6/24/13

Are you sabotaging your relationship by Helicopter Parenting your Partner?

When FTD and I brought our Ollie home from the hospital we were both so excited but a little (a lot) freaked out too.  We honestly had no idea what to do with our little bundle of pooping joy. So we followed our Oliver’s cues and our own instincts, and in between stood over him 24/7 to make sure he kept breathing for about three weeks straight.

As the days turned into weeks, I realized I was constantly fighting with FTD over what I thought was the best way to change, feed and hold Ollie.  FTD could barely get within a foot of Ollie without me tensing up afraid he would not follow MY ways and rules. Eventually I realized, I was the worst kind of helicopter parent to both my son and husband.  
My constant hovering over FTD was holding him back from being the dad he had always dreamt of being.  I was also feeling very tired from constantly trying to be in control or jumping the second my our son needed something.  Between FTD constantly feeling pushed out of the way, and me feeling over-tired from all of the work and control, it became apparent that I was doing a huge disservice to my husband, my son and myself being such a control freak. It was time to step back and let the father of my son, be a dad.

Don’t get me wrong, FTD always had a hand in caring for Ollie from the day we brought him home from the hospital. He just never had the pleasure of caring for him without me standing over his shoulder directing him on how to do it.  Once I let go and let him do his thing, everyone was happier.  FTD was even proving his methods were just as good, and at times, ever better than mine! Our son was loving the undivided attention, and I was loving the break of not being constantly "on" as a parent.

Talking with other mothers about this issue has helped me to realize that getting my husband involved early on helped to create a nice balance of parenting between us. We both change diapers, provide meals and give baths. Also, because of this balance of work, we have a common respect and understanding of the time and effort that goes into raising a child. I know that I am lucky to have such a hands-on parenting husband, but who knows if that would have changed if I kept pushing him out of the way...

We all know there is no exact manual to parenting.  In fact, there are a bazillion and one parenting books on the market today, each one contradicting the next on what the best tips and practices are for being a great parent, so I think it is safe to say, since even the professionals, doctors and specialist cannot get agree on any one best way to parent, there is not one.  So if you are helicopter parenting your partner, step back and have a little faith in your partner’s ability to be a good parent without your direction.  Who knows, he might even teach you a thing or two about parenting.  Plus, who could not use a few extra minutes a day to put their feet up?




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In addition to being the founder of First Time Mom and Dad, April is an award-winning published writer. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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