This Father’s Day, I’m giving my husband a special gift. It is totally within my price range, and yet it is priceless. It is something I have hinted to him about and something I know he will enjoy. And it is something no one else can give him.
This Father’s Day, I am going to let him parent as he wants. And not make a comment. Not even a sneer or a shudder. Not a suggestion, nor a correction, will come out of my lips.
No big deal, you think? Well, ask your husband. He may think otherwise.
Not to be totally hetero- and gender-normative, but, like many moms out there, I shoulder the responsibilities of being the primary parent. I am the creator of menu plans, buyer of groceries, organizer of playdates, and so on.
My husband is an awesome partner and an amazing dad. But, at the end of the day, me being the primary parent tends to mean I undercut his freedom in parenting. Because — let’s face it — I do it all. We’ve created a life where everything is under the watchful eyes and control of mom.
I am lucky my husband wants to engage more in parenting. But we have very different ways of parenting and managing the household. He tends to be much more laidback and engages with the kids in a very different, and, let’s face it, male (again, gender norms!) manner. And sometimes (often), it drives me up the wall. I am guilty of correcting, judging, and overruling. And it definitely is not encouraging for him or for the kids.
So this Father’s Day, I am giving him the gift of judgment-free parenting. I will let him make the decisions, and I will try not to cringe, even though I would do it differently. I will let him be in charge and gain confidence in that role. And, who knows, maybe mom being off duty might even become a Mother’s Day tradition!