Motherhood is really hard. In fact, it’s tough to explain how hard it is. It’s also amazing and rewarding and fun and satisfying, but with every part of it comes challenges. The roles of parents are often very different in families. Of course, they overlap in spots. But oftentimes, moms do certain things and dads do others.
We sat down and thought about the things we’d really love dads to understand--not to bash them--just to help them comprehend our mom challenges, what we need, why we might seem crazy sometimes, and to let them know we love watching them grow as fathers. No doubt, you've shared some of these sentiments with your hubby in the past, but sometimes, seeing it in writing makes it truer.
SPOILER ALERT: the following article contains stereotypes. If you’re going to read it, you’ll have to roll with it.
14 Labor F’ing Hurts
We’ve said this before, but we’ll say it again; labor hurts like nothing you’ll ever experience. People sometimes say it hurts as much as passing a kidney stone, but most dads will never have one, so just recognize and appreciate that it hurts like hell. Imagine your torso being squeezed by a vice, or being hit with a sledgehammer on your tailbone, or being crushed by a road roller. Yup, that’s labor. For this alone, moms deserve hero status.
13 Mother’s Day Is REALLY Important
Once your partner becomes a mom, Mother’s Day becomes an uber important holiday. It’s second only in importance to your baby's birthday and maybe Christmas (or cultural equivalent). It’s imperative that you make a BIG deal out of Mother’s day. Flowers are nice, but it needs to be epic. Let her sleep in, breakfast in bed, spa treatment, pampering, etc… One of the best things you can do is let her have some alone time. Design the day to show her you appreciate all she does as a mom, wife, and as the all-around amazing person she is.
12 We Love Seeing You as a Dad
Seeing you as a dad makes us love you more. The tiny human(s) we created are a part you, and we love seeing the ways they take after their dad. Us moms are tired, irritable at times, and still trying to figure everything out, but that doesn’t diminish how much we enjoy seeing you with your baby. Fatherhood brings out a different side in men and, for first-time parents, it’s a side your partner hasn't seen. Your tenderness and goofiness with the kids is endearing and makes us proud.
11 You’re the Boy Part Expert
We may be “familiar” with the male anatomy, but when it comes to any slightly advanced knowledge of the area--foreskin, cleaning, swollen parts, proper labels, parts that have gone missing, general management of the zone, you need to handle it. Our heads are packed with everything else baby so we are perfectly fine to let you continue to be the pro when it comes to this.
10 Taking Care of a Baby Is Hard
We know this isn’t always true, but moms are often the ones to stay home and take care of their babies full-time or until they return to work. We also know dads work hard too, but moms need you to know that taking care of a baby all day (and all night) can be REALLY challenging! Babies can’t be problem-solved like a work crisis and we are often in it alone.
Sometimes it’s tough to know why a baby is crying, and even when everything is blissful, the days can be long and boring! All moms miss simple things like taking a long shower solo or drinking a whole coffee without needing to warm it up.
Our bodies are battered, we are super tired, there are a million chores to do, and we need to keep everyone alive and happy. It’s tough. We need you to understand that it’s difficult to keep all the balls in the air. Sometimes--oftentimes--one or two will drop.
9 Sex Isn’t a Priority Right Now
For many moms, especially new ones, sex is not on the radar. Your wife still loves you as much as ever, but she doesn’t want to get it on much right now. She will want to again, just not right now.
Her body needs to recover and become her own again. The baby needs to get into a bit more of a routine. Your wife needs to start experiencing sleep rather than imagining it. It’s not because she isn’t attracted to you or loves you any less, she just has a bigger priority right now.
8 You're Not a Babysitter
When dads look after their own babies or children, it’s not babysitting. A babysitter is some external person hired and paid to look after children that aren’t their own. Dads aren’t on the payroll. When dads take care of kids, it’s called raising their children. Society does a bad job of perpetuating this dad babysitting concept. It makes moms feel like they are on the clock 100% of the time and that dad is only parenting when mom isn’t free.
7 Teach Your Boys to Respect Women
If you have boys in your house, the first example they see of how to treat a woman is how you treat their mom. It’s so important to set a good example. This will set them on the right path for life. They will learn to respect their mom and build healthy relationships with other women. The foundation is being set by you.
6 Doing Anything Alone Is Amazing
Once we become moms, almost anything is enjoyable if we can do it alone. Previously mundane errands are thrilling. Going to the hairdresser solo rises to a whole new level once children are in the picture. Sometimes, we will just drive aimlessly to extend an outing for some quiet time. Most moms accept the fact that going to the bathroom is now a group activity, but we really appreciate the opportunity to do anything ALONE. Dads who can facilitate this definitely score brownie points.
5 We Need to Feel Appreciated
The things your partner does are part of the “mom” job, but be mindful that the job is one of continual learning. And even if she’s not a new mom, there isn’t a manual. Make sure you tell her and show her that you appreciate her. She is figuring it out and keeping everything running. Your big (and small) words and acts of appreciation will go a long way.
4 When They Choose Me, It’s Not You
Babies often bond with their moms first. It’s normal and natural. As your baby turns into a toddler, this bond becomes deeper. When that deep and terrifying separation anxiety sets in, your little one may only be happy with their mom. It doesn’t mean you're not an awesome dad or that your baby doesn’t love you; they just tend to choose their mom first.
It will pass. Try not to take it personally. When they choose her, it’s not because of your shortcomings; it’s because of her strengths.
3 We Are More Tired Than You
Can we just agree on this, please? We know you work hard. We know you sometimes catch a cold. We know you occasionally get up in the night with a child, but probably not as much as we do. We are tired and we will be tired forever. You will never be as tired as we are.
2 If The House Looks Like It Exploded, It's Because It Did
Just be grateful everyone is alive. The house may, on some days or every day, look like it internally combusted. At any given moment, it may have exploded with tears, bodily fluids, toys, dirty diapers, half-consumed food, laundry, and most definitely exhaustion (or all of the above). Don’t say a word or it will soon explode with rage.
1 We Are Grateful for You
We communicate all of this with great love and fondness for you. Without you, our family couldn’t have come to be. We know you work hard. We are grateful for all you do and for the children we have created together. We might complain, but we wouldn’t change it for the world--well, maybe a few things here and there. We hope that reading this makes you understand us and motherhood a little bit more.