I hear it all of the time from fellow moms- “Everything falls on me, ESPECIALLY when it comes to the kids.” How many of you feel that way? On the flip side, when our husbands jump in to help, they do it ALL WRONG.
I remember one of the times I went out for the evening and my husband was in charge of putting my son to bed. I was an anxious mess as I told him, “Ok, he gets his bath, allergy medicine, brush teeth, two bedtime stories, and a bedtime song. Make sure he goes to the bathroom RIGHT before bed. And DON’T forget a hug and kiss before you leave the room- otherwise he will be calling you back in after you leave. Oh, and, one more thing, you might make sure that he is able to locate ALL of his favorite stuffed animals before you turn the lights off because otherwise he will lose his ever-loving mind.” You know as well as I do, the entire time I was out, I worried about whether or not all of the boxes were being checked in my son’s bedtime routine- and how he was handling the change of not having his mama there to tuck him in. When I got home, my son was sound asleep and my husband was in his recliner. “How did it go?” I asked, wincing. “Did he get his stories and song and everything else?” “No”, my husband responded. “I just told him it was time for bed, we took care of all of the hygiene stuff, I gave him a hug, and he went right to sleep.” Shocked, I’m sitting there wondering how on earth my son was willing to go to bed without his precious routine. My son would have NEVER let me off the hook that easily. And yet, he was perfectly happy and sound asleep in his bed. Meanwhile, had I been home, I would have been called into his room at least one hundred more times before he finally fell asleep.
I learned something that night. My husband and I have different ways of doing things- and that’s ok. We think as moms that we know the ONLY right way to do things. And, yes, we DO have a motherly instinct and intuition into what our kids need. But, I also think that we jump through WAY too many hoops (and I think our kids know this about us and milk it a little bit). What I’m trying to say is, let your husband step up to the plate (encourage him to, if necessary). And, once he does, let him do it his way. If we as moms aren’t hovering over them, critiquing how they are doing things, they might have the courage to step up even more. Shoot, we might even learn some things from them about not working too hard. And, what’s more, we may actually ENJOY that night out. Imagine that!
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.