his own desires and will, and I just need a break sometimes!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

I am super impressed that you had your husband wash the pump parts — way to go!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Letting it go is the hardest thing! Thing is, when you allow everything to not be perfect, including yourself, it’s just so so much easier and less stressful!! xo Melissa

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

MILF Runner, you rock! Thank you!! Melissa

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Jess, thanks, I think you will be better off for this. Good luck! Melissa

Margaret 3 years ago

Are women still living like this? Acting like they are the baby/child expert and “allowing” their husbands to help out? The assumption that women do everything right and men do everything wrong is so insulting. Can we ever kill the stereotype of the doofus dad?

My advice to the new mommy and daddy? Everybody participate in child care equally to the extent possible. Play to your strengths: We figured out on day 1 that daddy was much better at bathing infants, so he did it. I didn’t let him and I didn’t have to teach him. It was obvious.

Find a division of labor that works for everyone, but make sure both parents know where the lunch stuff is.

The Good Wife 3 years ago

JHC, is this spot on! As someone who tends to lean towards the anal/OCD side of things, this post was me to the tee for our first. And all it got me was two years on anti-anxeity meds and now couples therapy. Needless to say, I took the opposite approach with #2 and at 7 months, he is no more screwed up with two active parents than #1 was with one supermom.

Natasha 3 years ago

This is SO true! But how do you find the perfect balance between wanting what’s best for your child (i.e. NOT watching TV all day and scarfing down Goldfish and ice cream sandwiches, whilst wearing mis-matched clothes) and letting go of the control? Easy to say, very very hard to do…

Nicole 3 years ago

It’s like I could have written this post myself. I agree, I wish someone had told me this also. I am a CONTROL FREAK. And now I am paying for it. My husband does his thing as I do all the house stuff and silently seethe inside because I trained him to not help. We are getting better, but…..I have many regrets about it.

yeah right 3 years ago

P.S.

You do not have children to FULFILL yourself. Get that toxic idea out of your head RIGHT NOW. You have them to continue the species and for no other reason. You have to then raise them so that they know how to behave in your culture. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU. It is about THEM. If you can’t figure THAT out don’t have any more kids.

YES, sometimes daily life tasks are tedious. You have to do them anyway, or you wind up with a bigger mess later. If HE Is not stepping up with the kid work, that’s HIS choice. Quit blaming yourself and get on with it.

yeah right 3 years ago

So men are helpless children who can only do the right thing when we allow them to do it. Gotcha.

No? Well, I’m tired of being blamed when a guy does something stupid. If he’s put the diaper on wrong, he’s put it on wrong and it’s a hygiene matter. I might have to hold that baby when the blowout happens and I’d really rather not, thank you. So I’d show him how to put it on right and save myself some grief.

If he keeps it up with the learned helplessness that’s OK. He can wonder in forty years why I’ve got a better relationship with my adult child than he does. Because eventually it will be figured out that he doesn’t care enough to be conscientious and that will not go over well with the offspring.

Better yet, never breed with a guy like that in the first place. If he’s going through life clueless about everything else, he’s not fit to continue the species either.

Eventually they will wise up and start acting like real adults, not just sixteen-year-olds who can legally get jobs.

Anna 3 years ago

I love this. And might I point out…out of al those “tidbits of wisdom” no one says “let daddy have input”. It’s something I really have to work on. Single motherhood does a number on having others help you.

Arnebya 3 years ago

The first time I hid in the bathroom and stayed longer than was necessary because I wasn’t using it to begin with and when I emerged the baby was OK and he was cooking dinner? “Damn, I didn’t give you credit. You’s a keeper, yo.” Mommies don’t do everything better automatically; we’re taught that that’s what’s expected. There’s plenty a man able to keep the kid from falling down the stairs. We just have to be willing to walk away even when we see the kid on the landing (an awful example because STAIRS!)

