I was reading this book for the second (maybe third) time, and came to the chapter called "Maternal Gatekeepers". I thought maybe it would be about how great it us that us mommas are like angry bears keeping any and all things away from our cubs.
Well, the angry bear part was right, but not so much the "great" part. You see, the author was speaking to those of us who feel as though only we know the exact right way to wipe our kid's nose, change his diaper, nourish his body. Those of us ask our husbands to do something--and then hover over their shoulders, ready to "assist" (read "correct") at any needed time.
How humiliating. Do we not remember we are sharing the house with another adult? Another person so exceedingly wise and brilliant--that we decided to pledge our lives to him? Isn't it amazing, then, that we often don't even stop to think that maybe his "different" is ok, or maybe even (heaven forbid) better than our way?
I speak to myself. I often am that mother bear. I often am the person that says, "Hon, can you turn on a movie for Noah? Nooo... not that one, he just saw it." Or, "Can you take him on a walk? Hey, be careful he doesn't fall..." Just to name a few.
Me, thinking: I'm just helping. Me, really sending the message: You're incompetent.
I've begun to step back. To button my lip. To let him parent. To praise every chance I get. To take his side over the children's-- every time. When daddy's in charge, daddy's in charge. No intervention (read "criticism") from mommy.
And ya know what? A huge burden has slipped from my shoulders. And a feeling of respect for my man is replacing the furrowed brow of imagined mistakes. I no longer fume inwardly about "parenting" 3 people. I look at my husband and see him as my love, not my annoyance.
He says he likes it, too.