My Husband Shows No Interest In Being A Proper Parent… What Should I Do?
25 Mar 2017
In our society, men are viewed as providers while women are the nurturers. We grow up seeing our parents play these roles, and often repeat them ourselves. When we have children, the mother becomes the active parent, while fathers typically just play with the kids for a while, not really connecting with them or knowing what needs to be done. But with changing times, this can be a challenge as women also go back to work and need more support. It's also been proven that children need involvement from both parents. So how can we enable men to be more involved in the parenting process? Here are some tips.
1. Involve them from the beginning
Mothers start experiencing changes from the moment they get pregnant. They have a gradual learning curve and are part of the process. The father can feel left out. Make him part of the team. Share what you're feeling and the changes happening in your body. Ask him to read all the literature you're reading or tell him about it. Make doctor's appointments and ultrasounds a team activity so that he knows what's happening too.
2. Strengthen your relationship
Having a child can test the strongest bonds, so make sure yours are as unbreakable as possible. Spend time with each other, discuss what this pregnancy and child means to both of you, how your lives will change. Discuss your parenting styles and come to some consensus. Also, discuss how you will make sure that you take time out for yourselves and each other. Being on the same page and working as a team helps you weather the hardest times.
3. Respect differences
Men and women have a different take on almost everything under the sun. Parenting is no exception. As long as you are broadly on the same page, respect the differences—it adds value to your kid's life too. There are multiple ways to get to the same result and your way isn't the only correct one.
4. Let them make mistakes
Many fathers stay clear from parenting duties out of fear of criticism. You may have mastered the art of putting on a diaper single-handedly, but he never will till you give him a chance to do it. Fathers may take some time to catch on, but let's be honest we also made mistakes while learning.
5. Apart from breastfeeding, men can do it all
Mothers are very protective creatures and we hesitate in letting others participate in raising our children. We don't want to relinquish our control. So we'll give daddies small jobs, not trusting them with the big ones. But that's also what leads to us collapsing from exhaustion. Apart from breastfeeding, fathers are capable of doing everything mothers can. Give them equal responsibility and you'll all be happier for it.
6. Be specific
Generalizations like saying you get no help from the father don't help. Sit down together and draw out weekly plans of who does what. Be as specific as you can be. Don't expect them to somehow figure out what you need, tell them what you need. They aren't helping you—they're doing their job as a parent.
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Tags: parenting, relationships, marital issues, communication, well being, assertiveness, support