“It takes a village” is a famous quote that has been replaying in my mind since becoming a parent — a working parent that is. As a woman who grew up very independent, it’s embedded in me that I can do anything by myself. I’ve had my fair share of proving it too. Holding down a full-time job working at home, while at the same time taking care of Cayden full time, staying on top of the weekly house cleaning, cooking meals, and dedicating time to my little side hustle.
Just because I can do it, doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted. I have to remind myself that just because I am able to do it all, doesn’t mean I should. One of the things that I’m so grateful for, is a partner that shows up and steps up every single day as a husband, but most importantly, as a dad.
As soon as 6:30 PM rolls around on weekdays, Steven is walking in from work and I can turn off “mommy mode”. We have an understanding that daddy is in charge of feeding Cayden dinner every night, whether that’s cooking dinner himself for the family or making sure Cayden finishes the dinner I prepared. After dinner, daddy is also in charge of playtime and the bath and bedtime routine every night.
Weekends are for me. I can sleep in as late as I want, spend all day working on my side hustle, pampering myself, or doing absolutely nothing because Steven has committed to block out that time to be with Cayden 24/7. It’s also his way to make up for lost time during the week where he can’t be home because he’s at the office.
My mom friends all comment on how lucky I got that Steven is so hands-on when it comes to sharing the responsibilities of parenting. Why shouldn’t he be? I work too and I’m with Cayden every single day, it’s only fair that Steven takes over on the evenings and weekends. As moms, it is hard to let go sometimes and stay out of the way (for me personally, I feel like if I don’t do it myself, it won’t get done right). But not only is it healthy for moms, it’s healthy for our kids.
In most cases moms, by default, will always be the “preferred” parent because we are the more nurturing ones and the ones that give more attention. However, dad’s need that one-on-one time with their kids too. Yes, dads tend to be the providers but it shouldn’t stop at that. Providing and buying gifts isn’t the same thing as spending time together and creating memories.
When I look back on my childhood, I don’t remember the material things I had or who bought me what. I remember the exact time and place where I was with my mom when certain moments happened that make me smile looking back. Or the limited time I had spent with my dad before he decided to not be part of our lives.
When Cayden looks back, I want him to have a strong bond with his dad due to the father-son moments that only he and his dad share. Even at the age of three, I can hear the conversations Steven and Cayden have during bath time. Cayden seems to always have a recap of his day and a joke or two in his pocket that makes his daddy laugh.
Letting dad be dad, is also a way that you can take a break and do something for yourself that you enjoy. Grab that glass of wine, unwind from the long day, and enjoy a show while dad is putting your little one down. Or maybe you enjoy baths too and can have a peaceful one while dad is taking care of bath time in the other bathroom with the baby.
Mama, why take on more than you need to? For the sake of our well-being, we just have to remember to let go, and let dad do his thing.