My daughter gets to be her funny, silly, and goofy self with her dad while I am more of the nurturer and spoil her with to many hugs and kisses. But I love to see how my husband interacts with my daughter. I can hear them from the other room laughing and playing. I’m glad that my daughter gets the best out of both of us. I always tell my husband, she will love books and writing from me and she will love math and science from her dad. Right now it’s a tie because she loved books but is intrigued by the mechanics of how things work.
My mom always tells me that my husband is a great dad. And I agree! My husband is a hands on and engaged dad ever since I got pregnant, through the birthing process, the early months of adjusting to parenthood, and now as a father of a toddler.
What does the new millennial dad look like? I recently came across an article about the new millennial dad. It was an interesting read and it discussed how the new millennial dads are redefining parenthood in their own way. This new generation of dads are more engaged in the whole parenting process, wanting to become that perfect dad while still living their life. Even in the Latino culture, we are seeing a shift in mindset of dads who are more hands on and take on more baby care duties. Something that our father’s and previous generations did not do.
In many ways, my husband is this new millennial dad. He has made an effort to be part of the parenting process and views this as one of his biggest responsibilities in life. As a Latino dad, men are associated with the stereotypes of machismo and lack of parental qualities. However, this could not be farther from the truth with my husband. He makes an effort to be present, take care of our daughter, tend to her basic necessities, bonding with her, and creating lasting memories. Life is life so we still need to make that extra effort to juggle parenthood along with the multiple jobs we have to do. Here are some tips that have helped us be present and engaged in our parenting and make the time to bond with our daughter.
1. Family Date Nights. We always try to make an effort to have our outings as a family, just the three of us. With our busy schedules, it’s hard to have these family date nights often but when we have the opportunity to go out, we take advantage of it. These date nights allow us to bond and reconnect. We usually go out to eat, shopping, explore a new place or the movies. Any excuse to go out is a plus! We recently went out on a family date night to our visit our local community garden. It was great for Isabelle to learn about plants and nature. After that, we visited a new restaurant, Portos, that had recently opened in our area. Then, we set off to the movies to finally watch Wonder Women (which we absolutely loved and got to see the entire movie since my daughter decided to nap). We worked around her schedule and went out in the evening which worked out great.
2. Bonding Time. It is important for me that my daughter gets to bond with both of us. Currently, she is attached to me so if I am around she only wants to be with me. My husband works odd hours so when he comes home he has that alone time with my daughter to play and bond. I love seeing them interact. They are silly together and he always gets her to laugh the most.
3. Sharing Tasks. My husband is great about sharing the chores around the house. He will occasionally cook food for our daughter and do her laundry. He makes sure to go to the store if our daughter needs diapers or anything else. I love seeing how he cares and worries about the well being of our daughter.
4. Family Trips. In a Latino household, family is always around. This has been great in helping us bond as a family. My daughter gets to also bond with her grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. It’s cool to see my husband in the fathers club and brag about her daughter.
5. Fun activities. I always try to plan new activities for my family so that my daughter is exposed to different experiences and surroundings. We’ll go to children’s museums, indoor play gyms, or simply the park. I always want to be that parent that takes her children to the park and I am so glad that my husband and I have prioritized this.
There are so many ways to be an engaged parent, have fun, and make it your own journey. What are some of your favorite ways that you are creating your own parenting journey?