As moms, it's so easy to start taking control of everything with our little ones. To the point that we turn down help from our partners or we micromanage everything our partners do
when they are with our little one. I know, because this has been me!
We get stuck in the way we do things and start feeling that only we can do them, just right.
I am so guilty of it. I’ve noticed myself trying to tell my husband how to change Lilah’s diaper, how to prepare her food, how to dress her, exactly how to respond to her...Honestly, the list goes on and on.
As I became more aware of this, I actively started making an effort to step back and let my husband take the reins. I started leaving Lilah with him, and stopped trying to control EVERY. LITTLE. THING. Although it's not always easy, it has been so AMAZING to step back and watch the two of them bond and figure things out on their own. In light of this, I have created this blog to give you some tips and ideas for how to step aside and let your partner jump in!
Include your partner in bedtime
If you don't already do this, and your partner is home for bedtime, I HIGHLY recommend
this. This is a great time for your partner and baby to bond and it allows you to step back and take some time for yourself. If you nurse to sleep every night and throughout the night, or you handle all the night wakings, it's easy to get burnt-out fast! This allows you to take some "me" time before the night begins. If your partner has never been involved in bedtime, start slow! Start by having your partner join you and your little one for every part of the bedtime routine so that your little one gets used to having them there. Then after a few days of doing everything together, have your partner choose one part of bedtime alone. Then as time goes on, they can slowly start taking over the whole bedtime routine. If your partner is at work all day, this is a great time for them to connect and fill your little one's cup with love. If you are at work all day too, you can both do bedtime together every night. This is a great way for all three of you to bond and it also gives you built in time with your significant other, which as we all know is not always the easiest to find when you are new parents.
Take time for yourself and leave your little one with your partner
This one is probably the hardest for all of us. I used to (and sometimes still do) feel guilty about leaving my husband and daughter, even to work! It was engrained in me that in order to be a "good" mom and wife, I needed to be constantly present. This is a LIE. I needed to take time for myself in order to show up refreshed as both a mother and wife. If you're struggling with this, check out my blog post "Finding my worth outside of motherhood"
As you start taking time for yourself and leaving your partner and baby to bond alone, it truly is SO beautiful. The find their own groove and way of doing things and it ends up making life for you easier and easier because your little one starts wanting your partner instead of only you.
If you struggle with doing this, start small! Take a 20 minute walk. Go grab a coffee. Do a Target run! Anything that brings you joy! As you get more comfortable with this, you can start lengthening the time. You can go meet a friend for a coffee, go get a manicure. Anything that helps you feel refreshed!
Have a set time during the week or weekend for your partner and baby to bond
This will come to be something that they both look forward to. They can even decide (when your little one gets older) on a favorite activity to do together during this time. If it's warm where you are, they could go to the park just the two of them for 30 minutes, or on a walk. Whatever they enjoy doing together.
If bedtime is not an option, choose another time of day that your partner and baby are on their own
My husband works nights, so I understand that bedtime isn't always possible for your partner to do. That's totally fine. Choose another time/routine for your partner and little one to do solo. In our house, this is the morning routine. We all wake up together, snuggle and cuddle for a bit, and then I head downstairs to make my Matcha and prepare Lilah's breakfast. I leave Lilah and my husband in bed. He then changes her diaper and gets her dressed. This process often takes 30 minutes because they usually snuggle a bit in bed, read a book, play, etc. It is their special time and Lilah knows this. When we first started doing this, she would cry when I would leave the room. Now, when I get out of bed she tells me "bye-bye" and continues playing with her dad.
We decided on doing this, because since my husband isn't home for bedtime on the days he works, it was a lot on me to do bedtime, nurse to sleep, nurse throughout the night and then wake up and start the day doing everything with Lilah in the morning. This allows me time to decompress and get some ME time before starting the day. And it has now become special time for Lilah and my husband.
I know it's hard to feel like you need to be everything and do everything. But in order to show up as the best version of yourself as a mother and partner, you need to take time for you. In doing so, you are also stepping aside to let your partner and baby bond in such a special way!