Bottom of the Totem Pole {Dad Post}

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.

Abbie and Chris Swim Lesson

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.

Abbie and Chris

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!

About Jess

About Jess

Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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14 Responses

  1. I love it when the husband’s take over! “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.” I’ve been trying to think about that more re: my husband.

    1. Me too. I STRUGGLE with not grabbing her immediately when he’s comforting her. Not because I don’t think he can do it, but because I want to do it. I’ve been trying to be better, but sometimes she just wants Mommy.

  2. What a great post! I love his perspective. I try to give my husband free reign to do things his way as much as I can, but it is hard sometimes not to feel like mommy does it right/best. We are both so lucky to have husbands that are so involved and want to help. Kudos to all the dads on the bottom!

  3. I was just sitting here nodding along while reading because I just KNOW my husband would completely agree with this post. It’s so hard not to run to the rescue when my daughter falls down while she’s hanging out with him so I can get some stuff down. I know he can handle it — I do, for real. But that mama instinct takes flight and it’s all I can do not to swoop in and sweep her into my arms.

    1. All so true. I had no idea what he was going to write, and I’m glad he wrote this. It’s great to get his perspective.

  4. Oh this is such a great post! I’m sending it along to my husband to read! I think I have an even harder time letting go because I am ALWAYS with Callie coupled with as a very unhappy baby she wanted nothing to with her daddy for a long time. I see the changes in her behavior and know what’s been going on this week in ways my traveling hubby just can’t. What worked last week may not work this week anymore. Instead of letting him try I tend to jump it to “make it easier” for everyone. Not sure that’s true. Anyway great post so glad your hubby wrote it and you shared it! Hope he enjoys that playoff game! 🙂

    1. Thank you – it’s so hard not to take over, but after this….I’m trying to remember.

  5. Oh how my husband could have written this post. I feel bad that he is often on the bottom of the totem pole. We have a son but it doesn’t change the relationship….baby wants mommy. Daddy wants baby to want him but baby wants mommy. I think part of it is just natural and nothing personal. As they grow the daddy plays more of an important role.

    1. True – I can already see Abbie becoming a Daddy’s girl in the future and wanting only him!

I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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