I’m a dad, and even though fathers are more involved in parenting than ever, I’ll be the first to admit that moms run the parenting world. I’m not here to bash mothers, because I think they have the toughest and most thankless job there is, but I hope you’ll hear me out on this.
As you experience the joy, frustrations, pressures, and fears of motherhood, oftentimes there’s a dad who shares the same joy, frustrations, pressures, and fears that you do. Additionally, he’s trying to find his way and solidify his identity as a father. He wants to be helpful, nurturing, and a true parenting partner.
But then it happens.
Mom hovers over dad like a hawk while he changes his baby’s diaper to ensure it’s done “correctly.” Mom leaves a handwritten five-page instruction manual for dad when she leaves the house for a few hours.
You get the idea.
Does every mom act this way? Of course not. But everyone reading this probably knows of at least one mom who does. It’s usually not because her man is a completely clueless, it’s because of good old-fashioned maternal gatekeeping. Yes, that’s an actual thing, defined as the behaviors of moms directed at dads, and those behaviors play a role in how involved fathers are with their children.
That’s what happened to a man named Doug. He really enjoyed giving baths to his two young sons until his wife kept micromanaging him on how he did it. “She took the joy out of it,” Doug said. “It was a way for me to bond with my boys after I got home from work and now I don’t do it anymore.”
The kids and dad end up missing out on valuable bonding experiences.
Moms, I know your hearts are in the right place, but here are two things for you to consider before giving your partner a hard time at bath time:
Is the child in any imminent danger? Is there any risk of injury?
If the answer is no, then please step back and let him bond with his child in his own way. Bath time is one of the best times for dads to bond with their children, and here are three things you’ll learn while dads take over the bath routine.
#1 – Get messy while getting clean isn’t a bad thing: Full disclosure, this is a sponsored post for Ivory Soap, but let’s be real — who hasn’t used Ivory soap before? They’ve been around for over 138 years starting with that pure bar of soap that my parents used on me.
Ivory aims to simplify life so parents can spend more time on the things that matter the most. When my dad gave me and my brothers baths, he let us splash around and go crazy. Would my mom let us do that? Absolutely not. But that’s the great thing about moms and dads — we have different ways of going about things. And just because it’s different, doesn’t make it wrong. Over 30 years later, I remember those bath nights with my dad as if they happened yesterday. Sometimes the best memories are the messiest ones, and I have no problem with my girls using their Ivory Soap to get as sudsy as possible in and out of the bathtub.
#2 – Dads value safety, too: The thing I like about Ivory Bar Soap is it’s free of dyes and heavy perfumes and it’s 99.44% pure. Ivory’s Clean Body Wash has a new gentle formula and is also free of dyes and heavy perfumes. Believe it or not, dads value stuff like this. While we’re bonding with our kiddos at bath time, we want to ensure we’re using the best products. Again, if a company has been trusted by generations for over 138 years, they’re doing a lot of things right.
#3 – Everyone loves a good dad: Here’s the best part about letting your partner take over the bath routine — he’ll be more involved in other areas of parenting as well. Seeing how happy his kids are splashing around with ivory.com can be the gateway to more fun bonding experiences. So moms, please let your man be a dad in his own special way — especially at bath time. The bond he will form with his little one will be impenetrable, he will be a more engaged partner, and most of all, he will be happy. That’s a gift that keeps on giving, and your family will reap the benefits.
Now will someone please forward this to Doug’s wife? Thanks.
This post is sponsored by Ivory. You know the drill — all opinions are my own and not influenced by the brand.