I think this is something all mums are guilty of, when it comes to parenting children. I opted to be a stay at home mum, so this means I spend all day, every day, with our children. This also means I learn of anything in the home that has suddenly become of interest to a curious toddler or a clambering baby (usually something dangerous). I learn their habits, their routine, their likes and dislikes and all the tricks of the trade in parenting them. I feel like I know it all when it comes to our children and a self-riotous part of me feels no-one can parent them quite like I can. I’m putting all my cards out on the table here as a very controlling parent.
My partner, their father, is an equal in this parenting role we’ve taken on. Twice. Yet somehow I manage to patronise him, every time he is in charge of the children if I’m not around, as if he doesn’t know a fraction of what I do.
Some things do need to be said, she napped at such a time so you can start your celebratory ‘it’s bedtime’ dance at this time. Or that the baby has taken a liking to eating shoes today and attempting to eat the cat biscuits. These kinds of things help prepare his watchful eyes to be alert at all times.
The other unnecessary things I will say is ‘make sure you watch the children in the bath’ what else is he going to do? Run the bath, throw them in and make himself a coffee? ‘If the toddler wants to go in the garden make sure he’s got shoes on, and a jacket if it’s a bit chilly’ because he would naturally let him go outside naked and barefoot. ‘Don’t forget to shut the baby gates when you go up/downstairs’ I just can’t help myself. The best one of all that I habitually say is ‘look after them’ as if he’s waiting for me to leave, so he can lock them both in the cupboard, kick his shoes off (into the cupboard for the baby to eat) and watch football news (snore) until I return.
I’m sorry I do this. Leaving the children, as exhilarating as it can be at times, is also extremely unnatural for me. I trust you and I know that you know our children as best as I do, even if you are at work all day. You’re their dad, you don’t need to be instructed on how to fulfil this role. But I can’t help myself and I appreciate every time I read off these ridiculous things I feel I have to share, you just nod and smile. Thank you for always understanding that it’s hard to leave them and it’s also sometimes hard to be around them.