Parenting in Staying Connected

  • Feb. 27, 2021, 2:15 a.m.
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  • Public

I am generally happy with the way my husband and I have divided up parenting duties, but there is also, of course, the variable of our daughter and her opinion. As she gets older, she’s definitely expressed a preference for me in a lot of areas.

The things my husband and I have agreed are my responsibility are things like choosing her clothes, styling her hair, deciding what she eats, and making sure she has access to developmentally appropriate and stimulating activities.

Things we’ve agreed are his responsibility are giving her baths, brushing her teeth, and dealing with any night time wake-ups in the two hours after she goes to bed.

Things she’s decided are my responsibility are most diaper changes, getting her dressed, preparing her food and helping her eat, reading her bedtime stories, and comforting her when she’s hurt or scared (especially overnight).

As we are expecting our second little girl this year, we’ve been more aware of how some of the things in that third list need to start transitioning over to being my husband’s responsibility. Two ways that we’ve started to make the transition are 1) he wakes up with her four days per week, so she’s starting to get used to him changing her diapers in the morning, and 2) I can’t pick her up as much as I used to, so she’s starting to accept him as a source of comfort, which is really nice because she’s definitely been regressing in a lot of ways and requires an increasing amount of comfort.

I think it’s possible that I will be able to continue to be the primary caregiver at getting her dressed, doing her hair, and reading her bedtime stories, but the area I’d really like to see more progress in is my husband’s ability to feed her. On Saturdays, the days he is with her all day, I am consistently disturbed by the ways he accommodates the issue—things like letting her eat 8 graham crackers instead of lunch and French fries for dinner, or just not feeding her all day and letting her mood (and well-being) completely deteriorate.

Recently she’s been getting into bed with us around 5am, and she usually wants to snuggle with me. This morning she actually chose to snuggle with my husband, which was a pleasant change of pace. I’m hoping as my due date gets closer, we see more and more of these changes, and not only do I hope that my daughter continues to warm up to my husband, but I hope he steps up more too.

Time to get ready for work! Until next time <3

Last updated February 27, 2021

BrokenBitch February 27, 2021

I feel like that sort of transition is always a work in progress...but usually necessary, good and worth it! I remember when my baby brother came onto the scene, I was 4 and a BIG TIME momma's girl (first born - mom stayed at home with me). My dad had to take over in many if not most ways and I remember him holding me many times as I was crying for my mom(jealous of my brother and sort of mad at my mom)....but he just held on and let me cry it out, tried to distract me by reading to me or taking me outside to play one on one with him, which I never got much of before this.

Eventually I started to go to him for most things, or at least when my mom's hand were full. This ended up being a VERY good thing because within the next 16 months my brother had a surgery which left him severely/developmentally disabled for life. This meant my parent priorities and style in parenting me changed vastly after this; My mom and brother would be away at Dr.'s and hospitals for weeks on end (out of state) - sometimes months at a time when he had his brain surgeries...and that left me and my dad solo. I was always sad my mom was gone...but I never felt neglected because my dad and I bonded earlier and I trusted him...I knew I could go to him for anything. At times though he wasn't available either, as he'd have to go to my mom and brother too and I'd have to stay back at school/home...then I was with my aunt or grandma.

I guess what I am getting at, in a long winded way - sorry, is that today I am actually much closer to my dad than my mom! It sure didn't start that way, but over time because of my brother being born and then all the crap that forced us together. We actually have more of the same temperament and he has been quite the example to me...I call him when I am sad or need advice, not my mom. But I think if my brother hadn't come along or maybe hadn't become disabled, my true potential of a relationship with my dad may have never developed. It's weird how things happen and progress.

Original Rose BrokenBitch ⋅ February 27, 2021

Wow, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. It sounds like that must have been hard on your whole family, especially you! I'm glad that, despite all the pain, there was the silver lining of you and your dad developing this close relationship <3

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