Why are most women so afraid to leave their kids with dad? (I am using “dad” as this is my situation but feel free to replace the word with “mom” or “partner” depending on your scenario)
I have often felt somewhat weird about this topic as I seem to be one of the few who hasn’t had a hard time leaving my kids at any given time or at any age. In October, I left my two-month-old twins and two year old at home for the day (and night) with my husband, along with several bottles to attend a much needed girls night away. Maybe it’s because my husband is already so hands on with them or maybe it’s because “Holy F I need a night away from the kids” but I had no anxiety about doing this and for some reason, I still felt like I shouldn’t have gone at times because it didn’t seem like a normal thing to do… according to everyone else.
I get it, sometimes we (as women) tend to do more in the parenting department and most of the time, it’s the mom who is the one who does most of the maternity leave, which means she is home with the kids a lot more. But why is it so hard for some of us to leave our babies even for one night with the father or other parent?
With my first born, I only took 4 weeks maternity leave before working from home and starting to travel again for work. When I traveled, people would always ask me who was looking after my baby. My response: “Um, my husband?” and people would be shocked, which is where my confusion on this subject began.
Why is it so shocking that some of us leave our babies with our husbands to attend work trips or girls trips? And why do some of us have a fear of doing this even when we know that we really need a night away?
The way I think of it is this: You decided to have kids with this person. You both “own” these kids equally 50/50. You know that outside of everyone else on the planet, the one other person who loves your kids as much as you do is your partner. So, why do we assume that our partners are useless and that something will go wrong?
The answer: control issues. We do things a certain way and we all parent differently between partners. I know for a fact that my husband prefers to have the kids to himself because he doesn’t have me sitting there telling him how to do things or what to feed the kids or how to pack the diaper bag. I can also assure you all that my husband is not the only one who enjoys the time alone with the kids and who likes to do the parenting thing “his way”.
They aren’t going to let your kid fall down the stairs or forget to change a diaper or feed the baby and if they do, it might only be for an hour or so before they realize “oh, maybe the baby is pissed because she’s hungry”. Our partners aren’t idiots and if they are, well I can’t really help you out there but you chose to be with that idiot so maybe there are deeper issues here…cue awkward wide-eyed emoji)
Our partners parent differently than we do and we need to be ok with this because it’s part of what helps shape our children. We need to let go of control and let them be parents too because why would you choose to have kids with someone and then not let them look after those kids? Seems odd.
Sure, I get anxiety watching my husband feed my kids because holy crap, the floor, child and everything around is sticky and messy, but he fed the kid and she is happy so that’s all that really matters…and of course he cleaned the mess up too… I hope.
Sometimes he lets our two year old climb things that I wouldn’t necessarily allow and then she falls and cries and I roll my eyes because I wouldn’t have let her climb that wall to begin with. But guess what? She needs to fall a bit here and there and needs to be raised to not be afraid of things and I do think him letting her do these things that I wouldn’t usually be ok with is what makes our kid who she is today. She doesn’t cry every time she falls and she hangs onto railings when needed because she knows what happened when she didn’t hold the railings last time. Isn’t that how they learn?
At the end of the day, all I’m saying is that we need to let go of the reins a little bit and understand that everything is going to be ok if we leave our kids with our spouses. They don’t want our children to get hurt and they want them to have fun just like we do, but sometimes that “fun” comes with a different parenting technique that we aren’t comfortable with and we just need to be ok with it and trust them. Again, we chose to be with these people and we chose to have children with them so let’s try and let them do things differently and learn as they go like we did when we were/are home with them. They aren’t going to hurt anyone doing this and if anything, it will be a win/win for you as well because you get to go on girls trips and work trips or wherever you need to go without kids.
For those of you who have yet to do this, you may say you don’t want to be away from your kids ever because you love them so much and want to spend every waking moment with them…blah blah blah, but once you do it for a day or night and realize that nothing imploded while you were gone, it is actually pretty magical and highly needed for your mental state.