If you're parenting solo, you should try to lean on the people around you and seek support from those that are important to you. If you have a partner, you need to trust their competence and their ability to parent effectively. In other words, lean on people because, if you don't, you risk undermining them, deflating their self-esteem, and parenting by yourself. There are certainly times when every mom needs to trust her partner knows how to parent and, essentially, give them a little space to fulfill their role.
I breastfed my son and loved snuggling him on the couch for hours at a time, but that often meant my husband was a little left out. I veered between needing a break so badly that I was practically climbing the walls just to get away, to not wanting to leave my baby’s side for even a second. What I learned during that "new-mom" time period was this: when I gave my husband the responsibility to care for our child without me, not only did he rise to the occasion and handle things all by himself, but I loved him even more and developed a new respect and admiration for just how amazing he truly is.
Those times I really needed to just trust him to be the awesome parent he already was, included the following times when every mom needs to cut their partner some slack and believe they know what they’re doing.
The First Time You Leave Them Alone
It’s natural to worry about your baby the first time you leave them alone, but try not to check in every two minutes. It’s distracting for your partner and can make them feel as though you don't trust their ability to be a parent (which, you know, is incredibly insulting and disheartening).
When You're Sick
The last thing you need when you're feeling unwell is to fret about your baby’s wellbeing. Just get some hydration, rest, take the day to recover, and let your partner get on with it.
When You Need A Self-Care Day
Raising small humans is exhausting, both physically, emotionally, and mentally. We all need a break sometimes and, if you have a partner to take some of the strain of childcare, I say you should use them. You don’t need to do it all by yourself.
My husband and I both took one half day a week to look after ourselves. I would go swimming or to the movies, and my husband would go and play pinball. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as it’s a break from your new normal.
When You Disagree
During those inevitable times in which you and your partner disagree about parenting philosophies, you may want to let your partner try out their idea or strategy instead of forging ahead with whatever you think is best (especially if what you think is best, isn't necessarily working).
I was initially very reluctant to try any sort of sleep training. However, after weeks of surviving on limited sleep, I gave in and tried my partner's sleep ideas. They ended up working for us and all of us got a good night's rest.
When There’s An Emergency
Watching your child get injured or fall ill is unbearably difficult. So, it should go without saying that those difficult times are when you need to turn to your partner and just know they got this. Families lean on each other in the bad times.
When Breastfeeding Gets Hard
Breastfeeding can be difficult at times, so taking a break and allowing your partner to feed the baby (or even just hold them while you catch a moment to yourself, take a shower, and get some food) can give you the energy you need to try again.
When You Travel
I’ve traveled alone with my baby, and I've traveled with both my partner and my baby. Believe me when I say: it’s so much easier when you have another adult to rely on.
When They're Feeling Insecure And Need Your Trust
If you're constantly making comments that undermine your partner's ability to parent, or simply don't give them the opportunity to show what great parenting skills they have, it's inevitable that they'll start to feel defeated. If you notice they're feeling down about their abilities, show them you believe in them through your actions and, well, let them parent.
Nobody is "born a parent," so we need to practice the skills daily. That constant practice will become intuition before we know it.