Mary 3 years ago

I will admit that I am the one in full control of all things school related and activities, but only because hubby has do many night meetings. But I keep the calendar up for all to see if he has to step in.
But after each daughter was born, he changed every single diaper in the hospital and handled more than half the feelings. (I’m unable to produce milk) Once home he handled the 11:00 feeding every night so I could sleep until I got up for the 3:00 am feeding. Then he would handle all weekend nighttime feedings.
Even though when I’m gone I might have to assume that all they will eat for dinner are buttered noodles or pizza, I’m still one lucky lady and was fairly well rested when were babies!

Janet Dubac 3 years ago

I would definitely choose to be the “pinch hitter brought in to do the only task that is actually fulfilling as a parent: having fun with the kids.” This is such a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing.

It can sometimes be tempting as a parent to take control of every little detail of our children’s lives. But as per experience, doing this is not only detrimental to us but also to our children. Mistakes and mishaps are part of parenting. They make us wiser, stronger and happier too!

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 3 years ago

Love it!
With me is the one the nurses at the hospital who convinced me to include my husband in the whole ‘caring for baby’ thing. She just turned to him and said : ‘your wive went to 13 hours of labor, the least you can do is learn how to change a diaper and bathe your daughter. Come here.
I really should send that woman flowers.

Amanda Martin 3 years ago

Oh yes. Amen. All supermummy brings is the realisation you can’t even be ill because the kids come and ask questions every three minutes. And the pizza story, that’s exactly the same in our house! :)

Von 3 years ago

With respect, moms, dad is not “helping”, he is parenting when he does child care. It’s semantics, I know, but I think the word used affects the attitude. I watched a friend do this with their firstborn twins (twins!). Never said a word aside from a gentle reminder once that he was a first-time daddy, as she was a mommy, and both were on a learning curve. I am not brave or foolish enough to comment on parents’ ways of raising children, even to a close friend. Now the dad does nothing of the day-to-day caring for the girls. His efforts were never good enough and he stopped trying; he is missing out on so much. Mommy never has a minutes peace and is absurdly grateful when he offers to bathe the girls occasionally.

Tamar 3 years ago

Have you been to my house recently??
You’ve described our life in absolute precision, including the critical remark about spit-up on the carpet (or wet diaper on the floor, toys scattered all around, sockless baby, etc. etc.). AND the hubbie on the iPad while I dash around doing EVERYTHING.
Is there any hope to truly change??????

Charisse 3 years ago

Love it. I am 6 months pregnant and as we eagerly await the arrival of our little we spend a lot of time talking about what kind of parents we want to be and I definitely want my hubby to do his thing with baba. Seen this too many times where the dad is relegated to watching TV doing nothing and then resentment builds so this is definitely the bet advice i have read yet!

Gracenikki 3 years ago

You and your kids deserve better. I hope you get better. ((Hugs))

Gracenikki 3 years ago

I love that!

EllaAnne 3 years ago

This doesn’t apply when your husband just gives up at the first sign of trouble, or immediately clicks on the TV/ video games as soon as he’s alone with the kids. I’ve learned to just accept that their time with him is almost worthless as far as nutrition, interaction, and emotional health and try to make up for it when I’m with them.

MomMom 3 years ago

If you have a father that is willing to help out, take advatage of the help! When my son was born (he’s 2 now) my bf refused to do any work taking care of baby. In the past two years i have been able to convince him all of twice to stay home alone with him so i could go to an appointment. I would have been happy to have the help, even though it wouldn’t have been the “perfect” way i do it. I’m now at a point that my son is in my constant care 24/7. If i have anything to do i can’t take him to, i have to inlist the help of my parents to babysit, yes, even if his daddy is home. ***Sigh***

Cuevi 3 years ago

Wow- this almost hurt to read it is so dead on. I really hope new mommas take your advice. I have no one to blame but myself for all bullshit I am forced to do by myself on a daily basis. Relax and know babies are resilient and letting go of control will only benefit the whole family! Brilliant post. Thank you!

Jennifer 3 years ago

OMG I’m doomed!

kc @ genxfinance 3 years ago

Lol, I had fun reading all these comments from experienced moms who can relate to your story Melissa..

