Hello to all the new fathers out there. I really like Parenting magazine and it has helped me in many little ways to become a better father. My daughter celebrates her first birthday Feb 18, 2009! But I felt bad after reading this new article Mad at Dad. When I read this it hurt because I have made my wife upset many times NOT ON PURPOSE in baby care. For example warming the bottles to just the right temperature for formula or remembering the correct number of wipes or diapers. I know we have a precious life to feed but why the anger from our ladies? Also, I think this article Mad At Dad was well written; however as a man I like solutions to the problem. There is no solution here for the women other than to vent and to be frankly honest to allow more air for the fire only creates more fire or more anger. Do any fathers out there have something to say about this and can they offer any advice to a new father to reassure their wife that they can indeed take care of their child even though he is a bit clumsy?
AKA Pappacito de Motown
I loved this article. I have been mad at my husband from day one of the birth of our daughter. Your right, there is not a solution in the article, and I believe that there isn't one. I try to tell him how much more help I need, but it only works for about a week. I don't want to beg, nor nag. What else is there to do but vent. I enjoy knowing I'm not the only one. I don't enjoy it, but it makes me feel better. I never would have thought to blog, or read other peoples thoughts online, but maybe it will ease some of the anger. We shall see, this is my first time complaining online, and to be honest, it is makeing me feel less lonely.
Just like most women, we first time fathers need reassurance as well. Society thinks that men are generally incapable of caring for our babies but the trend has changed. Many fathers are able to care for their young for extended periods of time without causing any harm or permanate damange to them. If the moms continue to focus on every little incorrect thing we do instead of giving us credit for the things we do correctly, we ill aleays feel like less than adequate.
On the other had we as new age fathers must be more sensitive to the moms. For centries it has always been the women who have been credited for the raising of the children, the caring of the home and the cooking of meals. While many women say they desire a man that can help in all of these areas, I feel that sometimes it can be a threat to the very exsistance of a women's self esteem. They are expected to be better at child care than we are and if we demonstrate better childcare skills it cold make them feel inadequate or a failed mother/women. Communication is key!!! Talk about it and ask her to teach you childcare techniques. This way if she teaches you she will see your success as her success and creates an environment where she is able to praise you for the successes and help you become better at the things you lack in. Remember you are a team.
Well, I am not trying to boast here but here is my situation. I am the type of person who likes to be there and help. I was there at the pregnancy from the first moment to the cutting of the umbilical cord to the return home.
Now, I do not know everything in life and I make a lot of small errors often. My wife, whom I love very much, gets more upset that I continue to try to make things right when I already made a mistake. One error seems to burn her badly. I am used to second chances and she is not(she is from Peru which does not allow for great flexibility of anything). She would rather have me sit down and not make another error than to try again at that moment. Slowly, she let's go but there are somethings that she just can't forgive. Example: I was watching our daughter on my in-laws bed and she (daughter) was playing with empty makeup containter. She swallowed a cap. I slapped her to cough it up and it came out----but my wife was VERY ANGRY that I had missed that. Of course I apologized for the shortcoming but it took days for the anger to simmer; I can feel that!
Share your thoughts. Pappacito de Motown
Last edited by PappacitodeMotown; 01-25-2009 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Added new thoughts
Thanks for the reassuring solutions: #1 Communication is key! Thanks for the reminder. I'm not being sarcastic either. #2 We are a team. Thanks for that one too! #3 I like the teaching concept since I am a teacher myself. But why is it that women today are torn between raising a family and then wanting a career? I am not trying to be a chauvinist here. I believe women have the right to do both but it seems to create tension while balancing the two. I have a new question for you regarding babysitters. How would you handle a spouse who is against using them or having your inlaws watch the child when the inlaws live more than 20 minutes away?
Pappacito de Motown
Read it, and I realize that there are those dads out there that do need a swift kick in the a$$. It was more a piece to let the moms that feel that way know that they are not alone. I think for those of us guys that read parenting magazine we almost automatically tend not to fall into the category of dads in the article since just by being on this site, or reading the magazine we are interested in learning, sharing, and finding out more about how to take care of our children. Need to think about the target audience of the magazine also. There's probably 300 women to each guy that reads parenting, probably worse odds than guys reading a Cosmo. Notice the vibrator adds and nothing about jock itch? Like everything else, I read it, digest it, and if it doesn't apply to me, I'll move on to an article that does help me. I contemplated on dropping a line on that thread, but though, everything that I wanted to say in response has been more or less said, and I would not be bringing anything new to the table.
For Papacito, things happen, good and bad when kids are on our watch. They fall, get cut, swallow dumb things, but most of all they learn from each experience. As for us, we watch our children do these things and learn from them also. I bet you won't let her or your next child play with a cap again at least until you are sure that they won't swallow it right?
As for the sitter, heck, my sitter lives 20 minutes away without traffic. But, this is once of the subjects that you really do need to agree on I think. If either one of you are not comfortable with the person that is taking care of your child. Can you imagine the anxiety and the angst that they would feel while working? (And this is someone that you would be paying) If my in laws could watch my girls, I'd drive 20 minutes in a heartbeat. Not only because the price would be right, but it gives a chance for your daughter to bond with her grandparents as well.
