I wrote this week about How We Strive for Equally Shared Parenting in our home, this is my husband’s point of view. This only has minor edits from me, I did not change any content.
Oh and he reminded me that we do have a lot of friends in our circle where the fathers are incredibly involved, so we must just recognise the awesome fathers who are sharing home responsibilities.
Equally Shared Parenting In Our Home
Well, I guess I had to write this after reading my wife’s blog posts and express my side as an equally involved father.
Raising two girls aged four years and eleven months is not a one man/woman job. As my wife would say ‘each one takes one’. I witnessed the birth of my daughters first hand and was an eye-opening experience for me. Women are strong, and we should appreciate what they do for the family.
When my wife was on maternity leave, I would come home, and I would bond with my girls and put them on my chest like a mother bonds with their newborn after birth. I felt this brought me closer and I developed my bond with the girls. So it’s not only mothers.
I was the ‘number 2’ guy whenever I was at home. When our daughters did a number 2, it was my job. I did not mind it as I became immune to the smell eventually
How my hobbies changed
Having been an involved dad from day one, it became obvious that things we did before as a couple would change. We use to go hiking, I played golf, and I loved playing Xbox. Now I use it to play Lion King, Toy Story, and Cars DVDs. .
We both understood our roles as parents and the sacrifices that come with it. From family responsibilities and a career perspective, it can be draining. Hence as a family, we need to understand what the objectives are.
Spending time with my girls
I enjoy every moment with my girls even though I am the ‘helicopter dad.’ Yes, that is right. I hover around when my children play until I am comfortable they are safe, even though they are.
One thing that I find amusing at times is when people say no they are babysitting, and hence they can’t come out or do certain things. It is not babysitting if it is your kids. It is called parenting.
My wife and I share responsibilities around the house, but ultimately I have been trained well to follow routines for the children (sleep, feeding, playing time). I do the early morning bottle for DD#2 while my wife sleeps in with DD#1. On the other hand she runs with cooking, that is our deal.
In the mornings we sort out the children’s food for the day, snacks for school and alternate drop-offs.
In the evenings we rotate who is early on what days to do bath -time. Although we have a live-in nanny who helps tremendously, we are still the parents and we are there during the critical times (mornings and evenings).
I have also become the house doctor as I am in charge of medicine distributions between the girls. Yes, including when my wife is sick.
Having a supportive partner is truly excellent, and there are a lot of negotiations to be had with the Mrs. One thing that I have also learnt is that consistency is key when raising kids. Don’t contradict your partner especially when ground rules, family values, and manners are concerned.
I enjoy playing golf, but as golfing dads have heard before ‘golf is not a family sport.’ You spend 4-6 hours away from your family. I have to be extra involved to have a game.
I can do anything as long as I obey the #1 line: ‘each one takes one’, so I have hooked my DD#1 on playing golf. I bought her second-hand golf clubs, and she enjoys the game. Now to build up that passion and discipline so I can take her with to the course.
My take away from being an involved dad
1. Decide on who will push their career first as you both can’t do it together
2. Share family responsibilities. E.g., cooking, nappy changing, meals, extra murals, etc.
3. Don’t contradict each other
4. Obey the #1 rule: ‘each one takes one’ = happy wife. Applies if you have more than one child.
5. One of the most significant benefits of sharing house responsibilities, I think whether you are raising a boy or girl is that you are setting an example as a father. To your son, showing him how to be involved dad and support and treat the girls in your life right. To our daughters, showing them how involved a dad is family and home responsibilities so they can find similar qualities in their future partners.
6. Find your balance and do what works for you.
That is my point of view. I hoped you enjoyed reading this, you are welcome to tell me what you think or share this.