Jen 3 years ago

Boy I wish I had read something like this 4 years ago!! 2 babies later and I’m in the same boat! This will be my new tidbit for new moms!

Mrs Catch 3 years ago

I hear ya! Have been doing this for years! He doesn’t suspect a thing!!!

Kelly @ In the Mom Light Blog 3 years ago

I don’t know how you do it all. I always say that to you, but I really don’t!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Yup, Kelly, this is the real me, and it sucks, it really does.

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Way to go, the less you know, the better!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Thanks Nicole, sad thing is it’s my life!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Keep it up! Best thing to do is leave him alone to his own devices!

Sara 3 years ago

My grandmother gave me this very piece advice with my first baby and it IS the best advice ever for new moms! Her gentle reminder everytime I complained was “this is his first time too and he’s never going to do anything exactly right so just move on do what you need to do while he’s learning to do it his way.”

Kelly @ In the Mom Light Blog 3 years ago

Lol Melissa – I can so see you being like this 😉 Not saying I’m not guilty of being the same way at first, but I couldn’t handle it all with one and then two let alone five. So, I had to become much more laid back and grit my teeth now and again but at least have hubs helping!

vero 3 years ago

I wish I could. Thou I’m a new Mom. Letting daddy take care of my kids its,like asking me to kiss a frog. I have learned my lessons on putting daddy on baby duty. They end up with dipper rashes, a bruised here or there. skipped a meal or two or are very hyper. By the time I get home he is,annoyed and my kids are miserable, hungry, in pain, tired and,sometimes all of the above.

Amanda 3 years ago

But the control….it’s so hard to give it away….

Gracenikki 3 years ago

Yes. Thankfully now that number 2 is here, all that has changed. I’m still in charge of the overall “project” so to speak, but he has come a long way and is a lot more helpful now that I’ve backed off and relinquished some control. Things don’t always get done *perfectly* but that’s ok, we’re much better parents now that he’s so much more in the loop.

Kim 3 years ago

Excellent advice. I will plead ignorance at every turn.

Jen 3 years ago

I love this! I am a new mom of a 3 month old. Though it is difficult to relinquish some control, I am going to try my best to take y our advice and step aside at times.

Angie 3 years ago

I guess you could say I know where the guys are coming from:
I’m the “at work all day” parent and Daddy is the “stay at home” parent so this is the extreme version of letting Daddy do his thing well let me tell you its not easy having to swallow parenting advice and criticism from other people in general…its even worse when it comes from your “know it all spouse” :(

Brandie 3 years ago

Yes. This. Seriously. Let the husbands/daddies/significant others do things. They’ll do them differently and that’s OKAY.
My husband can step in flawlessly almost any day of the week, which is good since I started having major health issues about 2 years ago.
You never know where life will take you.
Also, the kids like it. They like both mom and dad to be a part of things – at least mine.
True story, my husband mastered diaper changing before I did. God, I love that man =)

Andie @ multiplemama 3 years ago

I will admit, I WAS one of those. But then 2 and 3 joined us together (twins) so Daddy learned REAL quick! :)

Jessica Cobb (@DomesticPirate) 3 years ago

Thankfully I’ve ditched hubby on enough Mom’s Nights and getaway weekends that he’s got a handle on stuff. Took a while to get him comfortable with it though!

Heather @ Kraus House Mom 3 years ago

I am so thankful that my husband was a stay at home dad for the first 5 years with 3 kids (all within a year of each other). I usually get the clothes ready, but I don’t have to worry about anything else. He was better at it than I am.

nicole 3 years ago

I don’t have this problem because before I hady son, I told the hubs that I was NOT doing everything and he is the best daddy I’ve ever seen.

Christina 3 years ago

Thank goodness I didn’t fall into this trap! I started leaving baby alone with daddy by the time he was 2 weeks old and never even worried about it. Why would I? He’s the daddy, and this was a first for both of us. There’s nothing that makes me inherently better at parenting than him. He’s an amazing father. He researched strollers and carseats. He put baby on lists for daycare. He can coordinate baby’s outfits like nobody’s business. Baby lights up when he sees daddy and they love spending time together. I get the occasional night out (I can even skip out on bedtime routine and not worry about a thing) and a weekly sleep-in. We take turns on bath nights and swimming lessons. He’s more patient than I am and better at a lot of things baby-wise. This transition to parenthood hasn’t been as hard on our marriage as I thought it would be and I fully believe taking as equal roles as possible has been the key.

