Daddy’s Little Girls

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we’re writing about how a co-parent has or has not supported us in our dedication to natural parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Sometimes I feel like a movie star (minus the designer clothes, personal chef, and big paycheck). After all, I have an entourage that follows me everywhere – even into the bedroom.

Ah, the family bed. I wish I could say I love every moment of cuddling up next to my peaceful cherubs, but then I’d be lying and might end up in the gossip column. Snuggly babies are one thing, but lanky 5-year-olds and toddlers who think Mom is a mattress and cuddle right on top of her leave me feeling more claustrophobic than lovey-dovey at times.

But I remain committed to my fan club.

My husband, on the other hand, loves his nighttime cuddling with his girls. In some ways, I think it’s a way for him to make up for lost time with his daughters since he works long and unpredictable hours. He’s also sensitive to the fact that I’m a light sleeper and that sometimes after a long day of being emotionally and physically present for our little ones, I need some space.

So my husband often volunteers to sleep with the older girls in order to give Star Mommy some time away from the limelight. We’ll have couple time together while all the girls are asleep, and sometimes he stays in bed with me until I fade away into that blissful thing moms spend more time dreaming about than actually doing called sleep.

In the middle of the night, I’ll stir and find an empty space beside me. Sometimes, after I’ve nursed the baby, I’ll peek into the girls’ room where I’ll find three of the people I love the most piled together like puppies. The girls’ legs and arms are jumbled together like challah bread and there’s my six-foot-plus husband wedged in that heap of all things girl. Whenever I see them like that, the same thoughts run through my head.

First, it’s so nice to have a co-star to occasionally take the spotlight off me.

Second, I know my husband isn’t only snuggling with our girls as a favor for me. The same as I know that when he “watches” the girls for an hour, so I can write or exercise, or pray, he’s not thinking of it as a babysitting gig but rather a chance to soak up some one-on-one time with his girls. He is a real partner in this parenting journey. He works long hours to support us and to allow me to be an at-home mom, but when he comes home, he doesn’t just want to be a father figure; he wants to be a hands-on dad. As soon as he walks in the door, he gives each of us a kiss and then he scoops the girls into his arms, tickles them, and asks about our day. He wants to hear all that he’s missed – the funny things they said, the genius I discovered in their crayon scribbles, the baby’s milestones, and how in the world did that orange-hued stain the shape of a Rorschach inkblot end up on our carpet?

He also recognizes that my being a mom is my primary job. In fact, he’s the one who is constantly reminding me to be less. “All you have to do is be a good mom,” he reminds me when I’m stressed about some other “obligation” I’ve forced on myself. “That’s all that really matters.”

He’s been a hands-on father from the moment I was pregnant – quite literally during labor with my first. I was experiencing deep, burning pain in my back, and he remembered what he’d learned in our Bradley classes and bore his fist down onto me to help relieve my labor pains for hours at end. And he never complained until many days after when we were home ooooing and ahhhhing over our baby girl. (He knew better than to mention that he was tired or sore to a laboring mom!)

When he was changing a diaper of our first newborn, I remember how big and capable his hands looked holding her tiny, bright pink feet in the air with one hand and grasping a wipe with the other. My reverie was interrupted when meconium started bubbling out like lava from a volcano.

“Whoa!” he exclaimed. But he didn’t panic. He took care of the mess and actually seemed proud to have witnessed this milestone. “Look at that,” he said, proudly as if to say, “She works! Our daughter works!”

I knew then that the husband I loved and admired had transformed into a father who would always take care of his girls. Even when life got messy, he’d keep his cool and would be here for us.

Once I was in the waiting room of a doctor’s office when a woman commented on the fact that I had three girls. “Well, I hope your husband at least has a boy dog or something.” I smiled politely, but comments about our surplus of X chromosomes annoy me, especially when people assume we want more babies simply because my husband is pining for a boy.

“I wonder if we’ll have a boy next,” I mused recently.

“I wouldn’t know what to do with a boy,” my husband said.

I’m sure we’d do just fine if God sees it fit to give us a boy someday, but it’s true that we have this whole girl thing down quite well. When I see my husband sleeping in a tangle of pink and purple blankets, blond hair and dolls and stuffed animals, I can’t help but think that he sure knows what to do with his girls: He takes care of them. Nothing less, but a whole lot more.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated Feb. 9 with all the carnival links, and all links should be active by noon EST. Go to Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama for the most recently updated list.)

