daddy isn't a babysitter

There's a weird element of family culture that bugs me. Maybe people don't talk about it, but it's sort of understood in certain circles. There's a weird idea floating around that in two-parent households, Mommy is The Parent, and if/when she's gone, Daddy steps in as The Babysitter.

Mommy does things a certain way. She's human. She knows her limits and her kids, so she's established systems of how things work.  Monday through Friday, the shoes are here, the cup is there, and we know at which stage of the routine we take that last-minute trip to the potty. Things aren't always smooth because of, well, humans, but we get it done by following point A to point B and so forth.

But then, it's Saturday and Daddy's home from work (or, more likely, Sunday and you're trying to be less than ten minutes late to church). The extra hands means everything's different. Kids are screaming, teeth are gnashing. I can't pee with my sneakers on!  I only drink milk in the Darth Vader cup! These are my brother's socks!

I do understand that kids respond to routine and habit, but as mothers -- and as people in general -- we need to be able to tell the difference between what's wrong and what's another way of doing things.  I'm not going to 'correct' my husband for putting a child's shoes on before he goes pee. (Logic: He does not take his shoes off before he pees anywhere else. I hope..) 

Mommy, don't be so ruled by your child that you begin to believe that it's reasonable for him/her to demand that ONLY you open his juice box.  Maybe you put the wings up and maybe Daddy bent the straw, but the message to your child that his/her father is incompetent is damaging.  That undermines not only his entire position as a father, as a leader, and as a man.

How will your kids ever believe that Daddy is the God-ordained head of the household if all they ever see is him deferring to Mommy on everything that matters to them? Do you think your kids tune into your discussions about finances or some topic where you are more readily willing to submit? Here's a hint: they do not. If you want your kids to see Biblical submission in a marriage modeled, they need to see it in a context that is in some way relevant to them. So chill out, Mommy, and don't communicate that Daddy is a sub-standard, fill-in Mommy. Let Daddy be Daddy. He's probably really good at it.