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Just your life? - are they naturally nurturing?

TANNER'S MOM wrote: I have been thinking, are the men we married, our fathers and grandfathers narturing? I know the answers for me, but I think mine might a bit different from what the others have experienced. I wanted to get some answers before I explained my side of things.

Do you think men in general can nurture as well as women? Do you think men can parent as well as women?

My husband is a very nurturing father. He always has been. He did diaper duty, middle of the night duty, doctor duty. He had a job where he worked 4 on and 4 off. So to spend time with the kids b/c often his 4/4 was at night, they always stayed with him. He did it all, sick room, play room, school field trips, runs to the store for femine products. It has never bothered him. Now a really runny diaper wasn't his favorite, and he always threatned to use the water hose but never did. And even when he didn't HAVE to take the kids, when I was home he often asked them, do you want to go to the store with me, do you want to go outside with me, I think he really enjoys being a father. I know sometimes the laundry didn't get done, and the house didn't get clean because they were playing. But in a way I think that's neat because unlike me he didn't feel the pressure to get everything done and have everything be perfect when he spent time with the kids. He was always in the "moment" not did I just hear the dryer go off. I know the kids loved to crawl in bed with him and snuggle before school and Tanner still does. He crawls in bed with Daddy before school every morning and Dh puts his arms around him snuggles close. He doesn't snuggle me much b/c I snore too loud.

My3LilMonkeys replied: I wouldn't necessarily call my husband a 'natural' nurturer. He has always been good with older kids, but the baby stuff took a little getting used to for him. I remember when Brooke was born he didn't change her clothes for at least a month because he was afraid of hurting her. However, he definitely grew into it easily and he is wonderful with the kids. wub.gif He does meals, diapers, clothes, playtime, bathtime, everything I do.

Edited to answer your other questions:

In general, I think the answer to both is yes. Some women are natural nurturers and great parents, other women have to work a little harder at it, and still other women don't ever want to have children. I think the same is true for men - it all depends on the personality involved moreso than the gender.

luvmykids replied: I know some of both.

DH definitely has a tender side. We went through some times where I didn't feel like he did but it turns out he just didn't know how I needed it expressed. He is getting more and more hands on through the babies he was a little scared (and I'll admit it, bored lol) but every year I swear he cherishes all of us more. He's the best snuggler in the world and they fight over him wub.gif He has a knack that I don't when one of the kids is upset to get to the bottom of it in a very tender way, and makes them and even me sometimes feel like everything is going to be ok even in the midst of whatever situation feels like it's a downhill from here. Sometimes only daddy can fix it, kwim?

My dad (actually my stepdad but whatever, the man who raised me) is incredibly nurturing...he's one of those guys with a really sweet and sensitive side who is still very manly, kwim? He doesn't let my mom take out the trash or fill up her car, makes grocery runs for her, brings her a cup of coffee in the morning. He even dusts ceiling fans rolling_smile.gif , anything to make her feel good, big or small.

And my dad as a grandpa, whew forget it, he's ridiculous over those kids and can go from pulling gumdrops out of their ears to making up songs in a flash. I think he should be embarrassed of himself sometimes but he's not, all that matters to him is for them to know that they are the apple of grandpas eye.

I think most men have it in them, they just don't think like we do so it doesn't come out the way we wish it would.

eta: I don't think it's "natural" for DH, I think he had to work very hard at showing that side of himself. But I think it has become more natural to him, because he's getting better and better at it wub.gif

stella6979 replied: Jeff is exactly the way you described your Husband. I know for a fact that he's changed more diapers than I have, and he just loves playing and snuggling with her any chance he gets. Every other day when he gets home from work, he walks her up to the park (just the two of them) so I can sit and relax or do whatever. Heck, he even cried when he had to go back to work after having 3 weeks off when she was born. wub.gif
As for the other men in my I didn't see my Grandpa often and my Dad and I have never been close.

stella6979 replied:
Wow, this is exactly how I'd describe Jeff, and his Dad his the same way. wub.gif

