I first noticed that my husband was doing things wrong when we had our first child. He could not swaddle at all. He woke me up in the middle of the night to get me to do it for him. When he put diapers on, they were crooked. He didn’t stop halfway through the bottle to burp the baby. Oh, and you should have seen how he put the sheets on the crib! Totally wrinkly and not lined up at all. There’s more too, but I’ll spare you the details (and me the embarrassment of complaining about a husband that did so much!)
It. Drove. Me. Nuts. And I would tell my husband, “You’re doing it wrong” and “Here, let me do it.” I would stop him from helping me so I could do it the myself-the proper way. Let me repeat that: I would stop my husband from helping me. Crazy, right?
Then one night, out of my mind with sleep deprivation I figured it out. Maybe I wouldn’t be so tired if I just let him help with the baby. It was a huge light bulb moment for me. I suddenly didn’t care if the diaper was crooked, or he missed a snap on the pj’s or if the formula was a few degrees cooler than I imagined our son liked it. All that mattered at that moment was sleep.
There are no doubts about it, juggling parenting duties when living with sleep deprivation can be tricky. That being said, when your little one is going through one of the sleep regression ages it is important to take steps to help make sure your baby gets the rest that they need to grow. Sleep regression can create chaos with naps and nights when a baby reaches a certain age, but I found that introducing healthy sleeping habits made a huge difference.
So I started letting my husband help at bedtime and it was A-Mazing! I suddenly didn’t care that the baby clothes weren’t folded very neatly, I was just happy they were folded and I didn’t have to do it! I didn’t care if the bottles went through the dishwasher instead of being hand-washed, I was just happy there were clean bottles when I needed them.
Not only did I accept his offer of help, but I also stopped telling him he was doing it wrong (even though I died a little inside every time he would use like 15 wipes to change a diaper).
I can’t tell you what an impact this lesson has had on my marriage. Instead of trying to control every aspect of my son’s life, our son’s life, I learned to trust my husband and began to let go of feeling the need to be in charge of every moment, every decision. We became a team, instead of me dictating to him the correct way to do things, like he was in my employ. And over time, especially now that my son is a tween, I learned that this ain’t just the mom and son show. My son needs his dad.
So, if your husband’s doing it wrong, let him! He’ll make mistakes and he won’t always do it your way (which we all know is the best way) but you’ll get a break. I know this can be difficult for some people, so perhaps talking it through with a counsellor would help? That is a good way for you to both put everything on the table and iron out any problems so that you can both be the best parents and partners possible. Take a look online for a local councillor if you think this would work for you – I know there is some great options if you are looking for relationship counseling melbourne way.
After taking this step and allowing your husband to do things his way, you’ll get to sit back and watch him put the diaper on crooked while he sings and coos to the baby. Over time the singing and cooing turns into playing cars and bandaging knees and that turns into teaching him how to shave and talking about girls. As time goes on you’ll see this has become a really awesome bond that your child will have with his dad, a bond that he doesn’t share with anyone else in the world.
Oh, but you might want to go out and get one of those swaddle blankets with the velcro that are really easy to put on because he just might never figure that one out.
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