I have to nag my husband to do anything and he will do it for about a day and then he is back to doing nothing again. Sometimes he will do something to help out but he will not do it the way "I" like it to be done. I know that that has got to do with me too but if he know i like it done one way then why doesn't he do it that way the first time. Instead he has just waisted my time and his. After a lot of this happening i figured out that he does it wrong so that hopefully i will remember that he always does it wrong and he wont have to do it again. Also i totally think you should take advantage of the grandparent babysitters. It will save a lot of money if you don't have to pay someone and they won't be so stressed at having to go to a strange place. the only down side is they won't have that interaction with other children. My son loves to go to daycare just to see the kids and play. And about the accidents happening thing. I totally know how both of you feel. She was probably angry but im guessing that she was more scared than anything. When my oldest son was only about 1 and a half he was in the bath and i walked to the sink to get something and almost the minutes i turned my back it hit me like a ton of bricks that i had left my razor on the bottom edge of the bath. And you would know that when i turned around that was exactly what he was holding. Before i could get to him he had already run his thumb up againt the blade and sliced his thumb. Its wasnt as bad as we thought but there was blood everywhere. it took us a good hour to get the bleeding to stop. Good thing be have an EMT and a Firefighter in the family. Anyway the best thing for you to do is continue to do your best. Thats all you can do.
I thank you for taking the time to respond but tell me this from a woman's perspective: why does it take so long sometimes to forgive and move on? What seems to happen is that when I try again I have to rebuild my wife's confidence in my abilities to do things correctly. I am not perfect. I just keep reassuring her and trying again. Any possible phrases that I can use to help to make new inroads?
Pappacito de Motown
No I would not allow that swallowing incident to happen again or at least my damndest to prevent it. You made some really good points about the article that the audience the writer wrote to unfortunately is what most women have to face in this world. Let me ask you this about the in-laws as babysitters. My wife likes my parents but she hates having to ask them or me to ask them to change their schedule because they still work. It is like we have to plan far in advance to take advantage of them seeing their granddaughter. I just wish there was a simplier way to make my wife to think ahead or to be more open minded to thinking ahead. She comes from Hispanic culture and not to sound racist but time is a big issue especially when it comes to schedules. They do not like to plan ahead for social events; work yes; but family is supposed to be 100% relaxed for them. Its hard to explain but if you have any other thoughts share them I am open to advice.
Pappacito de Motown
Hey guys. First time poster because this article ran through me. I am 28 my wife 25. I am a sports editor/executive of my publishing company and my wife is a nurse. Ninety percent of our issues comes from parenting. I thought this article did let those out there that are angry at their husbands an opportunity to let them know they are not alone, but there were holes. It just added fuel to the age old adage men know nothing about childcare plus gave my wife more misguided ammo for the fight.
Not only do I watch my two children regularly, I am more than capable of doing the household chores, staying in tune to my kids wants and needs, and just being there. Women do not understand in today's society how hard it is to be a good man and father, let alone a decent human being. Women want men to be the traditional manly man to our faces and then expect us to put the dress on at the drop of a hat.
The thing that got my goat was what about the men that are there. I can braid hair, wipe butts with the best of them. I do most of the household chores (honestly 99.9%) while balancing my career. My wife will have nothing to do, no work for five days and I still end up doing the housework after working all day. When I say anything about it I get the look like snakes are crawling out of my head. She does not do alot. If I yes I ask HER to do something concerning errands or chores it is like I owe her something or asked her to take a leap of faith off the Empire State Building. She refuses to do any chores or running without someone there with her. It drives me insane at times. There is no independent action on her part.
My job is secondary to her because my schedule is a little more flexible. But if there is a doctor's appointment, chores, or any thing else that pops up...you guessed it. SuperDad to the rescue. "You can have someone else cover that ball game" or "Can't so and so go to the meeting at the Secretary of State's office" or "Cant someone else drive the paper route this week." UGHHH! It is every week. I feel less than a man sometimes. My job and livliehood has no value. It is crude and old fashioned but when did I grow a vagina all of a sudden.
To complicate matters more...my wife does not get free time. I am aware, but the solution is easier said then done. My wife and mother-in-law have created an environment in which my kids only want mom or nan when they are around despite all my efforts. So she gets frustrated, but rather than letting them throw a tantrum or letting me deal with it, she would rather be miserable because heaven forbid the kids get upset.
Trust me. I am no angel or trying to put myself in positive light. Because of my frustrations I am less than sympathetic at times. I do just disappear to have a few with the boys and watch a football game from time to time, but if I "asked for permission like a ten-year-old" then I would go even more crazy. And the opportunities are few and far between. I do not do it more often because as I would like because I do have a heart.
If I could afford to let her stay home and do nothing I would. That to me would be perfect but it is not the case. Sometimes women just have too many expectations. As cliched as it sounds men are not that complicated to keep happy. A woman is a paradox of contradiction and fickle digressions. I may never figure it out.
Plus...did anyone else catch on to the fact this article featured two ladies who had been former executives before becoming stay at home moms? I wonder if their aggravation comes from the lost control of being the boss to "Oh my god can you not do anything" control freak mom micromanaging her household with the expectations of a boardroom executive. HMMMM?
Thanks for the vent...sorry my post was so long but like many other men out there I feel like I just can not win or do enough. EVER!