TANNER'S MOM replied: Well I often think about this question, in a different realm then most. I was raised by a man only. My father raised me and my grandma helped, but we never lived with her. She was my babysitter though until school started. My father raised me from the time I was 6 months old until I was married. I never knew my mother until I grew up. I had no memories of her as a child. I had no bond with her. Only my father. He did everything. I remember him being NOT perfect, I know he had a drinking problem as I got older. But I know he did all the care taking of me. Cloth diapers, bottles, sick bay, I know we spent so much time together doing so many things. When I think about this it makes me cry. I know alot of people think Mommies are the most important but what about when Daddy is Mommie. When I had Brittany I was scared I didn't know how to be a Momma. I sat for many hours crying because I thought I would be like my Mom and just not know how to do it. But then I realized that that nature and narturing were the same for me. I just got it from my Daddy. And I am a good Mom, not a perfect Mom, but I am not a perfect person either. We all just try. I think when we become failures at parenting is when we stop trying.

I never knew my grandfather, so my husband and father are both very nurturing men. My father is out of this world naturing to my children. He has had to pick the kids up at school on pukey days, and never batted an eye. I have seen him sit with a bucket in one hand and a wet cloth in the other wiping on my children's brow. I have seen them get hurt or mad at me and say I am going to Grandpa's. He is an awesome Dad and Grandpa. He isn't perfect, but he is very loving. And he says I love you alot. To everyone, to me still every time we talk, and to the kids alot.

The only part I can see that the men in my life are lacking is in the hair area! With Randy it's b/c he doesn't have any and with my Dad it's because he just never got it. My hair was not the best to say the least. My clothes were all clean, stainfree and pressed before school, but not always the best fashion though. Oh, and the puberty thing was a bit different . We talked, but I could tell it was hard for him. He did his best and then took me to Grandma's for a talk. He always made sure I had information, even if it was uncomfortable subjects. Randy is pretty open with his girls about it. He doesn't mind the trips to the store but the less said about the actual act the better.

Dh's father is not so much. He is very stoic with his emotions.

MoonMama replied: The men in my life....Um as far my dad I wouldn't say he was a big time nurturer....I mean he was a good dad and was there for us ALWAYS, and always worried about us. But I wouldn't say he was totally nurturing if that even makes sense?

Now one of my older brothers is a total sweetheart and is a HUGE natural nurturer. He and his wife don't have any kids of their own yet, but Braedin adores him and will always go running right to him. He does really well with him, I love watching them interact because my brother is so sweet, kind, gentle, patient, and soft spoken with Braedin.

My little brother Brandon there again I would say is also a natural nurturer but I also think he is still growing and learning KWIM? He does great with Braedin too (I'm the only one of my siblings that has kids yet BTW). He's sweet, kind and good with him when he's around him. And always light up when he see's Brae, but he is still just 19. I think he will do a lot better the older Braedin gets, Brandon still gets a little nervous with Braedin sometimes, I think he still see's him as the tiny fragile baby he might break. laugh.gif And is scared to even drive him anywhere in his car.

Ok now DH is by far the biggest "natural" nurturer I know. I is SOOOOOO in tune with Braedin and myself....what we are needing and feeling. He pays a lot of attention to what's going on around him and what people like and dislike, what hurts them, bothers them, etc. And goes out of his way to never ever put someone down or make them feel bad about things. He is very attentive, kind, gentle, patient (which lets face it with me you'd have to be emlaugh.gif), is a big time snuggler , and will go out of his way to make me smile or do something sweet for me. And his whole world revolves around Braedin, he loves him and worries about him (and me) like crazy. I know that you can ask him anything at all about Braedin or I and he is able to hit it on the nose. He is also very sensitive yet is very much "the man". emlaugh.gif

Calimama replied: My father is not nurturing at all.

My DH is probably more nurturing than I am. He's so thoughtful and kind that I find myself striving to be more like him. I try really hard to treat him as amazing as he treats me.. I'm working on it. rolling_smile.gif

luvbug00 replied: my dad was born to be a father. He is the most patient carring and selfless person i have ever been arround. my brother and i tease him ( family joke not littlerly) that he is "the only person who won't get a question at the pearly gates of heaven and just walk threw." My father wanted to be a dad more then my mom wanted to be a mom. He has raised us in such a carring fashion and continues to be so to this day and i can still cry on his shoulder at the ripe age of 26 and he will still give me a warm hug. wub.gif

msoulz replied:

ITA on that.

