Trusting the Other Half Isn’t Always Easy.
Recently, I acted on pure self-indulgence and took a girl’s get away trip to the Big Apple and left hubby at home in charge of our little person. Once I got over the self-guilt issues of taking some time out for myself and doing something that didn’t put someone else first, I was faced with the bigger issue of trust in leaving my daughter in the care of someone aside from me, even if was her very own dad.
My hubby is an involved and hands-on Dad but we parent quite differently. I am a Type A personality who likes things done a certain way, likes routine and I admit, I do have a few control issues and trust when it comes to our daughter. Maybe it’s because she’s my only child, or because I am with her non stop, as my hubby is away for work a month at a time, but I treat my parental responsibility very seriously, sometimes too seriously. For me to leave her was a really BIG deal. Especially as I often refer to her Daddy as ‘Fun Time Daddy’, the one that tips her upside down before bathtime after chasing her up the stairs playing ‘dinosaurs.’ The one that gives her a lots of leeway that a Mum would never do…(sound familiar?).
As the weeks to my impending departure drew near, I started to get really anxious and all sort of thoughts started entering my mind. What if he forgot to lock the bathroom and laundry cupboards? What if he wasn’t paying attention when washing the car and she ran out onto the road? What if he didn’t feed her a balanced meal at every sitting? The What If’s started driving me mad, almost to the point of cancelling the whole trip.
I realized I was being silly and I had to face this at some point so I decided to let go of what I couldn’t control. I wasn’t at home while my hubby had sole care of our daughter, so I had to let go of the way I did everything (assuming it to be the only way and most correct way). I embraced the view that at the end of the day, as long as she is healthy and happy, then nothing else matters.
By me trying to control everything and allow for contingencies, it occurred to me that I was actually taking away something from my husband. I was taking away his learning curve. At some point while 40000 feet in the air, I realized that while I left notes for him and a detailed calendar of what she had on what day, and what to do if x or y happens, I realized, that this parenthood thing is also his learning journey too. By spoon feeding him and trying to control how and when things are done, he is missing out, not only on the experience, but the confidence in himself and his parenting. There’s nothing more satisfying then outsmarting your precocious preschooler, or front footing a meltdown head on and who am I to take that away from the other person that created her?
As our daughter grows up and is interacting and socializing more I can see she her curiosity and at times her frustration in seeing someone do something differently. For me, I think there is a valuable lesson for our her in seeing that different people can do the same thing but in different ways and no way is right and no way is wrong. While her daddy and I are united in our values and discipline, there are daily tasks and responsibilities that way we do differently and that’s ok.
It teaches her flexibility, acceptance and trust.
Now that I am well and truly back into routine life back home and all is well, I am now busy ‘undoing’ some of the ‘habits’ that Fun Time Daddy created and you know what, I am actually happy to be doing so. Of course he was going to take the best care of her and do everything he could to make sure she was healthy, happy and safe and sure, maybe not the way I would do it, but that really doesn’t matter.
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This post was written by Marnie:
Her hope in writing is to help make mums happier, healthier and kinder to themselves for their spirits, their kids, and their world by integrating self care, self love and self acceptance into their lives.P.S. Are you looking for extra side income? I make over $85,000 a year blogging part-time—check out this easy step-by-step tutorial on how start a blog (no tech knowledge required).