4/7/16

This Is One Of The Worst Things You Can Do To A New Father

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn about parenting so far is the importance of standing back and letting FTD be a 'dad', even if I found his ways silly, unconventional, and down right obnoxious.


Starting the minute we brought our son home from the hospital, I stood over FTD's shoulder directing and correcting him whenever he tried to care for our son.  I couldn't help it!  I felt this overwhelming need to micromanage his every step.  I was positive my ways were the best, and I don't mean that in a malicious I am better than him way, I was just sure that the natural gift of the mother's instinct made it so I knew things that he didn't. Well, it turns out, he had a father's instinct...

FTD is a hands on dad. He always has been, and for that I am thankful and know I am blessed.  But, I didn't always know that. In fact, for the first few months of Ollie's life, when my friends would tell me how lucky I was to have so much help from FTD, I would roll my eyes and tell them they didn't know the half of it!  FTD wanted to set his own routine for Ollie, or he would talk to him while trying to get him to sleep, or dress him in clothes I thought were too cool for the winter season... pretty much anything and everything I picked apart.
This conversation happened... no... STILL happens regularly.
Then, around our son's fourth month of life I hit a wall. I was overwhelmed and burned out from being an "ON" mom 24/7.  I needed to make some changes immediately, or the help I needed was going to require a padded room with an IV drip of lithium. So, I relaxed my micromanagement ways a little. I let FTD take the lead. We took turns with diaper changes, baths, getting up with Ollie in the night... we were close to a 50/50 split by the time Ollie was 6-months old. Things were going much smoother, and I was even getting out of the house alone a few hours a week.

Then, our son started to walk and talk...

Once Ollie became an impressionable mind that would mimic and even repeat some of the words he heard, I reined FTD back in. I was constantly shaking my head or finger at him. I was sure that FTD letting Ollie watch Star Wars or Indiana Jones at the ripe age of 18-months-old was going to royally screw him up. Or letting him eat hotdogs from the street hot dog vendor was going to give him a case of the shits so bad that it would burn a hole through his belly and crib mattress. Or worse, letting him watch FTD play video games was going to give him psychopathic tendencies. Yes, I am being serious.  I really worried about all of that!

Turns out, that worry was wasteful. FTD loves our son as much as I do, and only wants the very best for him. He would never in any way intentionally let him get hurt or become a psychopath. I finally realized that we both want the best for our son and have the best intentions, even if our approach to parenting is vastly different at times.

Mostly, FTD has taught Ollie his wicked sense of humor.  I am guilty of being too serious at times, or caring more about what people will think, FTD on the other doesn't care one bit.  In fact, sometimes I am positive he acts out to entertain the masses.  Ollie has really picked up on that, so the two together have the best time they can everywhere they go.  Thankfully, I am finally adopting the can't beat 'em join em' mentality, so Ollie will not grow up thinking mommy is no fun at all!

As much as it pains me, I am truly and thankful FTD doesn't listen to my sterile parenting ideas, because if he had, our son would not be nearly as smart, articulate or as fun to be around as he is today. I guess mommy doesn't always know best...



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