Onecrazymomto5 3 years ago

Amen! But where were you 20 years ago when I had my first and almost 11 years ago when I had my fifth? Not only did/do I take care of the kids, but I also treat my husband like 1 of them. He has never had to take the kids to anything, do any housework (literally he has run the vacuum 1 time – honest to goodness), heck he doesn’t even have to take the car for its scheduled oil change! Where does that leave me, tired, overworked, my 20 year old still lives at home and I cook his meals and wash his laundry, unappreciated, and an enabler. Yep, I can admit my own faults. BUT I’m in control, trust me its not all it’s cracked up to be! All you new mothers, listen – make the men do just as much as you, everyday, or you will end up like me!

Jenny 3 years ago

Hallelujah! All new mommies, please listen to this voice of reason! [Insert fist pump.] That is all.

Lin 3 years ago

I’m so glad I learned this before I got to the hospital. The nurse set me up with a pump, and I told hubby he better listen about how to wash the attachments because that was going to be part of his job. In addition, I decided we weren’t leaving the hospital until he changed at least one of the baby’s diapers.

Brandy Maricle 3 years ago

Here here! I was a single mom with my daughter, so it was just me (and my mother and grandmother who always found it in my best interests to tell me everything I was doing was wrong). When my husband and I had my son, it was game on. He helped make it, he can help take care of it. And the way I saw it, I already had 9 months worth of work up on him.

Beth 3 years ago

Couldn’t agree more! My husband had NO experience with children of any age so while I was there to offer advice, I let him do his thing. He has turned into the most amazing father and I think it is because I left him alone. More women need to let it go, we have so much on our plates, why net let the one person we chose to “get us into this mess” help out?

Rebeccah 3 years ago

My husband said it best when he told his brother who was fretting about having a baby. “Dude. Just keep it alive (fed) and clean. The rest will be okay.” True, really, when you break it down.

Nicole 3 years ago

Holy crap, that is so true and I didn’t even see it when I did it three times over!!

Wendy 3 years ago

Oh my, you just described my life! I have four and unfortunately I have done this! I changed diapers, got up through the night, dressed kids, helped with homework, signed papers, etc. and although I love my kids and doing for them but I wish I would have let go a little.

MILF Runner 3 years ago

You are so fucking smart. It took me 4 kids to figure this out! LISTEN TO HER, PEOPLE!!! She knows what she’s talking about!

themeanmama 3 years ago

Dead ON! Husbands/Fathers always get a bad wrap, but goodness, they usually aren’t allowed to do anything!

Marie30 3 years ago

True story! Also a mom of five, they were wearing me out so I started to hand over the ropes more and more with each baby. Dh is great now! Perfect advice every mom to be should read!

Sha Woo 3 years ago

This is so true!! I watched a friend do this with her baby and I learned real quick that a loose diaper is not that big of a deal. I let my husband makes his mistakes and we were all better for it.

Hailey 3 years ago

Hahaha I live this!!! It’s is so true!!!!! Unfortunately I’m right down that road with you. I wish I would have not done/did everything myself and had/have to have everything done my way. Great advice :)

Jess 3 years ago

Best. Advice. Ever! I’m a new mom to a 4 month old and have been trying very hard to not instruct my husband on all things baby. We have alternating work schedules; when he works I’m home and when I work he’s home, so he gets plenty of baby time anyway, but I’m going to make a mental note to back the f@&^ off….thanks!

Mama Melch 3 years ago

Ask him, let him, make him–best new mom advice I ever got. Great post!!

Melissa Lawrence 3 years ago

Thanks — I really meant that, once you’re down this road, there’s no going back!

ilikebeerandbabies.com 3 years ago

Save yourself! I love it.