What kind of daddy is your baby's daddy? Is he super involved and rushes you out the door so he can change dirty diapers and give a bath? Or does he cringe at the thought of poop? Does he only pick baby up when asked? Or do you have to tell him to quit hogging the baby? Have you saved the the US Health & Human Services Promoting Responsible Fatherhood website to your favorites tab?
Did you know that it's okay to have either daddy as your baby's daddy as long as it is alright with you?
When I became pregnant with Georgia, Rocky and I decided not to know what we were having (that would make a fun post). My entire pregnancy, Rocky kept hoping for a boy. At one point, he told me, "if it's not a boy, I'm demanding they put it back and bake it longer." I was nervous he would be uninvolved if it was a girl. So out a girl popped! During our required 24 hour post-partum stay with Georgia, I did not change a single diaper. Rocky - who had never changed a diaper in his entire life - changed every one of her diapers. I even think he would of breastfed her if he could. I thought, "man! I am so lucky, he is going to be so involved."
|The 1st time Rocky gave Georgia a bath (approx 4 mos old). Scrubbing her ears was one thing, but he refused to scrub between her legs. We had to work up to that.|
For a long time, I did all of Georgia's care by myself. I bathed her, I fed her, I completed her night time routine. Sometimes I felt frustrated, and even angry. Then Houston was born. Suddenly Rocky was forced into sitting on the floor and playing with Georgia, reading her books, washing her hair. But he was uninvolved with Houston. What the heck? Wasn't he super man....couldn't he do it all?
|My birthday 2010. Rare moments of trying to be super dad were caught on camera.|
In fact, Rocky didn't become super involved with Houston until Houston was about 6 mos old (right about the time I started cloth diapering -tee hee hee). It took me two children, 2 years, and reading several miscellaneous blog articles to realize that I didn't need to EXPECT Rocky to be this uber-involved-super-dad. There were many other women out their talking about how their husband's weren't involved with their teeny tiny babies either. In fact, some husband's even refused to change poopy diapers (mine changes poopy cloth diapers, so I'm must be really lucky), or even wet diapers.
Though biologically linked to their children, men don't give birth. That makes a huge difference in how they may "connect" with their offspring, along with their childhood upbringing. Men sometimes aren't the emotionally deep creatures we hope to see them as - holding a sleeping micro-blob isn't nearly as fun as playing catch with an over-active two year old.
So what is an acceptable level of involvement? Well, it's defined by YOU! What's okay with you? What's not okay with you? What areas in the home do you need him involved most? What is most important to your child's development? What benefits your marriage most? There are many levels of fatherhood involvement, and they vary greatly! Just like mompetitions, we can't become involved in pop-a-titions: comparing the strengths and weaknesses of our husband's, as if they will be hoisted onto the shoulder's of all man-kind, trophy raised above their heads in a moment of glory.
There is no trophy, no moment of glory - only the satisfaction of a happy home. So go pat your man on the back next time he's changing a diaper, or NOT changing a diaper, and thank him for participating in your lives (as defined by you!).
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