So you want to be an 'equal partner in parenting.'
We're living in a new age and time. We dads no longer work just one job. When we get home from the office, we begin our second job at home.
We take care of the kids. And we want to be involved. We want to be engaged. We want to do as many things as we can to raise our children. But time... Time is an issue. There's only so much time in the day to do everything we want to do. And we can't do it all.
Still, if you're like most dads, our spouses feel we're not doing enough.
Every situation is different. And perhaps you do need to do more.
But in many cases, your spouse does not want you to do more. She wants you to know how to do more.
She feels like she knows everything and anything about your son or daughter. But you know what you have time to know.
So how do you become an equal partner when you don't have the same amount of time with your kids?
First, you do as much as you can. When you can. You get to know your child inside out. You learn how to do it all, even though you rely on your spouse to do some of it.
Equal partnering does NOT mean you have to do every thing all the time.
For example, your spouse typically feeds your 8-month-old daughter. She gets the food ready, mixes what has to be mixed and cleans up afterward.
Do you know what your daughter eats? Do you know what foods she likes? Do you know how much she should get? Do you even know where the food is stored?
If your spouse feels like you don't know this stuff, than she might say you don't do enough. Because she, or course, knows what she does well, but probably knows what you do too.
Take the time and show an interest in what your spouse is doing with your child so you can take over her role and do it once in a while instead. Whatever the task, learn by watching her do it, when she doesn't need a helping hand or isn't anxious. Then offer to do it sometime to give her a break. Your spouse will appreciate you taking an interest; your child will enjoy spending time with you; and you will get more out of it then you think.
If your spouse is the primary caregiver, then being an equal partner in parenting means knowing as much as you can about your child, and doing every thing you can as often as you can. If your spouse does the same, you truly will be equal partners in the raising of your child.
Glenn Lawrence is editor of interactive DAD Magazine. http://www.InteractiveDadMagazine.com
an online parenting magazine for fathers. With fresh articles on Family Finance, Saving Money and the interactive Ask the Expert segment, Interactive Dad covers the stories dads care about most. It's free and updated daily.
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