I have some great kids. I like to think I am responsible for that, and I am, to a degree. But what I don’t acknowledge enough is how responsible my husband is for my great kids. Not that my husband is perfect, but he is pretty great in the husband and dad department. I would like to think this is because he has such a fantastic wife, but I recently found out I have nothing to do with it.
I am a stay-at-home mom part-time, and I work outside of the home part-time, but my main occupation is running the house and carting my kids to their various activities and appointments. I recently went on a girls’ trip to Whistler, BC and before I left I did a lot of preparing. Preparing the house by changing sheets, mopping floors, cleaning toilets. Preparing the kitchen by cleaning out any old food from the fridge, and stocking it with meals they could easily reheat. Preparing a list outlining each day and where and what time each child had to be somewhere. Even getting a grandparent to come stay a few days to take over my “job” while my husband was at work during the week.
But I hadn’t prepared myself to be blown away when I got home: my husband had gotten a total handle on some of my kids’ bad habits.
Maybe because she is my baby – my last baby, my rainbow baby, and my preemie baby – I let some things slide. Like waking up several times during the night and either climbing into bed with us or giving into laying down in her bed with her. She is almost six. We have also been lying down with her at night until she falls asleep. We started this when we moved almost two years ago. It was a big change; her first move, during which we went from a toddler bed to a big girl bed. It made sense at first, but I never even tried to break this habit after that initial adjustment period. Both my husband and I were responsible for this, but I had let it go on way too long. What’s worse is that I would have never done that with my oldest. Ever. She was only allowed in my bed if she was sick, and she was sleeping through the night by 12 months.
Guess what happened when I was gone for five days?
My husband completely broke both of these habits. He simply told her she had to do it, and when she did he took her to the bookstore to get a new book. Maybe a little bribery, but I am fine with that. She sleeps in her bed. All. Night. Long. Every night! No tears, no fits, no screaming for me in the middle of the night. He accomplished in one night what I was unwilling or unable to do for two years. Ouch. #pridehurtmuch?
Then I found out he also broke her from sleeping in pull-ups! Whoa! (In my best Joey Lawrence impersonation.) To me, there is nothing worse than changing sheets in the middle of the night. So I just kept putting her in pull-ups to save myself from having to change sheets in the middle of the night. I am a horrible, lazy person. Now you know. He just told her she didn’t need them and made sure she used the potty before bedtime. Truthfully, she probably hasn’t needed pull-ups for a while, but again, I was either unwilling or unable to push the issue. Ouch again.
All this got me thinking about how I parent my kids and how I do not give my husband enough credit for doing the really hard, sucky (it’s a word and you should be using it) stuff that I don’t want to do. He is kind of a rock star as a dad. Plus he provides for us by working his tail off to give us what we need and so much more than we deserve. Then, when I think they will just about turn into feral animals while I am gone for five days, he basically solves all the world’s problems (or at least my world’s problems).