7 Ways to Get Dad Involved With the Baby

2. Be Aware of Gate-Keeping
Because new parents are so in love, protective, vulnerable and conscientious, it can be difficult to really let someone else take care of "your" baby. As exhausted as we are and as much as we say we want help, when it comes down to it, we may actually interfere with our getting help. We do this by giving too many instructions, by directing our partners, rather than by inviting them, by being critical, or by insisting on being the only expert. These responses can interrupt a well-meaning partner's attempts to care for baby. Remember that he is going to learn best from his own trials and errors.

3. Be Aware of the Junior Parent/Senior Parent Syndrome
Many of us come to parenthood believing that women are naturally superior parents. We may organize our lives, our work schedules and our decision-making around that assumption. We consciously and unconsciously act in ways that tell men that they should defer to women and that tell women they need to be in charge. In some families, this is consistent with what both parents really want and it works fine. In other families, parents truly want to build a different system, but because of their subconscious beliefs they set up a system of senior and junior parent. In the junior/senior system, mom always has to pack the diaper bag and dad is called a babysitter. Even in families where one parent spends more time with baby than the other parent, its important to change this dynamic so you can work toward equal parenting.

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