Dads, to help you understand why your wife may have difficulty saying “no” to your toddler, consider this analogy. Suppose your wife is browsing in a “parenting store” and she finds an elixir called Attachment Parenting Tonic that, if used properly, will make parents sensitive, giving, and intuitive toward their baby. So you both take this tonic and become very giving persons. However, there is a warning label on the bottle that says: “When used, some parents, especially mothers, may develop side effects after the first year that include: overgiving leading to burnout, and inability to say “no,” especially in circumstances that the toddler finds particularly pleasurable, such as frequent night nursing.”
Treatment consists of father sharing babycare, especially during high-need times, and becoming a wise no-sayer when mother is in over her head and exhausted. Yet, don’t worry, side effects are more common with the first child, and less common with subsequent children. Besides, these side effects are temporary and easily remedied. The consequences of not using this elixir are much more difficult to deal with, and the effects on the child can last a lifetime.