When you’re a SAHM, you have the benefit of being with your baby all day long, so you learn how to care for her most effectively and efficiently. I try to remind myself of this each time I begin to cringe at something horrendous my husband is doing. As much as I know I shouldn’t always intervene and risk be labeled “bossy,” I usually can’t help myself.
What’s interesting is that whenever I complain to my mom friends about how clueless my husband can be, it turns out their husbands are equally clueless in so many of the same ways! We love our husbands, dearly, but there are just some things that dads don’t seem to get. Here are our top ten “favorites”:
- First and foremost, this is your baby, too! Just because we’re SAHMs and we do all the childcare during the day, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when you’re home. Don’t just assume we’ll take care of everything 24/7. Would it kill you to take a little initiative?? She has a messy diaper? Go ahead and change it! She’s hungry? How about you find her an appropriate snack! No, Doritos don’t count!!!
- If you do find some way to contribute to routine childcare, don’t make yourself a martyr. We’re here doing this all the time, so just because you changed the last diaper, doesn’t mean the next one is our turn because you’ve filled your quota for the week!
- If you come home and ask what we did today, and we don’t have some grand adventure to report, it does NOT mean we were sitting on our butts all day. Taking care of a baby and a home is our job; everything else is a secondary bonus.
- Moms need a break, too! Being with a baby all day is ridiculously exhausting, so if we look tired and cranky, maybe you could step up and take the baby out for a walk so we can have a few minutes of peace. And every once in a while, moms do get sick. You know how dads get “sick days” off work, where they sit on the couch doing absolutely nothing while they wimper through their man colds? What do moms get? A dose of Dayquil and a kick in the pants? Food for thought. (Have you seen this one?)
- Once the baby is crawling, YOU HAVE TO CLOSE THE BABY GATES EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU GO UP OR DOWN THE STAIRS. EVERY SINGLE TIME. We know it’s annoying, but you know what’s even more annoying? Having a baby fall down the stairs and taking a 6-hour trip to the emergency room. Close the gates!!!
- And while we’re at it, you know those baby locks we bought for the cabinets containing dangerous glass, chemicals, and garbage? Oh yeah, you have to actually use those, too! If you open the lock, you must also close the lock. Give it a try.
- How would you feel about me sitting naked in a pool of water and then splashing this water all over your face? Oh, you wouldn’t enjoy that? That disgusts you? Okay then, please, for the love of God, use clean water to wash your child’s face, not her dirty bath water.
- Yeah, we get it, baby clothes can be a little confusing, especially if you’re dressing a little girl who has pieces you’ve never even seen, like bloomers, but really, try just a little to find a weather- and occasion-appropriate outfit. No, she can’t wear her satin Easter dress to the playground. No, cargo pants are not the same as formal khakis (right, Deni Lyn??).
- Why is it so surprising to dads that if they get the baby all worked up by chasing her, jumping out from behind corners, and spinning her around upside down, she can’t just instantaneously wind down and sit quietly two minutes later? Hello??
- We know it’s difficult and annoying to hold a squirmy baby over a sink to wash her hands, but this is actually necessary from time to time. If she’s been playing with the family’s collection of shoes, it’s probably not a bad idea to wash her hands. If she’s discovered the cool running water that goes down the side of the bowl each time you flush the toilet, just man up and wash her damn hands!
Love you, guys, but get a clue!