Everybody knows that moms don’t get vacations. In fact, going on vacation is often a lot more work for a mom than staying home. However, on long weekends like this one, I often feel like I’m getting a vacation. Not like I can take the whole day off or anything. But I get to sit down a lot more. Why? Because my husband is an amazing dad.
In fact, sometimes I think he’s a better dad than I am a mom. There are a lot of things that he does better than I do. It probably has to do with the fact that he’s at work all day, while I’m around my daughter all the time–he wants to make his time with her count, while I feel like I have nothing but time with her. Still. This weekend I’ve been thinking I can probably learn something from watching him. Maybe I’d be a better stay-at-home parent if I tried to think more like a working parent, at least some of the time. Working parents appreciate their time with children more.
Five Reasons Why My Husband is a Great Dad:
1. He takes the time to teach. I know I teach our daughter all the time, just by being with her so much, but to tell the truth, I rarely do it deliberately. He never misses an opportunity to teach her a new skill or information–even if it seems like a topic that’s way over a three-year-old’s head, like how inflation works.
2. He notices interesting things and points them out to her. I never do this. Partly because I’m just not the kind of person to notice things–I’m not a detail person–and partly because I’m always trying to get to where we’re going and I don’t want my daughter to get distracted. I hurry her past things like flowers and bugs, hoping she won’t notice them. But my husband will stop the car so she can see a nice view of the sunset.
3. He plays with her. Of course I play with her, but, well, only as a last resort, to tell the truth. I’m always trying to give her opportunities to entertain herself. And sometimes it’s intentional–I think there’s something to be said for the benign neglect theory of parenting, because when kids entertain themselves they develop creativity and self-sufficiency–but she just loves it when he plays with her. And he goes out of his way to do it. She could be happily playing by herself with her toys, and he’ll go and join her. Not something I would ever do, but I think I should occasionally.
4. He spoils her. I mean this in a good way, really. He gives me a hard time sometimes about, for example, giving her juice occasionally, but really I’m a hard-nose when it comes to that kind of thing. When she asks for something–especially something that costs money–my default answer is usually no. Of course if she asks for something she needs, like food or attention, I always say yes. Fun outdoor activities are almost always a default yes from me too. But juice? treats? new clothes? No. Whereas Daddy–well, she doesn’t have a hard time talking him into stuff. And really, I think that’s sweet. Nothing wrong with a new dress now and again, especially when she’s certain to wear it every day until it falls apart.
5. He makes stuff happen for her. Right this minute, for instance, he’s busy painting her room purple. We agreed when we bought this house that she could choose her room color, and after a lengthy process she chose a very dark shade of purple. That was several months ago, and if it were up to me it would be at least several more months, if not more, before any actual painting got done. But he’s been working on it in spare minutes on evenings and weekends, and he’s already almost done. Of course, she loves it.