I don’t know what it is, but every single time I leave my husband with our seven children, I have to remind him repeatedly of all of the things he needs to be concerned about regarding our children’s safety.
“Make sure our daughter doesn’t climb the stairs” and “Make sure our son doesn’t sneak outside to the front yard” are just a few of the many phrases I say over and over again upon leaving the house.
My gentle reminders are so frequent that my husband responds the same way almost every time: “Evie, I am a capable father.” He then proceeds to give me a look, which includes a raised eyebrow and an expression of annoyance.
But I can’t stop hounding him about the security of our children when I leave. It is not because I don’t trust him or think he is too relaxed in his parenting. Nor do I think he is inattentive and unaware. It is because my brain is constantly buzzing with the well-being and safety of my children, especially my 1-year-old. My goal in life is just to keep her safe. I have to keep her out of the street, make sure she doesn’t climb the stairs, put some foreign object in her mouth or drink toilet water. When she is awake, I am full-gear in ensuring her survival.
My husband, however, is more at ease when it comes to parenting. It doesn’t mean that his way is bad or he is lazy. It just means that he is more chill and less anxious than I am.
And, it is not necessarily a bad thing; it is just different than my way.
On the plus side, our personality types balance each other out to become a well-rounded parenting approach. My husband is the one I call when I have to make an unexpected visit to the emergency room. He is my anchor during times of fear, like the one time where we both accidentally left our then 8-year-old daughter at the park (in the evening when it was dark), and went all the way home, which was about 20 minutes away. (Yes, these things happen to the best of us!) Or the time my son cracked his head open down to the bone and required six stitches.
He was the calm, mellow one, while I was panic stricken.
So when I kiss my kids goodbye and go out for coffee with friends, or do some kind of market research study to earn extra income for our family and I experience unrest from all of the things that could go wrong… In that moment, I have to remind myself that my husband is such a good daddy and I trust that he will do a good job of watching our children, even though it may not be the way that I would do it.
I have to to take a deep breath—and instead of focusing on fear, remember the fact that he is a capable father.