First of all, welcome to my page! And Happy Fathers Day to all the lovely dad’s out there.
This first post is dedicated to them, or sort of. Recently I came across to this post Stress: Husbands A Bigger Source Of Stress Than Kids For Nearly Half Of Moms (well actually a Spanish version of it) and I could feel totally related with it. I mean I have 4 kids, the two girls I was pregnant with, my husband and the dog –as most people say-. Yeah, that can be frustrating!
So, I remembered a day when talking with one of my therapists, I was explaining to her how much my husband helps. I explained that he does the dishes, he bathes the girls, he takes them to the park, he cooks, he hangs clothes, he plays and reads books at night, etc. Yep, there I was, all so proud to have found such a lovely man that I want to punch in the face every now and then.. (shhhh!)
She said -“Wait, he actually does not help”-, and I thought -“oh my! I, babbling in spanglish again and she didn’t get word of what I was saying :/?”- Then she said: -“No, no I hear you, But he is not helping YOU!-”
I was shocked. I mean I already felt lucky, because I know in others families and cultures the expectations are low below, daddy usually just works even when mama also does. So, what was she trying to say then? What else could he do? -“Exactly!”- she said, -“He does what he’s supposed to do!”-. You don’t help as a mother to feed your child or change a diaper, you just do it because forms part of a being a mum. Take care of your kids, keep them clean, healthy and happy is not helping your husband. Why do we woman insist that the father should help, like they are a less parent than we are?
The father should be a father, that’s all. If you ask a mum what her work is, she’ll say: being a mum and maybe a wife and she also works in an office during the week. If you ask about daddy, daddy works. He is tired. Wait, what?
Daddy is a parent. Daddy is not there to help mummy. Daddy is there to raise children, with you or alone. Or with another daddy. This article talks about it, when we see the father as a support for us and no as a part of a team. It’s curious that this despair is not only seeing in heterosexual relationships, but also in lesbian couples with kids. So, why is that?
For me it was like a revelation. The deal is that when we underestimate the father relationship with the kids, we make it always less and that doesn’t really help them to make them feel good enough to at least try to be the father we want them to be they want to be!
Since that day I started noticing that that’s the way we referred to the father’s: -he helps a lot- or -just a bit-. -No, he doesn’t help- Or he is not even around-. It’s our responsibility as a partner to let them be feel part of it. Bit by bit let them create that special bond with the kids, because even though they spent 9 months inside of us they would say dada first, (both of mine did it -.-!) Our kids deserve that, and we parents deserve that also.
I part knew that whoever I choose to be married with should “help” around the house. I never realised that is not a matter of help but commitment was I was looking for. A person committed to his family.
So, you get it right? How do you change it then? Because, and I know, if you don’t ask for help they don’t know what to do! Easy: make a list of things that has to be done. Let them choose, even the kids can have a chore. Is not about you sharing –your- chores (as a mum) but about all the family working together to achieve their goals.
And what does all of this have to do with sleep training? Well, a lot more that what you think, most of the time we mothers are so tired of rocking, shushing, leaving our bed at the middle of the night to go check on the kids, that we don’t give even a chance to the daddy’s to try. I can even hear some voices saying “of course because they don’t know what to do!!”, but, what if we let them find their way? Their gentle father way?! Let’s leave them connect with their kids and read them, find solutions and let them surprise us! Let’s give them a chance to parent!
So there you go, to my husband that doesn’t help, my apologies for underestimating you,
You are a great Daddy!
To my father and to the others father’s that don’t help I wish you all a Happy Fathers Day!
Daniela S. Mendez
I've been blessed with two girls that have been my best school and inspiration. I know what it feels to have your whole life affected for lack of sleep, to be too tired to function! Now as a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach® my goal is to help your family to have the sleep you deserve.
Contact me to grab your proven and excellent quality sleep advise!