Our Lil' Family replied:
Like you've mentioned I think sometimes men can nurture BETTER than women. Tim is a fantastic nurturer...of course he doesn't have much choice being in the medical profession. He's been told MANY MANY times that he has awesome bedside manor but I believe he'd be that way regardless. The first 2 weeks of Thomas' life I know for a fact he changed more diapers than I did, and I was not restricted in any way, he just did it. He's an AWESOME father! With me he's a little less sympathetic but still very kind....guess that's how it goes.

My father was/is more of a 'suck it up' kind of guy, even with me...that's because that is how my grandfather was! Now with Thomas he's a little better, maybe because he's getting older and softer!

lovemy2 replied: Can men nurture as well as women? YES - but I think in most cases they do it differently KWIM?

My Dad was very nurturing - he was always there for us even though he spent a large part of his adult life in his own private hell - he was an alcoholic that eventually died because of it at a very early age - 60 - I was 29 - his Mother was a creep but his father was wonderful, tender, sweet and very intelligent - my father did all that my mother did - plus the "manly" duties - the lawn, home repairs, etc. etc.

My DH is very nurturing - mine like yours Mel works 4 and 2 - he has the kids all to himself on his two days off and he does wonderfully with them - my house may be a mess, the kids may have on backwards clothes but everyone has had a wonderful day including him.....he was always a bit afraid of them when they were newborns - but they were horrible little newborns - both of them - with horrible little tummies, etc. and often got frustrated cause he couldn't "fix" it for them when they were screaming in pain and miserable - he is a fixer when he can't fix he can't always deal well. He loves like noone I know though - but at times has a very hard time expressing it with me.... sleep.gif

Maddie&EthansMom replied: I think men have a very special and important role in the lives of their children. I believe parenting is a partnership and daddies give something that mothers can't and vice versa. My parents had that balance. Scotty and I have that balance as well. It sure does make life easier.

My daddy let my mother do most of the work when it came to us kids. However, he is way more affectionate and understanding than my mother was. In my teenage years when she and I would go neck and neck, he was the patient one and could reason with me. He's an awesome dad and an even better Pa-Paw. wub.gif

Scotty wasn't in to the baby stage. He is by far the kids' favorite parent now, though. tongue.gif Figures. He is very nurturing and affectionate. He would drop anything for his kids. He's come along way in being a great husband that way, too. wub.gif I'm very lucky.

Boys r us replied: Oh yes!! I grew up with an affectionate father, in an affectionate family in general. I wouldn't have anything but the same for my family. I think it's so true how they say we look for the same in our husbands and we had in our fathers..Rick reminds me a lot of my dad. He is a good man and an even better dad! My dad comes over to my house everyday to see my kids and he's head over heels for Alliebelle...everytime she says something sweet or does something sweet, I can see his eyes get a little misty..he's so in love with her, just totally eat up with her and she is the same for him!! Rick is the same way...very in touch with his feelings and he is an incredible dad. The only thing he hasn't done that I have for our kids is breastfeed obvious reasons! But otherwise, we are very much equal in our parenting, the way it should be! I can't imagine just having a sperm donor in my husband and then that be all that I needed him for where our kids were concerned.....I expect and want him to be hands on just like I am..and fortunately, he wants and expects the same!

mommy~to~a~bunch replied: No, my dad wasn't affectionate or nurturing. DH, well, he's loving, but not really nuturing. DH is scared to death of newborns, which is why I'm the primary caretaker for the first year or so, and I secretly LOVE it! I wouldn't want him so involved in the beginning anyway.

