Who’s in charge?

I was reading a blog post today about division of labor and whether parents equally shared the job of parenting. What really caught my interest was one commenter who said she and her husband were pretty much equal partners, but he defers to her regarding what their daughter should eat, wear, etc.

That is exactly how it is at my house. When we’re both home, we spend an equal amount of time taking care of and playing with Meg, but I’m the decision maker. He often feeds her and probably dresses her more than I do. But he always asks me what she should be eating or wearing. Its not because he can’t keep track of her feeding schedule or decide how to dress her. Its because, in the past, if I intended to feed her carrots for dinner and he went and got a container of pears, I don’t thank him for taking initiative, I whine he’s messed up the feeding rotation. And if he puts together an outfit I think doesn’t “go,” I usually insist he changes her.

To be fair, I do try. If he says “I’ll feed her” and grabs a container of something I was not intending to feed her, I try to keep my mouth shut. And I really really try to be OK with the clothes he’s picked out, but sometimes…well, you know what outfits a dad can come up with.

Not being a control freak about things that don’t matter is something I’ve been working on. I think I’m getting better. And it does get easier as she gets older. She’s now in a routine – fruit for lunch, vegetable for dinner. So, really, as long as he has a food out of the right category, I try to just thank him for feeding her. And, as for the clothes, he usually picks something out, asks me if its OK, and I try my best to say yes, even if its not perfect.