The Other Chromosome

An increasing trend I noticed, when I talked to women around me, is their lack of confidence in their husbands in taking care of their kids.

I met at least 4 of them in the past few months, who expressed that they had supreme confidence that their husbands will not be able to manage their children alone.

How do you know? I ask them in astonishment. We see it day in and day out they answered. But you haven’t really tried it right?

They came up with reasons like

He can’t put them to sleep

He won’t give them food properly

He can’t make their school tiffin

He won’t clean the kid’s bum properly or even if he does that, he won’t keep the underwear to wash at the proper place if there is an accident

He can’t wake them up.

I am a bit confused. This parenting bit includes the father as well right.

I admit, between RD and me, R is definitely inclined to come to me first for a lot of things. Including getting clingy when she is unwell, asking to read her books or put her to sleep. But if I am not there, RD does it all, and he does it well.

In the past five years as a parent, the most important lesson I have learnt is to have trust in your partner. That’s what most women seem to lack. Trust that your partner has the capability and responsibility to handle your children. I will give you my example.

This happened when R was about 2 years old. She had started daycare. The three of us used to manage by ourselves. I usually took up only day travel for work related purpose. Go in the morning and come back by night. Once I went to Delhi and my flight got cancelled. My manager tried really really hard to put me on another flight ready to shell out Rs 35 K for the ticket, but there was NO seat available. Which meant, R had to stay alone with RD that night without the MIL or my Amma to help. RD was shocked at that. How will I manage? he said over the phone in panic. And then he said, okay, fine, I can do it. you don’t worry. I of course was hit by panic, I cried and all that (My manager, poor guy, was feeling awfully guilty for no fault of his 🙂 )

Anyways, in short, RD managed without an issue. R did ask for me and he explained to her that I was away and he would put her to sleep.

That day I realised that I needed to let go. I needed to trust my spouse to take care of R and that I cannot micro manage my child’s life at all.

There have been times when I have travelled for short duration and RD has managed everything (Except combing her hair, which the neighbour aunty does!) without issues. Or even if there are issues, he hasn’t told me about them.

Here are few things I have learnt

1. Let go. Believe in your partner. Earlier when I had office and R’s daycare was closed, RD used to take leave. HE would take her to a mall and make her play in the playzone and feed her pizza. I refused to fret about it. Fine, his child, let him handle. After a couple of times, RD realised that it was too expensive for him to keep doing this, and automatically went to parks or used to entertain her at home

2. Don’t micro manage. You make her watch TV or give her the phone to play. I understand, it’s not a great thing to keep the kid entertained, but remember that he is a parent as well. He has equal rights on the child and he is equally responsible for the child’s upbringing.

3. Have faith. Did you give her milk, has she done potty, did you give her a bath. He will. Even if it is at his pace and his time. He knows the few essentials of basic hygiene, so have faith that if it doesn’t get done at 10 in the morning, it will get done at 2 in the afternoon!

4. Choice. When a child realises that his/her mother is not around, he/she will automatically adjust. The problem is that we try to give tasks to the father, even when we are around, and when the kid comes running to us we tell the father ‘see I told you so’ Thats not right actually. Because the kid knows the mom is around. When you leave them alone, the kid knows with Amma not around, Appa will do stuff for him/her.

At the end of the day, the father is an equal parent no?

Published earlier here

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About R's Mom

Not-so-new-mom
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35 Responses to The Other Chromosome

  1. I have read a few excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much effort you place to make this type of magnificent informative web site.

  2. I totally heart with this RM. You are so right, as wives we have to let go and develop trust. And this is not applicable only when we become parents, as a couple too there are so many ghar ki responsibilities. First we want the husbands to get involved in basic stuff and when they do we supervise, interfere, give unnecessary gyan at every step and also get over critical (atleast the earlier version of me) which leaves both the sides frustrated at the end. I am gradually developing this specially when TBH is in the kitchen trying his culinary skills, i try not to be around giving him his space. Otherwise most of times earlier it used to end like – tum hee bana lo.

  3. ashreyamom says:

    totally agree.. Trust.. thats all.. rest is all taken care of.

  4. Nidaa says:

    Sharing this… It is hard to let go no?