Enter the Conversation...

20 Responses to “Daddy’s Little Girls”
  1. Melanie B says:

    My husband said the same thing about not knowing what to do with a boy. Of course we figured it out. But it's a funny assumption, as if men can't connect with their daughters.

  2. gamommy2two says:

    This was one of the sweetest things ever written. You are lucky to have such a wonderful husband. I'm glad mine is the same way with our girls…loves them to their little squishy cores.

  3. Colleen says:

    Yay for helpful husbands! We lucked out :)

    As for the family bed…while I admire people who can do it, I would get absolutely no sleep. I awaken to every sound or movement. The only exception is when I'm nursing a baby and fall asleep with him/her in the bed. Something about nursing a baby puts me to sleep no matter what :)

  4. confused homemaker says:

    What a wonderful husband & father! I also love when I see my husband with the kids sleeping together or just being close in general, there is a sweetness to it that crushes me in the most amazing way.

  5. Hobo Mama says:

    I love that you didn't step in to "rescue" him from the meconium lava (love that disgusting image!) — and that he didn't ask.

    I did the same thing, by the way, of exhausting my husband with counterpressure during back labor. He was resourceful and found a wooden massager partway through to give himself a little break!

  6. the grumbles says:

    This is so sweet! Your husband sounds like he adores your girls.

  7. livingpeacefullywithchildren says:

    I love seeing my husband snuggle up with the kids in our monster family bed. Last night, as he was whispering with our 5 year old, I was lieing there smiling about it.

  8. Dionna @Code Name: Mama says:

    It is always so sweet to see a daddy with his little girls :) Such a sweet picture you've painted!

  9. Darcel says:

    What a sweet post! I also think my husband loves co-sleeping so much, because he gets to snuggle with his girls.
    Some people just don't get that the sex of your child really doesn't matter! What they must be missing in their lives.

    How lucky your girls are to have such a loving, attentive father, and you are lucky to have such a husband :)

  10. Jessica says:

    What a beautiful man you have… stuff that legends are made of.

  11. Amber says:

    Seeing our husbands together with our children really is the most awesome thing. My favourite is when my hubby does my 5-year-old daughter's hair. It's just pure, pure sweetness.

  12. ViolinMama says:

    Oh Katie – this was awesome. Seeing Hubby with our girls…amazing. And it is so funny…he loves being a GIRL dad. He doesn't know what else he would do if we had something else. When we learned this baby IS a boy…he was stunned. Of course we are thrilled, but he even said "what will we do?" I now wonder if people will just assume with have a 3rd because we "tried" for a boy, instead of letting God WORK in our lives. Having babies and getting pregnant is not easy for us, so other people's comments can annoy or hurt!

    Thanks for this LOVELY pic into a father's love. The idea must be contagious. I just blogged on this Monday with pics of Hubby and Lovely….I treasure my husband as the father of our family.

    Much love!!!

  13. Kate Wicker @ Momopoly says:

    Colleen, I admire YOU for managing to get all three of your kids to nap at the same time and to bed at 6:30 p.m. You are a superwoman! (I read about your seamless sleep routine over at Melanie's!)

  14. Catholic Mommy Brain says:

    Oh, I just love this. Love it love it love it. I'm making hubby read it if we this baby is a girl. He was so scared of a girl w/the first, but I think he's secretly hoping with this one :)

  15. Paige says:

    This was so beautiful! I teared up when I read "she works. Our daughter works!" I remember that same feeling!

    As the work outside the home parent I agree that the family bed feels like my time to make up some cuddles. I'm sure my hubby would sleep better with her in the crib but he does it for me and I so appreciate it.

    Thank you also for the statement about your husband supporting your family. It is easy for me sometimes to feel like I'm just "leaving" my daughter each day when in fact I am doing somehing for my family too that is equally important.

    Great post thanks!

  16. Andrea says:

    I could have written this post! My husband is the same way with our 4 little girls (no boys!). Aren't you and I blessed?!

    I just found your blog today while looking for ideas for Lent with little ones. I've really enjoyed it.


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  1. […] course, men can be great nurturers (I’ve said before my husband is a natural one). Likewise, women make great workers in fields other than motherhood, too. I actually prefer going […]

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  3. […] Daddy’s Little Girls — Kate Wicker at Momopoly finds her husband right at home in a tangle of girls. (@Momopoly) […]

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