Lots of reasons. Why not start at the beginning? In utero bonding, nutrition, and of course, the shared birthing experience. Standing next to them in the delivery room with a pit in your stomach really doesn’t put you in the game. You’re starting on the parenting pine (that is ESPN vernacular for “the bench”). You’re backing up Derek Jeter…which means barring injury or the more common “rest days”, meaningful at bats are few. Jeter plays tired and hurt…and so does Mom. Quite honestly, I really am ineffective when tired and quite difficult to be around. When I’m hurt or sick, I’m out. Chalk it up to biology or mommy wiring, but Dad has no shot at number one from the beginning. Its science and I don’t fight it, I accept this.
In the end, this wiring difference really manifests in one human character trait – Patience. Parenting is patience and Mom has more. It’s why she commandeers the art projects, bakes the cookies, tolerates the need to band aid a week old scratch (band aids are for blood) and responds to the 2 am calls for water. Sure, when healthy and well rested, I definitely pull my weight…but I’m not mom. I get it. I know my limitations and I actually profess to have commendable patience…for a dad. (I actually own a children’s play space.)
Here is where my occasional impatience gets us as a family. Make it work for you and your home.
My occasional impatience drives some order in our house. We move faster as a unit, we get to bed on time, we prioritize rest and sleeping habits (this is the key to life) and we work through some of our issues without mom’s “understanding and compassion”.
My occasional impatience also makes my boys happy. “Let’s just stop for pizza tonight.” “Who wants to skip brushing teeth and just jump into bed?” “DVD anyone?” At first, confusion, but now they expect some level of mischievous parenting from Dad and they think that is pretty cool…and “kid-like”.
In the end, Mom is Mom and she drives the bus. But Dad isn’t quite the pigeon…he gets to drive on occasion. Who am I to argue with human physiology? I’m never going to have the patience to make Oreo truffles, sing the ABC’s over and over to a crying baby or allow my iPhone to be riddled with kid’s apps. So I don’t get upset when our (almost) 2 year old cries for a minute when I grab him from my wife’s arms, or when my older ones ask for “mom to put us to bed”. I can’t compete, and in my mind, I’m not supposed to.