Silencing the Maternal Nag
Women want their spouses to be more involved in raising their children, but they need to allow fathers to father, not force them to mother. The New York Times reported last week on new research that suggests that women are unintentionally blocking men from greater participation in child-raising because they insist that men do it their way. Women need to find a way to encourage their partners for the good of the children. The research shows that children thrive when both mom and dad are involved, not one or the other.
The article hit close to home. As a new mother, I confess to needing to fight the temptation to turn my husband into my employee in the Raising Our Son business. We both work outside the home, but because I've chosen to exclusively breast-feed, I've arranged my schedule so that I'm with our baby more than my husband is. Naturally, I feel like the expert on what each of our son's cries and coos mean. Sharing information on our son's development is helpful, but when I swoop in to rescue our fussy baby from my husband's arms, I know I've gone too far. More often than not, the baby keeps fussing in my arms, anyway.
But shouldn't my husband be quietly humming Brahms Lullaby instead of singing the raucous Rocky Raccoon song (our own creation) while he is getting our son ready for bed? Isn't PBS better than the Golf Channel for their television viewing? Should they even be watching television? Again, I have to silence the inner nag. The point is that my husband is involved ...1