Now that the kids are bigger, he does a LOT more with them.

mummy2girls replied: Well Marcus is very nuturing and sensitive. sometimes i think he is more of a girl then me. he will help with tons of stuff with jenna. He even will pick up femine products for me on his way home from work. As for diaper changes and such.... well we will see in a yr from now:) Marcus even helped with jenna after her surgery and would help clean up vomit and such. and lately when she was sick with strep and such he was very sweet and helped big time. even woke up in teh night to comfort her so i could sleep. We would alternate nights and he was more than willing to do it:)My dad was very nuturing as well growing up. I was very close to him growing upa nd still am topday and i am what you call a massive daddies girl! He even changed diapers and cleaned up the puke incidents because my mom could not stomach them:)

jcc64 replied: What an interesting post, I've enjoyed reading alot of your stories. Mel, yours' in particular was very poignant and touching. I know alot of dads who surpassed the moms in their children's lives- I don't think we have the corner on superior parenting. Your dad sounded like an incredible man. I also laughed out loud when you recounted your dad's deficiency in the hair dept. Everyone knows when I'm out of town b/c Corey's hair and clothes, though clean, are always a little funky, even she can do it better than dh now. (and she's 5).
I think some men are natural nurturers, but even those that aren't, may just be expressing it in different, un-feminine ways. My dh is not someone who's very adept at managing feelings or communication nuances with hormonal teenagers, but he's very involved in other ways. There isn't a moment my boys are on a sports field that he isn't out there with them, and they learn alot of character and moral development in unspoken ways with him. My own dad was more of a "feelings" guy- very warm and sweet and giving, but he also happened to be an alcoholic/drug abuser with alot of his own mental health issues that rendered him unavailable to me many times. Despite that, I treasure my memories of him, and I am certain that my compassion for the suffering of others and ability to forgive came directly from him.
Thanks for bringing this up.

jem0622 replied: No, I don't feel that my husband is the nuturing type. There are some sweet moments, but if they get hurt...his response is not the same. He is not one to just hug and kiss because he feels like it. I think that they are capable of minimal nuturing. But in order to raise really loving children, and for them to truly feel loved...they need more than the opposite gender tends to give. I work with a man who raised his son by himself, and he even said that he feels his son needs a mother figure.

ETA: Some of what has been said in pp I would equate to parenting, or being a partner...but not necessarily nuturing. I think we all measure it differently.

holley79 replied: Had you asked this before having Annika I would have probably said no. Since the day Annika was born I have seen a much softer side to Shawn. The drive home from the hospital was the longest drive of my life. Mainly because DH was driving so slow. LOL He didn't have feeding duty but he did take care of diapers and what not, not to mention he took care of me while I took care of our child. While we were on our cruise last year and this year at least once a day he talked about missing his little girl. There is nothing sweeter then coming down the stairs and seeing him and her sitting on the couch together reading or coloring. Every afternoon since she was 9 months old he has picked her up from her day home. Since she was big enough to stand on a chair in the kitchen they have been "cooking" together. Now she's a little older she helps more in the kitchen. She calls it her "daddy time". They have a very special bond together. I can walk out the door with confidence and now she is well taken care of. wub.gif

In general yes, I think they can. I know some women who don't have a maternal bone in their body and have seen men who have more maternal instinct then their wives.

grapfruit replied:
You totally made me cry. bawling.gif love2.gif

DVFlyer replied: I don't remember my dad (or mom for that matter) being extra "nurturing, cuddly etc". Maybe it was because I'm a male....

When we had kids, I made a commitment to be extra cuddly etc with my children. I'm sure it'll change a bit as they get older, but I'd like them to remember that feeling and pass it on to their children.

boyohboyohboy replied: I didnt read thru everyone responses, but my dh and I talk about this all the time. I think of nurturing as the person who kisses the boo boo's and takes care of them when they dont feel good, and all the extra little special dh loves his kids, and they have a close bond, but when they are sick and hurt its mom they turn too. and dh says he is ok with that, he says I am more nurturing...
I think he is very loving, more sensative then most men, and shows emotion, but not the kiss your boo boo kinds, more then stand up brush yourself and get going...kind

My2Beauties replied: I think my DH is very nurturing, all 3 of the girls are daddy's girls and they go to him for everything. He is SUCH a softie when it comes to his girls (me included) and he would do anything for any one of us! wub.gif He definitely changes diapers, gets up in the middle of the night, puts them to bed, brushes hair, goes to every practice/game/competition there is and cheers them on more than any other dad in the crowd wub.gif He tries to act tough and look tough on the exterior but he's such a softie inside wub.gif

