Daddy is important to a toddler…
I really thought about that this morning.
In the age of Coronavirus, stuck at home, daddy has been around a lot more than usual.
He’s Mommy’s Teammate
First I want to say that any of you single moms out there are rockstars. This comes from my personal observations about my husband being daddy in my toddler’s life.
This morning, I went for a light workout in our home garage gym. My husband was just finishing his up. The baby monitor lit up and we saw our toddler standing up in her crib. She was ready to get up for the day.
My husband looked at me and told me to finish my workout. He went to get her out of bed and start her day. When I came inside, I had a dressed toddler run to greet me after finishing up a bowl of dinosaur oatmeal. She was glowing, taken care of by her daddy.
It’s the little things that my husband does for me that make an impact. Getting our daughter ready for the day, giving her some oatmeal, watching her while my pregnant self takes a nap. The little ways he helps makes a huge impact on our little girl. She sees how her daddy supports me and there’s a noticeable joy in her when her daddy cares for her. Although he was starting his own day, he took the time to get her up and ready so I could finish my workout.
Our daughter notices when we work together as a team. When we cook together in the kitchen, she chatters and plays with her toys. When we stop for a few minutes to dance to a new song, she giggles and dances with us. When we have cross words with each other she lets us know it makes her uncomfortable. Thankfully they are overshadowed by affectionate words. Our toddler seeing kindness and affection towards each other impacts her mood immediately. And I know it will impact her as she grows bigger.
The Strong One
It doesn’t have to be any big example. Lets use picking up toys. When I tell my daughter to pick up her toys, she will eventually. It might take her a few minutes to think about it before she does. But when her daddy tells her to pick up her toys, she gets up, walks over to her toybox, and puts her toys away.
He doesn’t say it in an unkind way. He is gentle and just tells her matter-of-factly that she needs to pick up her toys.
I don’t know if it’s because she’s used to hearing my voice all day. Maybe it’s the way I say it making it seem like I don’t expect it as much. I really don’t know what it is.
I do know that when her daddy tells her to do something, it is different than when her mommy tells her to do something. I think it comes from God. He places men as the leaders of a household and that comes through in simple things like speaking to the children and taking care of the family. Daddy has a role to care and to lead, and he’s the strong one that takes care of our family.
In our household, mommy is definitely the more emotional one. Maybe it’s due to my pregnancy hormones… but honestly I think it’s pretty much all the time.
I’m just more emotional than my husband.
My daughter definitely picks up on that. When her daddy works long hours and is gone from home a lot, things just aren’t as settled. There’s something about daddy that gives the home peace and foundation. He doesn’t burst into tears or chatter when he’s anxious.
Not only that, when I’m emotional my husband helps me through it. He is a firm rock that helps me through difficult times. Our daughter sees the support my husband gives me and how much I lean on him. Her contentment in her daddy giving us peace is apparent each day.
A Fresh Perspective
Daddy offers a fresh perspective and different set of ideas. Our toddler was having a bay day the other day. When her daddy got home, she was unhappy and fussy.
I told him what we’d done for the day and how I’d tried to help fix the fussiness. She didn’t want her sippy cup of milk. I offered her some blueberries, an applesauce packet, a granola bar.
Reading with her didn’t work, no matter the book. It didn’t matter what toy I chose to try and play with her, she wasn’t interested. I explained as much to my husband when he walked in to a fussy toddler.
“Did you try taking her outside? Maybe she’s bored…”
He was a genuis.
I have NO idea why that didn’t even cross my mind. It was so simple and yet, I hadn’t even thought of it. I quickly grabbed her shoes and we went outside to play. My fussy, unhappy toddler transformed. She absolutely loved getting outside and having a change of scenery. I can thank her daddy for the suggestion.
Little things like that through the day make the biggest difference. Having a fresh perspective, a new set of eyes. I know my daughter loves me. I also know that she probably gets tired of spending all day with me… doing the things that we do! Her daddy helps liven things up.
He chooses different things to do with her than I do. She loves spending time with him and enjoys having a different person around to learn from. Having a fresh perspective from another person is important in her life- helping her overcome fussiness and learning things different than what just mommy can teach.
Gives Her Indepencence
As a mom, I worry. My daughter fell off a small step the other day and skinned her nose. It was so sad when she cried and got hurt. All better now, I see the tiny scab and worry about her on steps of any kind.
I know she has to learn how to go up and down stairs. I can’t pick her up or hold her hand every single time. But that’s exactly what I want to do. I find myself worrying about that and other little things throughout the day. Her daddy treats her different.
He felt bad that she got hurt, but he also sees the importance of lessons being learned. I’m glad I have his perspective. So he encourages her to keep trying. He tells her she can go up and down the front steps by herself. He watches her responsibly but gives her freedom.
While my mommy heart wants to wrap her up and protect her, his daddy heart sees the importance of independence. He says the lessons she learns even now will affect her for the rest of her life. Learning how to do things on her own and become independent will help her when she’s an adult. She will be more confident and decisive. She will have courage to try new things.
My toddler is so lucky to have her daddy in her life to teach her these things.
Summary: Why Daddy Is Important To A Toddler
In summary, daddy is important to a toddler for many reasons. Not the least of which is the way he compliments what a mommy does in a toddlers life. I’m blessed to see the different ways my husband impacts our daughter. It’s a different way than I do, and together it’s the perfect combination.
A daddy is so important for a toddler’s growth and imagination. He keeps a toddler grounded, cares for the family and sets a good example. A daddy offers stability and consistency in his toddler’s life. I’m so grateful for my husband. My toddler’s daddy has given us many blessings and I’m excited to see who my daughter grows up to be with his help.
Kealy is a Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Counselor, and most importantly a mommy! Her own breastfeeding struggles gave her a passion to help moms throughout their breastfeeding journey. She offers one-on-one lactation consultations, breastfeeding classes, and shares her knowledge to equip and empower moms. If you’re interested in talking with her or taking one of her breastfeeding classes, visit www.littlebearcare.com.
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