  5. Veens says:

    Well, I am guilty of saying and believing that hubs can’t do it too. Even though he does manage well when I m not there. Thanks for this post, really! I believe in him, buying need to start letting go and Lethem be in charge

  6. My friend A who I mention in some posts is a dad of 2 kids and he plays an equal part in parenting his sons. At the moment his wife is at home because his little one is less than a year old but once she gets back to work, he is going to be the one to pick them up from daycare and bathe them and feed them after work as he will be working closer to home than her. I think dads can totally be hands-on parents if they are given the opportunity!

  7. I heartily agree.
    I will try to keep this in mind a few years later. 🙂

  8. Rekha Baala says:

    Good one. It’s all about equal parenting. Right from the time my son was born and he was placed into the husband’s hands (first), I’ve never had to bother about leaving him home in his father’s care. I have travelled out of the country many times without having had to panic because I knew he would be taken good care of. In fact, both of them have a ball leaving me envious 🙂

  9. Jay says:

    I am guilty of this, R’s mom. I need to let go more often!

  10. anukampa says:

    first time on your blog. Like your post agree 100% on the 4th point choice. Kids adjust automatically when they see moms are not around. They will do things properly .

  11. Rachna says:

    I completely agree with you, My husband looks after my kids really well. I have left them on him on multiple occasions and they have actually enjoyed their time with papa. On two occasions, I went out of town and he even managed to send them off to school. Of course, he forgot a water bottle and had to make an extra visit to school :). All in all, we are together in this and we must know how to handle our kids. Who knows when we may need to leave them on one parent. I really do not understand why women do this to themselves. Unless they try it how will they know?

  12. Ashwathy says:

    Thank you. I really needed to see this. 🙂 Will tell you details over whatsapp ok?

  13. Divya says:

    Great post RM. I agree and let my husband take care of out little one..on his own terms and at his own pace. Besides I learnt all these by myself 2 yrs ago and still learning everyday to handle 2 yr old and I’m no expert. Its fun to watch my husband’s helplessness when he is trying to understand my 2yr old conversation, I try not to butt in until its a scream match 😛
    But i wish i could let go in the kitchen dept, i love my food too much to ever let him try his methods, he take forever to make upma and tea(once in 3-5 months), cant imagine regular cooking at all.

  14. Archana says:

    Thankfully, my husband was hands on right from day one – he started changing diapers without asking, took care of the baby when he woke up int he middle of the night, made his milk without my asking and so on. I am sure Ahaan misses my presence in a wholly different way than he misses his dad – but still!

    R’s Dad sounds awesome btw! :):)

  15. momofrs says:

    *Clap Clap Clap*
    I’ll confess I used to be guilty of most of the points listed above.
    The first two years, I never got a chance to trust the BF with the kids because the other women in the house (MIL, GMIL) wouldn’t let him do anything 😐 (even if he wanted to). They’d just shush him out and take over in my absence. After the GMIL’s demise, the BF became much more hands-on…..I can leave the kids with him day and night and not bother about it. The MIL would in turn get insecure, wondering if he will be able to manage and then I ask her to relax because I know he can handle the two (and he does that much better than me 😀 )

  16. Deepa says:

    You know, I was like this, in fact there are times when I am still like this. I had to travel to NY and UK quite a bit and during these times, I would fret and fume and cook and freeze food, make dosa batter everything. Husband would always tell me to take it easy, he will manage fine. I wouldn’t listen. Add to this the innumerable calls I used to make to check on the kids – did they eat, did they brush their teeth, did they do their HW, etc etc. I am a cool manager at work, i never micro manage and give my team a free hand, but with hubby, I was like this. Now, I have changed for good and have faith and trust that he will do a fine job. Even though, every now and then, that would mean, late night movies, pizzas, eating out etc etc. But, like you said, they are his kids too, so he has to have that right and idependence.

  17. Comfy says:

    Same pinch RM!
    Till you don’t let them do anything how will you know if they can do it or not? They are responsible adults, taking care their own kids, of course they will take good care. Not in the style you do, but till the kids are happy, well fed and safe why worry?
    My house the problem is different. If I leave the kids with D, I am so sure he will do a good job that I don’t even check on them. That is D’s biggest complain, ‘eak baar phone kar ke check to kar leti. I would have gotten a chance to show off,’ he tells me 😀

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