Like it or not, our culture seems to expect different things of dads and moms. Dads are often praised for completing even the most basic parenting tasks, while moms are criticized when they don't do everything perfectly all of the time. It really sucks. On the other side of the equation, however, dads are not expected to be good (or even competent) parents. Dads on sitcoms are often clueless, and when they mess up, moms swoop in to fix their mistakes. So it might surprise you to learn how much my significant other has taught me about parenthood.
Those lessons started from the beginning of our relationship. The very first conversation we had was about bedtime (so sexy, right?). My kids were finally asleep after an hour-long bedtime routine, and his were getting there. He actually messaged me from the big chair outside their rooms, where he sat each night until they fell asleep. I remember thinking that it was so nice to chat with another parent about the realities of being a single parent and strategies for getting your kids to go the f*ck to sleep, when so many times, the people I dated didn't want to hear about my kids at all. Through these stories about his parenting adventures, I got to know him and love him, not only as a man but as a dad, too. Plus, he had so many tricks up his sleeves.
Years later, after blending our families, having a baby together, and facing new challenges as a united front, my partner still teaches me things and shows me new ways to raise our children that I honestly would never have tried, had I not had him in my life.