By MomWise Olatunde Onabajo
Have you heard of the popular saying that “Moms have superpowers?” I totally agree! We are able to carry out multiple tasks — such as talking with the hubby while child one, two and three are simultaneously reporting child number 4! We can clean the house while cooking; resolve the disagreement between our aging parents while also stopping a toddler from running into the walls after eating that piece of candy you warned them not to eat!!!
Oh, the super Women we are!
We can single-handedly run the affairs of the house—in fact, you’ll hear many of us brag by saying things like“I take care of my family and do XYZ”. This can be a source of empowerment for women because we are able to multitask with minimal help. But is this really how God fashioned our lives? Did God empower us to “do it all” especially in a family with two parents?
I know you’re probably thinking “it’s better if I just do it because I’ll do it the way I think it should be done”. I’m guilty of that thinking process too. When our first daughter was born, I did not trust my spouse to wipe her from front to back and not back to front. Then I saw him once wiping her from her back to her front (gasp!). Years in between, I would closely watch with a third eye at the back of my head to make sure that things were still going according to my directions…so pointless.
God has been dealing with me regarding this attitude which I call the “I can do it all” mindset.
He reminded me that in the business of raising a family, there’s a reason why He appointed two people to oversee the project of parenting—mommy and daddy!
And I know that there are homes where this is not the case (single parents, a deceased spouse, etc). Yet, God said, it’s not one parent’s place to “do it all” alone. The Bible is literally filled with verses that encourage co-parenting (Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4, Psalm 78:4, and Proverbs 10:1).
In my case, God started to reveal to me, the importance of engaging my spouse in parenting our children because I was that Mom that cooked, bathed the children and laid out the children’s clothes and shoes. I was that Mom that cleaned the house; took the children to their doctor’s appointments, filled out all their School forms and took time off from work to attend their school plays. I had to pause and ask the question… why?
Involving my spouse in parenting started with trusting that his process was as awesome as mine…even if my daughter ended up wearing two different colors of socks to school! At least she was wearing socks. This ability to trust him was not so easy because there were times I was afraid my children would be hurt if things were not done a certain way but thank God for His love and protection. By relinquishing my fears, I realized that trusting my spouse’s way of doing things is really a way of trusting God to watch over the situation. It is also a way of understanding that God is in control rather than thinking that we humans or parents are in control.
You may ask…“But how can I involve an unwilling spouse (mostly husbands) who is not so keen about helping his wife?” Some women have simply given up on trying to engage their spouses in household chores because it often leads to conflicts, disagreements, and unintentional hurt/harm. I always encourage the sword of prayer and not the lashing of the tongue to win the heart of your spouse. And after prayer, consider sharing these benefits of co-parenting with your spouse rather than go at it alone:
- Studies have shown that dads play a critical role in their children’s literary development. So let’s encourage dads to read bedtime stories to their children for at least ten minutes. This will help develop their reading skills and it is never too early or late to start.
- Children whose fathers are involved in their upbringing are more likely to develop high self-esteem and self worth, have better social connections, and emotional security.
- When children see dad helping mom in the home, they see a clearer picture of two parents who love and support each other.
- You will still be a super Woman but a super Woman with more time to spare for that spa day you’ve been dreaming about for months!
Your spouse may not wear the shoes properly; he may forget to brush their hair or add vegetables to their dinner. Or perhaps you already have an awesome spouse who has got this parenting thing down to the deed. In either case, dear super Moms with superpowers, let’s begin to empower our spouses by applauding their efforts. Let’s give them an A+ for effort and remember that with practice, they’ll also become super Dads, proudly weaving their daughters’ hair in front of the mirror or swinging the bat with their sons in the stadium.
“The Righteous man walks in integrity; His children are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:7.