The truth is that this isn’t a recent phenomenon. It’s something that has gone on for longer than I care to remember. It’s a remnant of an America where fathers played less of a role in their children’s lives. It’s a remnant of a time period when women stayed home to take care of the children and the house. It’s a remnant of a time when women were undervalued. It’s true folks. This is NOT something that should be said now. We have to stop telling the world that our partners are great just for being good parents.
Are you a parent? Have you ever been sick? Did you find yourself praising your partner for taking care of your child on social media as if they were doing you a favor? I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that you are worthy of having a day where you are too sick to be the primary care provider. I want you to look yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that you had children with your partner because they were someone you thought would be a good parent. I want you to admit that the fact they are caring for your child while you are sick isn’t something novel. It’s something they signed up for when they took on the responsibility of a child with you. You chose a partner that you could trust not only with your life but that of a small human being. You and your child deserve that you trust that person to do their job.
You have built a love on trust. You have built a life on love. You have built a relationship on mutual respect. This is what you should be showing not only the world but your children. We have to show our children that we trust in each other. It is our duty to show our children that we trust our partner with their best interest. We have to know that we are not superhuman. We have to just let the idea of having superpowers go. We have to allow ourselves to be sick and vulnerable. This is how we teach our children to be good people and good parents in their own turn.
The truth is that each time we tell the world that our significant other is great for being a good parent we indicate that this isn’t something they should just be doing. We act as if we are 100% responsible for the little life that we brought into the world together, and it’s just not true. It took two to tango as the old saying goes, and it takes more than two to raise a child. It takes a village. We have to show that village though that we trust in our own instincts for choosing a partner and parent to our children. We have to show our partner that we trust them to be the very best parent they can be every day. We have to show our children that neither parent is the better parent. We both make mistakes. We both get sick. We both struggle. It’s okay, because we don’t have to be perfect.
Now I’m not saying that we should never praise our partners for being a good parent. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t do it just because they took care of their child when we couldn’t. We are supposed to be in this journey together and that means sometimes one or the other of us will have to pull more of the weight. We should be praising their parenting skills every day. We should be thankful that we have a partner who loves us and our child. You should tell your love that they are awesome just for being them. You should try not to nag them because they are changing the diaper differently than you would do it. It’s not a competition.
It is however ALL our responsibility to care for the little one.
What’s the most awesome thing your partner did today?