I’m a bit OCD and I used to be a toddler teacher so I really have a particular way of doing things when it comes to our son. As a result, I have failed miserably at being a supportive partner multiple times.
The baby hardy slept one day (or so it seemed…maybe I was just extra tired). I finally calmed him down enough that he was holding still and quiet while lying on my tummy, which was nice since I could lie down as well. Tommy came home from work shortly after and essentially woke up the baby so he could play with him. I got really mad at him for doing this, but regretted it almost instantly when Tommy said that he had been looking forward to spending time with the baby all day. While I do wish the baby hadn’t been woken up, I shouldn’t have gotten angry. I see the baby when I’m both energetic and tired. Tommy only gets to spend a few hours each evening with the baby, and he is already worn out from his job.
I often hear Tommy tell the baby that he misses him and he can’t wait until the weekend so they can spend more time together. It makes me happy that Tommy cares so much about the baby and yet sad at the same time. I don’t want him to feel left out or jealous that I spend more time with the baby than he does. This experience made me realize just how important Tommy’s relationship with the baby is, and that I need to be supportive as much as possible.
I also feel bad when I criticize Tommy on the way he handles the baby because it isn’t always the way that I would do things. Tommy has never done anything unsafe with the baby, he is just louder and engages in more rough and tumble type play than I do. My criticizing is completely counterproductive. I waste my energy saying things that don’t need to be said, Tommy might feel that I don’t trust his parenting skills, and frankly, children benefit from rough and tumble play. Often Tommy will ask me if I think the baby loves him. I hope my comments have never made him doubt how important he is to our son. Maybe I’m the one who is jealous.
I think if I can stop being so set in my ways and accept the way that Tommy chooses to parent, then I will be a lot less stressed and more well rested. We agree on the important things and the end results, we just differ on our approaches to getting there sometimes. I’m glad that Tommy has turned out to be a wonderful dad to our son. Or maybe I married him because I knew he would be a great dad. In any case, my baby and I are very lucky!