Today’s post was written by South African mom blogger Helene, who blogs at Prettybelle.
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…
Once a week my husband takes Minki to visit Granny. This usually happens at 17:30. And they return at 19:00. Which means I have a full hour AND a half to myself.
Okay, here’s my dirty little secret (thanks to the All American Rejects), as soon as I hear the gate close behind my dear husband and perfect little angel, I start cleaning, do the dishes and iron his shirts… No!!! I’m lying! The only place I run to is the kitchen (to grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine), depending on my day and then run again – to the couch.
Where I just lie down and watch The Bachelorette.
Just like this, but without little Miss Minki…
You can judge me but that’s my guilty pleasure. My little bit of heaven. And it makes me happy, so damn happy.
In between sips of wine and Rachel whining to Peter about putting a ring on her finger, I think to myself: How on earth do single mothers do this? How do they cope non-stop? 24 hours a day without ever getting a break or help from hubby? I take my fave Cotton On cap off to all the single Mama’s out there! You’re doing a great job all by yourself!
But let’s talk about Dad…
A Recent study from Pampers revealed that 49% of Mama’s get up more than twice in the evening to care for baby. Unfortunately I’m one of those…But after 3 of those sleepless nights, its hubby’s turn and I get a full 9 hours sleep.
And don’t you dare feel guilty Super Mama!
Numerous studies have reached the same conclusion:
Children with involved fathers have an advantage – socially and academically – over children with distant or no relationships with their dads.
Which basically mean: Dad must be (more) involved with raising kiddo.
Maybe you’re a stay at home Mom, maybe you’re working full-time and juggling all aspects of motherhood. Dad is probably working full-time, but whatever your situation the bottom line:
Daddy’s all around the globe are stepping up and parenting is becoming a team effort.
Like my sister-in-law husband is demonstrating above!
Most Mama’s want to get Daddy more involved…
Be Specific – Tell hubby exactly (word for word) what you need/want him to do!
Wrong way: “I need more help!”
Right way: “Please watch kiddo for an hour, while I take a bath.”
Stop hovering – when Daddy actually play with baby, you are worse than John Snow and the gatekeepers in Game of Thrones.
Daddies play rough! Chill Mama, rough play with dad is beneficial.
Give praise – Dad’s often feel overlooked. Let him know how much his involvement means to you!
(And he will probably do it again)!
Even hold baby while you quickly pop into Zara!
Moms and Dads parent in very different ways.
Parenting is a team effort and there’s no I in team! Experts agree:
Mothers need to allow dads to be dads and to have their own relationship with their children.
A study of 500 South African dads with daughters under the age of 18 has revealed the top 20 things fathers with a little girl will have mastered.
Top 20 things that dads with daughters will know:
1. How to make her feel special
2. How to dance with her on your feet
3. How to make everything better
4. How to give the perfect cuddle
5. Girls like getting dirty too
6. How to play with dolls
7. Glitter can get everywhere
8. How to dance
9. Girls play football too
10. How important it is to colour co-ordinate
11. How to stop a nightmare
12. How to face paint
13. What objects in the house make a great popstar microphone
14. Girls want to learn how to build a den and climb trees
15. How to get chewing gum out of long hair
16. How to braid hair
17. How to ice skate
18. How to say ‘no’ gently when she asks to marry you
19. What a pirouette is
And last but not least…
20. How to make a pair of fairy wings!
As Dr. Linda Nielsen of Wake Forest University explains in her work, decades of research shows that girls who have loving, communicative, supportive relationships with their dads from early childhood on are less likely to suffer from a lack of self-confidence and self-reliance as she grows up.
Involving Daddy in everyday chores is crucial!
Each household is different. Find a way that works for both of you, but remember that the greatest gift you can give your children is a loving home (trust me, my mom and dad will be married 37 years and they still kiss each other goodbye every day) and I’m a pretty happy human being.
Bob Murray, PhD, author of Raising an Optimistic Child: a Proven Plan for Depression-Proofing Young Children for Life says:
“The research clearly shows that happy, optimistic children are the product of happy, optimistic homes, regardless of genetic makeup.”
Did someone say date night? Don’t you dare feel guilty when you and hubby finally go on a date!
“Nurture your relationship with your spouse. If parents have a really, good committed relationship the child’s happiness often naturally follows.”
You know the old saying happy mama happy baby? It’s so old because it’s true!
Take the steps necessary to be HAPPY, whether it is spending time with your favorite girlfriend, jogging, taking a long bath or just like me, watching The Bachelorette.
And then, when you are pretty happy make sure to love hubby that extra bit more. I know your tired, no scratch that exhausted, but know this, by nurturing your relationship, you will give kiddo
a lifetime of happiness.
Stay Stylish (and happy) and give your husband a kiss when he comes home tonight!
I’m Just a Mama, married to the love of her life and completely besotted with her babygirl. I started Prettybelle with one hand, while breastfeeding. I believe life is all about the PrEtTy little moments in between. We must just embrace it – with style!
Helene is a qualified journalist with a degree in B.A Journalism. She has a post graduate certificate in education (PGCE) and 9 years experience as kindergarten teacher. Currently Kids-editor at BELLA-magazine. She has a Diploma in Personal Styling at the acclaimed Wardrobe Academy, just because she’s a self confessed shopaholic.