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I learned about something new today. Today, I learned about SPECTATOR PARENTS. I had no idea this was a thing.

I guess I have heard about it in a roundabout way. When friends or acquaintances talked about a parent who does not seem to share in all the parenting responsibilities. But today, I really learned about it from a coworker. She wanted to take my child home because her husband wants to have another baby. According to her, she is all set and wanted to remind him what it is like to be woken up with screaming and how hard it is to have a child needing you at their beck and call.

She explained to me, in her humorous way with a bit of silly laughter, that her husband never changed diapers with the first child. I was like “whhhhhatttt???”  She went on to say that her husband is more of a spectator cheering her on. He is just kind of there, telling her she is doing a great job and that she is amazing and has it all under control.

I honestly can’t even imagine if that was how my husband was. It seems that I am lucky though and need to count my blessings because this is actually a thing that people deal with. I find it hard to believe because I am fortunate to have a husband who shares equally in our children’s lives.

If you are a spectator parent, I say, step up! Get involved!

Here are a few things that my husband does

  1. He changes diapers
  2. My husband gets up in the middle of the night to bring me the baby so she can be nursed.
  3. He puts her to bed when she is full and ready for sleep.
  4. My husband goes to the doctors’ appointments with me.
  5. He goes to parent teacher conferences with our older children.
  6. My husband comforts all our children when they need love and attention.
  7. He cooks healthy and nutritious meals.
  8. My husband cleans up the house when all the toys are out.
  9. He makes sure homework is completed.
  10. My husband sits at the dinner table and asks honest questions.
  11. He plays games with them.
  12. My husband teaches them responsibility.
  13. He genuinely asks me what I need on a day to day to make sure as a mom I feel supported and loved.

I have to wonder why all parents don’t engage in the household. I find it so important to be a team and to work together. Being there for each other is number one in our house. Supporting each other and making sure we all have our needs met is a main focus for us.

Do you have a spectator parent in your house? What is that like? I would love to know more about how this is managed and how life moves forward without being a team.

You may also enjoy our post Teamwork Works!

Bright Horizons is a good resource with their post What Is My Parenting Style?