This post was written by Nick Orlicz, Caitland’s husband.
The age old expression “It takes two to tango,” I have learned, applies to creating the baby only and not to raising one. My wife and I have always had some different views on what is best for our daughter. I am sure most parents do. What is surprising to me is that my wife, love her to death, only takes her thoughts on what is best into consideration. I know my ideas on what is best for our dear daughter may not always be the “right” way, but is it really so hard to compromise and do SOME things my way? Apparently so.
Before I continue, I must point out and admit, I can be a bit OCD, high-strung, overly protective, and whatever else my wife calls me on a weekly basis. This is true and I know this. My wife, on the other hand, is the more relaxed of the two of us (too relaxed if you ask me). I like schedules, routines, lists, preparation, etc. when it comes to our daughter. My wife on the other hand prefers to “wing it” and just sit back and let things happen.
As parents we pretty much fall on opposite ends of the spectrum in parenting styles. In a lot of ways this is a good thing, but it is also a source of friction between the two of us.
It seems on a daily basis I will say something to my wife about how I am handling a situation, and without fail she does the exact opposite. I am pretty sure she is doing it on purpose to drive me slowly insane. A perfect example of what I am talking about: “Hey babe, don’t give Evy anymore gummie bears, she won’t eat her dinner.” As soon as the last word leaves my mouth she hands our daughter another gummie bear. I am not kidding when I say this happens all the time. In fact it has been the cause for quite a few confrontations between us. Obviously these situations do not always involve something as small as gummie bears, and in fact, the majority of the time they are centered around our daughter’s bed time. I feel like between 8:00pm and 8:30pm is an acceptable bed time, and yet my wife always wins, laying her down sometime between 8:45pm and 9:00pm. The point is, should a father not be able to have a say in his daughter’s life?
I was part of the process when our daughter was conceived. I was involved with picking out her name. I was painting walls, furniture, and wood trim getting her nursery ready. I was there waiting on mom-to-be during her doctor-ordered bed rest. I was there when she was born. That is where my input seemed to stop mattering. The moment Evaleigh was born marks the exact moment I am sure that my wife stopped listening to me when it comes to our daughter.
It leaves me wondering, do all fathers experience this feeling? Am I the only one who constantly feels frustrated that my ideas or opinions are not being heard or put into action?
When it comes to my daughter, I only want the best. I do not want this to sound like I am bashing my wife or her abilities as a mother because I am not. In all actuality she is an amazing wife and an even better mother.
I only wish to point out that both parents want what is best for their children. Both parents need to be heard and taken seriously when it comes to what they want for their children.
Not only is this good parenting, but it is good for the parents and their marriage as it keeps one less thing out of the pool of stress that leads to confrontation. So mothers, next time your husband makes a suggestion or wants to lend a hand, listen to his opinion or let him help. After all, he wants to be there for them as much as you do.