Every mom alive would love it if parenting were a 50/50 proposition; however, in some unions, this is not the case. If you feel like the task of rearing your children falls squarely on you, you may be frustrated that you’re the only one shouldering the burden of caring for your kids. If you want your man to spend more time playing dad, try some simple tactics.
Being a Dad
Few would argue that being a dad is not an important role, but historically, men spend less time parenting than women. As Psychology Today reports, the average American father spends only 30 minutes each day engaging in one-on-one time with each of his children. While parenting used to be the primary job of the mother in households where both parents work, it may be necessary to shift this paradigm and divide the task of parenting a bit more evenly.
If you don’t feel like your husband is helping with the kids, tell him. Giving your husband subtle hints or, worse yet, harboring resentment over his lack of participation in the parenting process, will not solve the problem. Doing this will only drive a wedge between you, potentially leading to unnecessary marital strife. When you do communicate your concerns, avoid confronting him about it, but instead simply tell him that you would really like him to spend more time with his kids.
If you’re eager for your spouse to do more when it comes to raising your children, it may be helpful for you to clearly define what you would like him to do. Roles used to be clearly defined by society, with fathers working while mothers stayed at home with the kids, but today these roles are often less predetermined. If you and your spouse both work, or if you stay at home, but you still want him to play an active parenting role, sit down with your partner and write out a list of roles you will each fulfill to ensure you’re on the same parenting page.
One of the worst things you can do while trying to encourage your husband to step up to the parenting plate, is look over his shoulder and critique his actions. If he knows that you’re watching him and waiting to correct his errors, he may loathe to even try to parent his children. Bite your tongue and avoid correcting your less-than-experienced husband whenever possible, only intervening when absolutely necessary as he parents.
Encouraging your spouse to spend more time alone with your kids could empower him to play a larger role in the parenting process. Instead of never allowing your husband to venture out with the kids on his own, arrange times for him to take the children on outings solo while you do other things. As he is forced to wrangle his kids, he will become more adept at and confident in caring for his children.