One of Mama Kat’s prompts this week was to share something your husband does better as a parent than you do.
But when I started thinking about it I kept coming back to something I’ve been trying to put into words for a while now.
I don’t think either one of us does things better; I mean are we really going to compare how we wipe a butt or which of us can talk our kid into breakfast for dinner more quickly? Parenting is better when you’re employing a tag-team effort anyway so it doesn’t do any good to want to keep score.
Your job is to keep your children alive, healthy and semi clean and not kill (or hate) one another in the process.
So when it comes right down to it, the truth is that my husband and the kind of dad he is simply makes me a better mommy.
He “buys in” before I do:
From the moment he saw those two little embryos growing in my uterus he was all in. While I fretted and worried (and of course given our infertility situation he did too) he never doubted for a moment that we’d bring home two babies to parent.
That hasn’t changed. I have been known to stand still and just be unable to move mentally when I’m not sure how something is going to go or I jump in my heart and not my head. . John simply goes along and makes it easy for me to see that our decisions made together are impulsive and rational because both of us are there making them.
He knows he’s part of the team:
I had color coordinated our outfits long before the boys came along; when they were born I took total control over the clothes we wear, the colors we’re sporting on a daily basis. We’ve been teased and made fun of many times, but damn we look good. Like a man who loves a team sport, John is comfortable with calling us “Team Piccini” and looking to me for a daily outfit. As a woman it’s nice to know that my husband doesn’t believe that allowing me make some decisions slices away at his masculinity and he’s teaching the boys the same thing. *Bonus*
Plus as a team he knows it takes more than one coach to get things done. We might each have a way that we think we should deal with something but we take the approach of being small parts of a bigger whole. Rob Base had the right idea: “it takes two to make a thing go right.”
He knows what’s important:
A day off for a picnic? Sure!
Giving up a Saturday to go to mall? Okay.
Missing the first game of The Stanley Cup Playoff to go to a play? Well….
John is a die-hard NY Ranger fan. The Blueshirts haven’t gotten to the Stanley Cup Playoff (that’s code for the BIG SHOW!) in 20 years and he was as happy as I would be if you told me I was getting a new pair of shoes for free every month for the rest of my life. We were all happy. Until we realized that we’d bought tickets to see Beauty & the Beast for the evening of the first game.
First, I never thought about John not going to see this show with us, he is sports fan that love Broadway shows too. Second, I never worried about him begging off. Sure it wasn’t game 7 (and honestly if it had been I also know what’s important. Game 7 is important!) but he came to show with no complaining or regret. Yes, he checked the score on his phone, yes, he was eager to get home to watch the 3rd period but he never let us feel like we weren’t as important as the game.
He never does and that is huge. He has things he loves but I never worry if we’re one of them.
I know we are. This is an incredible lesson to be teaching our sons.
He lets us be who we are:
John and I have a lot in common; we have the same kind of humor, like a lot of the same music and come at things from a familiar place. Yet, there are things about me that are so far from what he is used to that I used to wonder why he fell in love with me in the first place.
I know that I can curse too much, that I can like an off color joke a little too often and I have very strong opinions and a very big mouth with which I will tell you about them. This is far from who my husband is. However, he lets me be who I am. This freedom has filtered down to our sons.
Jacob wants to pretend he’s Billy Joel? Okay, let’s show him some classic Joel videos and play his greatest hits in the car. Gio wants to do play-by-play hockey in the living room? COOL! I’ll just set up old footage and teach him math in the process. Jacob wants to take a drama class? No problem, let’s help him find his bliss.
One of the biggest reasons that I love my husband is wrapped up in this, he simply allows us to be who exactly we are. I want to write or daydream or nap all day, he never gives me a problem, never makes fun of me or is condescending to me. He accepts the good stuff and the bitch I often become when I’m sad, frustrated or disappointed, he’s a fantastic cheerleader whether he knows it or not.
And not in any traditional way; sure he takes the dog out, he is charge of the garbage and vacuuming (Yep, I’m that lucky) but what I’m really talking about is how he helps even when he thinks he isn’t.
When the twins were born and I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia we realized that our routines would need to shift. Stress and lack of sleep were my worst enemies and both would lead to awful migraines and me generally feeling lousy for days.
John knows when to step in. He knows that I can get so much done if he is simply sitting on the couch lost in his phone but present for the boys while they surf Curious George movies on Netflix. I can make beds, clean bathrooms and fold clothes much easier if I know that he’s “keeping them alive”. He’d tell you that he’s not doing anything but he is. He’s making my experience less stressful and that’s worth an awful lot.
He knows how to lose his shit:
I remember the first real fight I had with John. It doesn’t matter what we were arguing about the point is that I was coming from a place where I wanted to fight. I wanted drama and fireworks and expressions.
I grew up in a violent house. There was yelling and hitting and solving problems with our hands instead of our heads.
John grew up in a very different house.
So when I came at him with words that I knew would set him off I expected what I always gotten; A slap, ugly words or both. Instead he stopped himself short of all of it and looked at me “I won’t fight like this with you.”
I understood in that moment that my life and relationships were about to change.
So when I get ragey or out of sorts and my temper flares (and sometimes it does) I look to him. He knows how to lose his shit in a way that isn’t going to have lasting repercussions and that makes not only a better mom but a better person.
He’s a great dad:
This is a gimme but it’s the most important one because when I think about being a mom sometimes I want to run away and hide. I want to disown my kids, my husband and find a cottage on the edge of the ocean and stay there ALONE for a very long time. But what keep me here in the middle of the chaos, the clutter, the constant chatter of 6 yr old twins is this man and his belief in things like faith, fun and family.
He is funny, he is supportive and he is true blue.
John would tell you (because I’ve heard him say it to other people) that I’m the glue that holds our family together. He would praise me for my mothering skills and go on about he doesn’t know how I do it all but in this space and now before we celebrate Father’s Day I want him to know that I am a better mom because of the kind of dad he is.
Happy Father’s Day honey.