Parenting

Are Mums Better Parents Than Dads?

Or is it a myth?

Do we women have “mother’s instinct” that makes us better parents, are we more able to anticipate the wishes and problems that our children may have? 
Are men just as capable – if given the chance? 
Obviously, it is an incredible generalisation because there are good fathers and bad fathers, good mothers and bad mothers, but what do you think?
Often I will read or hear from friends statements such as, “Oh, I could not leave my husband in charge all weekend – he would not cope”. I even know families where the husband, “doesn’t do nappies”, as if there is a skill involved. 
It seems to me that many women don’t give their husbands the opportunity to prove that they can cope with the children, particularly babies. “I am better off doing it myself, it takes him so long to do it” – as if that is a solution. 
When our son was born, I was terrified of changing his nappy. I had no idea where to start, our first child was a girl. Seems silly now, but what if my husband had said, “What are you like? Never mind, it will be quicker if I do it, you will just make a mess and I will have to do it again myself”.
Where does this idea come from that we women are better, are more able to recognise danger? Just because our fear threshold is lower than our husbands? I had to learn to bite my tongue and say nothing when my husband was in charge of our children. Even now I sometimes butt in and start to give my opinion when I can clearly see that he is coping with whatever situation has come up. No wonder that some men give up and don’t bother any more.
We have to step back and let our husbands take charge, indeed encourage them to do so. Enough of the Mummy Martyrdom. Give Dads their day. 

4 Comments

  • Crystal Jigsaw

    Thorny issue, I think it totally depends on the individual dad. Take my husband for example, he's great with Amy now she's older, but when she was young he wouldn't have managed. I know him.

    CJ xx

  • lauramdoran

    My husband would cope looking after Ruby for the weekend but I'm not sure my daughter would!

    I don't think it's so much that women recognise danger better, but that generally women spend more time with their children from an early age (with maternity leave) and therefore know their child's routine and have more opportunities to become more efficient with the practicalities.

    Certainly allowing my husband to become more involved with Ruby's care has meant that he is better at it, and sometimes (particularly when she's teething) he can 'read' her better than me because I'm so used to things being done a particular way.

  • MmeLindt

    Crystal
    Thanks for your comment. Why do you say that he would not have coped? Was it lack of confidence in his abilities or lack of practice?

    Laura
    Good point about being the main carer so better in tune with the child. I agree that sometimes the routine can get in the way of a neutral assessment of the situation.

  • Anonymous

    Well for starters our chemical change during pregnancy makes us more in tune with our children, it alters for man too but to a very different degree. In my mind I don't think it's better or worse, but it is different. If it was up to me my children would never climb a tree as I would be too worried about them breaking a limb, my husband is different, but then if it was up to him they would wash less!! I definitely think children benefit from two parents, whatever gender, as we're all a bit different and this can only be a good thing. My husband would have always coped whatever age the children were, he has a skill of ignoring them and so can do loads of housework at the same time. But, I hear the moan before the cry, or the growl before the lashing out, he does not.

    K-Jxx

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