So, I admit it. I am the “default parent”. As in, when it comes to the kids, everything defaults to me. I am in charge of their clothes, schooling, childcare, food, transportation and all celebrations. My husband does a great job of helping out with the kids when asked and the tasks are outlined before him, but I am the one who is “in charge” of everything kid related. (Haven’t heard of the “Default Parent”? Check out M. Blazoned’s post here)
Now that might make you think that I am better than him at all the typical parenting tasks, but that simply isn’t the case. There are certain areas that my husband is the much more skilled parent. I think lots of moms would admit that our husbands are better than us at playing with the kids and that they are considered the “fun one” while we are better at doing things like, keeping the children alive and caring for their every need and desire.
Daddy Does Better
However, in honor of Father’s Day, I thought I would put it out there. As skilled as I am as a parent to our 3 boys, here are 10 things that my husband does better than me when it comes to parenting our 3 boys:
1. Breakfast: My husband is the designated breakfast maker in our house. Especially pancakes. I don’t know why, but his pancakes come out so light and fluffy and no matter what I do, mine always have lumps of dry flour! He also does a pretty good scrambled egg, too. So, while I might have to remind my husband that the kids need to eat to actually sustain life, he certainty does a better job with his pancakes.
2. Hair: Believe it or not, my husband does the boy’s hair the way better than I do. My motto with my boy’s hair is “If it is long enough that it needs to be brushed on daily basis, then it is time for a haircut.” So, truthfully they don’t require a lot when it comes to their hair, but for picture days or crazy hair day? My husband rocks the Mohawk or the spike in the front. Looking back on class pictures, you can literally tell if my husband left early for work that day based on the boy’s hair style (or lack thereof!)
3. Swaddle: So, my husband took a fair amount of engineering classes in college and it shows in the way he thinks and approaches tasks. Like the swaddle. As soon as our first son was born, he studied those expert nurses and by the end of my hospital stay, he could wrap the baby like a burrito just as well as the nurses!
4. Diapers: The reality is, I am with the baby the most, so I do a pretty great job at diapers after YEARS of repetition. And maybe it is his engineering brain, but after 3 baby boys, my husband has perfected the perfectly fitted diaper without gaps in the legs and leaks up the back.
5. Car Seats: I often hear those statistics about the huge percentage of car seats that are installed incorrectly and how dangerous that can be. But I never have to worry about that because my husband can install those monstrous car seats with ease (but yes, we always check his work at the police station!) Plus, whenever we go anywhere, he checks and double checks the straps for tightens and to make sure the kids are in there correctly. (Oh and a PSA for you: The chest clip should be centered across the child’s breastbone and there shouldn’t be more than 2 finger widths of space left after you have tightened it correctly! =)
6. Sports: Now, I think most wives would say that their husbands are the better parent when it comes to sports, but my husband is also better at keeping track of practices, games and their uniforms than I am. I infamously think about their uniform just about an hour before they need it. My husband has it already washed and hanging up, ready to go. He also does this for boy scouts as well. Seriously, I don’t know how he remembers this 2-3 days a week! And the times when he is out of town or working late and I have to get the kids in all the gear (I swear it takes 30 minutes just to get on the baseball uniform!) and drag all 3 to games and practices? There are no words. This is probably the area I appreciate my husband the most!
7. Homework: While I am the default parent when it comes to all things school related (volunteering, lunches, teacher appreciation etc), as my oldest child has gotten older, my husband definitely has me beat on helping with homework! Whether it is common core math or the science fair project about the physics of rocket launches, I now defer to him on all of the homework beyond 3rd grade.
8. Storytelling: As the kids get older, my husband does the bedtime routine for the older kids and I do the younger ones. Sometimes as I am sneaking out of the baby’s room, I can hear the storytelling that is happening in the other room. I hear tales of dragons and castles, monsters, talking animals and characters from the kid’s favorite video games or movies. While I love to do bedtime with a good book and some letter writing on the back, I could never come up with such creative tales!
9. Birthday Cakes: Honestly, this is probably the hardest for me to admit, because planning birthday parties is my jam. I love it, it makes my heart happy and I am good at it. I plan out lots of fun games and activities to engage the kids and I decorate to the nines. But the cake? That’s my husband’s deal. I think I started giving him the job when my oldest was 2 years old. I showed him a picture of what I wanted and he just went with it. In fact, here are a few pictures of his best:
Admittedly, now that we have THREE kids, it is much harder for him to find the time (and energy!) to do the kids’ birthday cakes, but every once and awhile, he will still pull out all the stops and make an amazing cake.
10. Play: Now I am not just talking about the stories and the pretend play, but the things that my husband builds with the kids just amazes me. Like it takes everything out of me to build a simple railroad track for the kids to play trains and then my husband comes in and builds the most complex train track that goes under the table and along the edge of the couch without even batting an eye. The same goes for the way he builds a marble maze (I can’t even get those things to balance without falling over every time you drop in the marble!), builds with Legos and Kapla blocks.
So there you go, I might be the first Mom ever to admit that her husband does the kid’s hair better than she does. What about you? Can you acknowledge that your husband excels in some areas? Or do you have a hard time letting go and letting him do things on his own? Would love to hear your thoughts and your husband’s strengths, especially as Father’s Day is coming up! It’s as good as time as any to give your husband some well deserved credit! =)