How to Empower Dads And Define Healthy Rhythms Within a Family
My favourite quote is it takes team work to make a dream work. The saying is often referred to work dreams. But I really believe it can relate to families as well.
Somewhere between having a baby (or two) and raising our kids, while also managing a household and work and making sure all the bills are paid, we can forget that having children was once a dream. The dream doesn’t end once the baby arrives, the dream needs to be lived each day as each partner works out how they want to raise their kids and live the kind of family life they dreamed back when babies weren’t on the horizon.
None of us can ever predict what type of parent we will be. We don’t know what our child will be like and we can’t anticipate how we will react with only a couple of hours sleep under our belt.
We also can’t predict who will go back to work and who will stay home. A baby can change our priorities and often decisions lead on from those changes.
Often our dream of what family life should be like, is very different to the reality.
And this is where my favourite quote comes in, because it truly does take team work to make a family dream work.
Dads are in important part of family life, yet sometimes, us mums can make it hard for dad to parent their way. We will stick our nose in or take over because it should be done our way.
A Reddit user posed a question on the forum to ask for insights on how dads play a role in family life and more specifically in empowering them to take on their role as parent, with their flair.
The original question was this:
I wanted to post something in response to this thread where a SAHM asked for some advice on getting Dad to help out with parenting their 1 year old. The most heavily upvoted responses were, in my opinion, somewhat unhealthy.
I mean, I get it. People were simply trying to point out the importance of her parenting duties and support her as a primary caregiver. The problem was that they degraded her partner with words like, “loser” “dick” and “deadbeat” to do it. The most upsetting part was that I would have probably even (somewhat) agreed with the opinions when I was a new parent going through the same growing pains with my husband if I had been exposed to them. In doing so, I would have put off doing what was ultimately the best antidote for inequality in caregiving for a new child: establishing healthy rhythms and routines for your family that promote happiness, balance and understanding.
Because, caring for young children is not easy. Nor is being a sole provider for a family easy. Additionally, the roles are drastically different for 40 hours of the week so neither parent really understands the stress the other parent is experiencing unless they are communicating with one another well and often. And that is the hardest part. Its a speed bump in the early stages. The only way to smooth the road is to get organized with your communication and actions.
So, if you have some healthy advice for increasing communication and sharing responsibility in the Sole provider + stay at home parent dynamic, please share in the comments.
The question was met with some great comments on how couples work as a team to care for their children.
Dad’s need to be empowered for their role in the household. It’s not a mum’s role to criticize dad for the way they do things (unless they are putting their child at risk). And vice versa.
Here are some of the comments shared on the forum in response to the question.
Of course, every family will have a different dynamic. Some dads will have expectations that need to be discussed or given a healthy reality check.
At the end of the day, we can all agree, raising a family is no easy feat, but doing it with your partner means the burden is less heavy, once each partner finds their rhythm.
Sometimes it’s simply working with each other’s strengths. Other times it could be simply because work demands require a different routine.
There is no right or wrong way for parents to decide on what duties they will take on when raising their family. But it’s always interesting finding out from others, how their responsibilities came to be.