I’ve heard before that “you fall in love with your husband all over again when he becomes a father,” which is maybe the best parenting fact someone has shared with me thus far. In the early days of parenting, I swooned over his baby snuggles and ability to get up in the middle of the night for feedings and diaper changes like it was nothing. As our first gets older and busier, one fact becomes more clear. And although I fear he’ll officially have bragging rights forever, I must say he’s the better parent in our house.
He’s the wake-up guy
I mentioned the middle of the nights with a baby, but once our little one could call (er, holler with the force of a full grown woman) for one of us from her crib, it was almost always “Dad” in those early, early morning hours. He can wake up from a dead sleep, get through her lists of requests ranging from hugs to potty time, get her back down, and be back to sleep himself all within 15 minutes. I’m a crazy person without a full night of sleep, and I’ve appreciated this skill and his willingness since day one of our parenting duties.
He cleans up
Nope, my husband isn’t as bad as the kids when it comes to picking up, but I sure am! At the end of a day, you can look around and see our mac and cheese bowls, the lego towers we’ve built, and our Target bags full of the day’s scores. The cabinets will be open, our shoes exactly where we left them, and sometimes the sliding door is still cracked from letting the dog out. On a day my husband is solo, it isn’t unheard of for me to come home to a sparkling clean house. He manages to do the “Dad thing” and even pick up behind him. I bow down since I simply can’t figure it out.
He plays, and plays, and plays
This man never seems to run out of energy. He’s always down for a trip to the park or happy to pull out the Play-Doh. He reads all of the books at bedtime and helps her tuck in all of her “babies.” They play “dog wash” in the bathtub with their pretend car wash for pets until the water becomes cold and the bath bubbles fizzle out. He knows how to have fun and always finds the time to play.
He’s more patient
I can kid myself and say it’s because I’m home with her most of the time, but even on the weekends when we’re both home, he’s far more patient. Little things like battling over the outfit for the day can sometimes send me over the edge. He can wait out a tantrum and a timeout with the patience of a buddha. Even if walking to the park takes four times longer than it should because she wants to walk on her own, he takes it slow right along side her.
He doesn’t stick to the stereotypical dad stuff
While I fully expect him to do the “dad stuff” like cut the grass and take out the trash, he isn’t above splitting household duties with me. He does dishes and changes diapers just as often (if not more) than I do. He takes our daughter on outings alone like to the movies and doesn’t need me along to do the “mom stuff.” He’s fully my partner in every aspect so far and a great role model for our daughter of what a parent should be.
While my husband is the superior parent, I’m no slouch myself. It takes both of us to make things work. While he’s the fun parent, I make the plans where said fun happens. While he’s playing yet another game of hide and go seek, I’m in the kitchen whipping up dinner, so we can feed this never full tiny human. In all of the ways he’s a better parent than I am, he helps me to remember to take it slow and have fun. Our daughter is the luckiest kid in the world to have him as her “Dada.”