Letting Go and Letting My Partner Parent

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I’m very much a Type A kind of person. I plan almost everything out, I make lists, and I need to feel prepared. So, when my daughter was born, we followed Moms on Call closely, and I had our days scheduled ahead of time. As a stay-at-home mom, this was my life for the first few months of motherhood.

Before I was even pregnant, my husband and I had agreed bath and bedtime would be his job. This way he would spend time with our child(ren) every single evening. We managed to put this into action by the time our daughter was four weeks old, with me pumping enough to make a nighttime bottle for him to feed her (and was kind of a nice break from nursing for me).

I stopped nursing around four months old, and she started solids, and we started butting heads. My husband, bless him, wanted to let me sleep in. But I found myself lying awake, listening for anything that might go wrong, and even getting up to take over. I had the hardest time letting go, and I remember my husband saying, “I can do this! Let me do this!” But as the person who was home every day, who planned everything out, it felt difficult to just let go and let him do things his way.

It took months of work for both of us, but mostly me. I found the best solution was to just LEAVE. I started going to long hair appointments, long lunch dates with friends, or wandering around Target for an extended period of time. The more I left, the more confident I grew, and I think my husband grew more confident, too. I had to remind myself it was okay if she wasn’t dressed exactly as I would dress her, if she ate something different than I would feed her, or if their day was scheduled a little differently than I would have done.

After my daughter was one and a half years old, I went on a five-day beach trip with friends. It was really hard to leave her for the first time, but it was nice to feel confident in her dad’s parenting. My worrying was (mostly) at a minimum. And now, I feel like my husband can take over whenever I need a break.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking I’m crazy and controlling. Maybe you’re reading this and seeing a little bit of yourself here as a new mom. But if you’re having trouble with this right now, I encourage you to let go! Leave the house. Let go of control for your sanity, your partner’s confidence as a parent, and your child’s relationship with their parent.

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