It's not wrong, just different.

Empowering men in the home life.

I remember the day we brought Gus home from the hospital. I desperately wanted to do everything perfectly: Breastfeeding, changing his diaper immediately after he pooped or peed, getting enough fresh air, putting him on a sleep schedule, making sure his room was the perfect temperature... I just wanted to be the perfect mom. I was so worried about being judged by others that I often found myself standing over my husband's shoulder and dictating to him how he could do everything better.

 "You wouldn't get peed on if you would have the diaper ready as you pull the first one away."

"One cheek of the diaper is halfway up Gus's butt. He is going to blow right out of that and into his jammies. I'm not cleaning it up."

"The bath is cold at best. He is going to freeze in there. You need to add warmer water"

"Make sure you hold his head. Don't take your hand away!"

I could sit here for hours and write down the many ways I tried to micromanage my husband while on maternity leave - it was exhausting for both us. In fact, it couldn't and didn't last long. I vividly remember the day that Danny snipped at me, "If you know how to do it so well, then do it yourself!" Those words still burn today.

I thought about the many times I tried to tell him how to be a better dad (without using those specific words) and then I realized, he is a great dad, but I am not letting him be one. I was trying to control every situation because I thought I knew better. I failed to realize throughout those first few weeks that perfect looks different for every family because every baby has a different set of needs and, to be frank, there is no such thing as perfect. When I stand over my husband's shoulder I am just causing more stress on our relationship instead of enjoying the new moments as a family. If I were to go to work everyday and have someone stand over my shoulder constantly informing me what a sub-par employee I was, I would be unmotivated as well.

I recently sat in a meeting where we were talking about this very topic and a handful of men said to me, "I was never allowed to change a diaper because my wife wouldn't let me." Wasn't allowed?!! Ladies, our husbands can't learn if we don't give them the opportunity. Any time I hear the words, "My husband won't babysit our child." or "My husband has never changed a diaper [and my baby is 9 months old].", I want to shake some sense into the mama. WE had sex. WE had a baby. WE should be raising the child together.

We live in a world where we speak so much about moving women up in the workplace and ways to empower them to pursue fulfilling careers. We talk about how men need to change their roles in the home life to help make this possible. We always forget to talk about what we, as women, need to change in the home life. We need to allow our partners to support us, to be gracious even if things are not done exactly as we would do it. Let your partner get your kids dressed (even if they don't match or kids pants are on backwards). Let them feed the baby (even if food gets in your child's ears). Show them you can work together in the home life with the ultimate goal of having successful home and professional lives. Just like we wouldn't micromanage every aspect of our teams and their daily tasks, we should not do the same at home.

We can't expect men to change if we, as women, aren't willing to change ourselves. Sometimes it means taking a step back and allowing them make their own mistakes. Do we really know better as first time moms? Probably not. It should be a journey that we take together as parents. If we want to have support in our home lives, then we need to learn to distribute some of the weight to our hubbies and be ok with the results. Just because they do things differently, doesn't mean it's wrong.

P.S. This topic isn't limited to raising children, but can also be applied to loading the dishwasher (apparently there is a right and wrong way), folding towels, making the bed - you catch my drift. ;)