Involved Father – # 2 of 7 Parenting Mantras that helped my sanity
When you become a parent, life takes a 360 degree turn. The schedules change, the priorities changes, the grocery & shopping list changes. Moreover the sleep & food patterns also changes. In most cases, this applies usually to the mother. Barring the first few days when everyone is happy & excited and is concerned about recovery of the mother & health of the newborn, the whole family is actively involved in taking care of them. But in a lot of families, this phases out in few weeks time & then the major responsibility of taking care of herself, her newborn as well as a lot more falls into the lap of the new mother.
Well, Luckily for me, I am married to a man who has been an Involved Parent from day 1 & even today when my daughters are over 2.5 years, he still is as active as he was on day 1. Well, of course the responsibilities & dynamics have changed, but his involvement & dedication is still undying.
I always say that with infant Twins, you need two mothers. Thankfully my daughters had a father who was involved in their upbringing as much as a mother would. He has been not just a great father, but also HALF MOTHER, leaving me with the role to be played of only One & Half Mother.
Here is a list of 5 Phases in which an “Actively Involved Father” turned out to be a blessing
- When I delivered my twin daughters in 35th week of pregnancy via C-Section, It was just him & me present at the hospital. In fact throughout the pregnancy it was always just him & me. Needless to say, at times when I was vulnerable or sick, it by default became his responsibility to comfort me, pamper me & at times even spoil me. Well, he played his role very well. From giving me foot rubs to making sure the fridge was always full of milk & fruits, from taking charge of house budget to accompanying me to all my hospital visits, he was always there for me.
- The most stressing phase of parenting was the initial days when I was still recovering from the C-Section surgery, was struggling to establish breastfeeding, getting in sync with the sleeping, feeding & pooping patterns of my daughters. This is when actively involved hands-on daddy came for my rescue. My mother & him took turns to take care of kids, while I was expected to get up only to feed the kids. His organization did not offer a paternity leave, but he took a month off from work & used to take care kids from feeding to diapering, massaging to dressing them up during the day time. The only task left for my mom was to bathe them.
- At the time my girls were 3 weeks old, it was time for my mother to go back to her home, her usual life. Needless to say, without a full time help or any elder around, it was going to be difficult for us to raise our kids alone. The day and night pooping & feeding was yet to settle, the schedules & sleep patterns were yet to kick in. To tackle the situation we worked out a schedule. He started taking charge of kids for 3 hours in morning before going for office when I would go to a separate room & just sleep. Similarly in evening after coming back from office he used to handle kids & their duties for 4 hours & again I would sleep. This ways neither my health nor his work was interrupted & both of us stretched a little more & took good care of kids too.
- The real test began when kids started to grow & their demands were more mental than just basics & physical. We decided to Home-school our kids and got actively involved in their mental, cognitive, sensory, language & of course physical development. Daddy would take up charge of 1 – 2 feedings to make sure we had a parity when it came to Self Feeding. I would prepare a daily structure & prepare material & he would take 1 hour out in evening to help them with the activities planned for them. Although I was just a Stay at Home mother, but I too needed a break – which I very well used to get.
- The biggest support from an involved father came in when I decided to join back work. It was practically impossible for me to be able to work, continue with the learning & developmental activities for kids as well as have some time still left for myself, if I had to do it all alone. Thankfully, I didn’t have to to it all alone. Once again our Superman – Daddy-man came to the rescue. All this involvement was helpful in our girls getting comfortable with daddy as a primary caregiver as much as mummy. We decided to ditch a full time help or daycare for our daughters, not loose the rigor on the developmental activities we do & yet have a professional life again. How did we manage? well, that’s a whole long story for may be a whole new article, but yes, it was possible only because my husband was there to help, plan & support his family through this.
Thank you Daddy
This blog is written as a part of a series of 7 blogs on the theme of 7 Parenting Mantras that Helped my Sanity written as a part of BarAThon 2017.
You can read my previous blog in the series here – Babywearing – Parenting Mantras that Helped my Sanity (Click for direct link)