My2Beauties replied: Oh I wanted to add, as far as my dad goes he is probably the most nurturing man on this planet. He showered me with love and affection as a child, he was ALWAYS there for me as a child, teenager, and an adult. I still to this day have to call him every night to tell him good night and that I love him or he worries to death about me. He calls me whenever he hears there will be bad weather up here (he lives in AL) wub.gif I think that is so sweet! He talked to me about everything, he was very open and honest with me and I always go to him for advice for EVERYTHING. I am such a daddy's girl wub.gif

Boo&BugsMom replied: I think some people have different definitions of what nurturing is. If one of the kid's falls and isn't really hurt, we say "You're ok" sometimes instead of always running to the rescue. I don't consider that unnurturing. Nurturing to me is more than just getting hugs and kisses. It's also about bonding, sharing a special moment, and being there when you are needed most. I love seeing Troy get down on the floor and just goof around with the boys. They giggle and screech with excitement while they wrestle. That, to them, is bonding which is nurturing to their self-esteem and relationship with their father. smile.gif

Troy was actually the first one to change Tanner's diaper in the hospital. happy.gif He has no quips about helping. He is a stay at home daddy at night while at work so he gets a lot of hands on experience. He never complains. Well, sometimes they have an "off" night, and then he vents, but that is to be expected. laugh.gif We have those days...but he never once complains about having to do it all by himself when I am at work. As far as being nurturing in a huggie kissie way, I think he does a great job with it. He is always showing affection towards the boys, and myself. wub.gif I think he is more affectionate and nurturing than most men. Some of my favorite pictures are of Tanner sleeping on Troy when he was a baby. happy.gif The first thing he does when he gets home from work is greet his family with open arms and affection. I can't imagine my husband not being an equally big part of my children's lives as I am. It's a team effort so it should be equal, IMO. I wouldn't want it any other way. We both show our children the most love and nurturing as much as we can.

My dad was pretty affectionate growing up, and still is. I'm a daddy's girl through and through. laugh.gif My parents had the same set-up as Troy and I mom worked at night as well while my dad took care of us. He did everything at night while she was at work. I still get my kisses and hugs from my father often. He is always nurturing in not just a hug and kisses way, but also in an emotional way. Did I mention I am a daddy's girl? laugh.gif

gr33n3y3z replied: My Dad was a GREAT father
And Ed could have raised our kids just as well as I did He is a great father and very loving and carring and mostly very understanding.

redchief replied: Most of the comments have gone to the nurturing part of Mel's question (and what a great question too, BTW). I've met a few nurturing dads. I've also met a few that their wives call nurturing, but I call whipped. I do believe that dads have the capability of being nurturing and caring, but it's certainly not apples to apples comparisons when set up against women. Women are genetically wired to nurture... this is truth. Men are genetically wired to provide... also proven fact. That's not to say that we can't cross the mothering lines... it's just not natural, so we have to work at it.

Now as for parenting, I think that fathers have the better genetic tools. In general, women react emotionally to things and men react logically (or illogically depending on the male subject, but that's a different story altogether). In most households men are also not around the children as much or often and that helps moms make the "wait until your father gets home" threat work. The true measure of the man (as a parent and mate) is how he handles these situations, especially as the children get older and seek out more freedom. For instance, I had a no nonsense approach to "... your father gets home." If something happened so bad that Lisa had to lay that one on them, then punishment was swift and severe (believe me, it didn't happen often). Repeated infractions of the same sort were unheard of, because of the consequences. One of the worst things that I've seen happen to parenting in the two-parent unit is the over-motherization of the dad.

As I look at this in more detail, it becomes apparent that to most men, it is easier to be consistent. Many a mom has this problem where they'll look at and try to see the kid's point of view when they've done something wrong. I think dads as a rule are better at, "too bad - you know you can't do that and your reason for doing it is irrelevant."

Now before anyone gets upset, these are general observations over time. All people are different and handle things differently.

TANNER'S MOM replied: I agree with some of it Ed. Randy doesn't have the trouble have in making the kids mind, or in back talking. And it doesn't take more than a lowered voice or a look to know he means business.

LeaAnn, my father calls me everytime there is a storm or tornado, we have had alot of tornado's lately and he stays on the phone with me until he knows it has passed over. The other night it was 4 in the morning, and me and the kids were in the closet with the dog, and I was on the phone with my Dad. lol They are alike huh!

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