My husband usually only makes appearance on my space here in pictures…but today I’ve got a treat for you – his view of things. I gave him free reign to right whatever he wanted on my blog today…and as usual, he didn’t disappoint (the last time he wrote something it was his version of Abbie’s birth story). It’s amazing to get his side of things on this whole parenthood adventure we’re on. Hope you guys agree!
We have a joke in our family. Actually, I have a joke in this family. Ever since Abbie was born I always tell Jess that I am “the bottom of the totem pole.” I’m always looking for new ways to work that line in. Doing dishes at night while Jess plays with Abbie? Bottom of the totem pole. Watching Dora, Mickey Mouse, or Sophia instead of wrestling or basketball? Bottom of the totem pole. Carrying everything – and I mean EVERYTHING- into Grandma’s house while Jess and Abbie stroll in to eat some cheese doodles? Bottom of the totem pole. I joke that in my house there is Jess, Abbie, the cats, then me.
I say this most of the time in jest, but there is some truth to it. Most dads out there I’m sure have felt this way regardless if you have a son or a daughter. It seems both in fiction and real life that Moms are more needed early in a baby’s development. I wanted to talk about this is because Jess inspires me with the fearlessness in which she tackles issues that society puts out there to divide moms or make them feel ashamed. For dads, especially dads of little ones, sometimes there is a frustration of either being left out or, frankly, not really needed. I do my best work with Abbie when we play on our bed. I like to pick her up and throw her around, do wrestling moves, and she loves it. We turn Jess’s radio on and do a silly dance. She climbs on me and crawls after the cats. I’ve taught her how to slide off the side onto her feet. But if she ever bonked her head, Mommy comes running. A lot of it is mental, that we just accept that our kids need their mommies more than us.
But dads, let’s be honest. Moms don’t make it easy on us sometimes. If you pick your kid up when she or he falls down, mom comes running and almost expects you to hand them over. Moms can get so into just being moms that they can really forget about you. It is probably been the hardest thing we have worked at as parents. We don’t fight about it – its nothing like that. But as a Dad, I can tell you it has taken me some time to figure out what works for us, to understand that Abbie really does need mommy and when to stand up for myself and say that I can handle it. My daughter needs to know that I can make her feel better too. Everything around us in culture tells us that at least from the outside moms are more active in their babies lives than dads. We know that isn’t true. It is vital, and I really believe with a daughter, that they know from the word go that her Daddy can make her feel better and help in every way Mommy does.
I have zero problems being at the bottom of the totem pole. Having Jess, Abbie and … yes … even the cats in my life have made me happier than I ever thought would happen. It is a great totem pole to be on. I just need to remind Abbie that I can help her just like Mommy. Not the same as Mommy, but I can do it my way.
P.S. – My price for doing this post is Jess letting me go to Game 3 of the Wizards-Pacers series in DC. GO WIZ!