I read this article in the latest issue of Parents magazine and it got me thinking about the ways my husband and I do things differently when it comes to our kids. In a time when the roles of men and women are changing within the family, it all comes back to the age old truth, men and women are different. We handle situations differently, we act differently and we contribute in different ways to our families. Every article I’ve read about these differences all come to the same conclusion, when dads do things differently it’s good for our kids! Here are a few examples from our life, do any of them sound familiar??
He does blood, I do all the other messes. While I handle most of the day to day messes of living with young children and their bodily functions (ick!) if someone is hurt and there is much blood involved I immediately jump to the conclusion that we need to visit the ER, ASAP!! Thankfully, my hubby is not freaked out by the sight of blood and will calmly assess the situation, then apply anything from a band-aid to a tourniquet (thanks to his Army training!) without freaking out and then getting us to the ER, if needed.
He does silly songs and absurd words, I carefully monitor my speech. I am constantly censoring myself and thinking, “Do I want my child repeating this?” My husband rarely has that problem, ahem…. He doesn’t use foul language, but at times is a bit lax and I sometimes give him “the look”. Like the time he started a rhyming game and our oldest came out with a four letter word that started with f! We pretty much managed to keep a straight face and move on. But I guess all those silly words are strengthening their vocabulary, right???
He does adventure, I do safety. Recently my husband has taken up kayaking and got a kayak that he and the kids can use. Of course the kids are thrilled, he is excited to take them out on the water and all my mommy brain can think about is the worst case scenario. So I prepare. Do they have sunblock, life vests, snacks, appropriate clothing, a first aid kit? And then I make sure hubby takes his cell so he can send me updates of their adventures together.
He does wrestling matches, I do snuggles. Just the other night after dinner the kids were begging their dad to wrestle with them. And it’s not just about male bonding, our daughter loves to get in there and try to take down her dad! I can appreciate this because I remember doing the same thing with my dad. I am on standby to kiss the boo-boos that happen and to snuggle on the couch after everyone is worn out.
All in all I think we do a pretty good job of balancing each other out. After nearly 17 years of marriage and the past 7 of those with kids I’ve learned to trust his judgment and appreciate our differences, which is good for our marriage and the kids! So to all you Dads out there, Happy Father’s Day, and keep doing it different!by