According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a micromanager is a person who tries to control every part of a situation, including small details. Remember the movie 'Helicopter Eela? Kajol played the quintessential overprotective, meddling parent to perfection, wanting complete control of her childs life. In the film, the protagonist is a single mother who makes these choices independently. However, many helicopter mothers co-parent with a spouse or a partner, so the sole onus of managing their child doesnt rest with them. Although mothers are usually the primary decision-makers, a larger number of fathers are increasingly becoming involved in the parenting process. While were pleased that equal parenting is finally gaining momentum, most mothers actually feel the need to control their partners parenting as well.There are some situations that are always familiar, says psychologist Manjula MK. When mothers leave fathers in charge of the kids, theyre constantly making lists and manuals for them to follow as if to imply that fathers have zero skills or knowledge to look after their own children without guidance. Mothers believe their way is the right way or even the only way to parent properly and try telling the fathers that as well. This is called maternal gatekeeping. This kind of behaviour whether deliberate on unconscious -- piles on additional work for mothers, instead of easing their burden. It also makes the sense of ownership difficult for fathers, who often feel like hired help or outsiders. Whether it is changing a diaper or helping them with homework, fathers often feel like theyre doing it with someone hovering over their shoulder and critiquing their technique.Lack of trust in their abilities as parents can often be viewed as lack of trust in totality. Sometimes, this leads to withdrawal and feelings of resentment. Men and women are wired differently, and this has to do with traditional gender attitudes, especially in the case of parenting. Instead of feeling discontented about these differences, embrace them and view it as an opportunity to let go.Maternal gatekeeping is a term coined in 1999 by psychologists Allen and Hawkins, as the aspect of inter-parental relationship focussed on parenting children and a collection of beliefs and behaviours that ultimately inhabit a collaborative effort between men and women in family work. In other words, the mothers are the gatekeepers of parenting and, accordingly, they encourage or discourage the fathers involvement in parenting their children. Maternal gate closing involves discouraging behaviour, such as redoing the tasks already done by the father, criticising his parenting, and so on. In contrast, maternal gate opening involves asking and accounting for the fathers opinion and involving them in key parenting roles.Manasvi Jayakumar, a 45-year-old home baker from Coimbatore, says that combined parenting can take a toll on a couples marriage, especially if they have different parenting philosophies, and both are strong-willed and stubborn. Women often want perfection in the way they parent, and in the way their child is brought up. Although this is not a generalisation, fathers tend to be more easygoing. We have two children, who are 16 and 13, respectively. When they were younger, a lot of the discussion focussed on the kind of father I expected my husband to be, as opposed to accepting the kind of parent he was. As a result, there was always dissatisfaction and we fought often, even speaking of divorce and separation, despite being happy in our marriage outside of this aspect. By doing this, I realise I wasnt just pushing him away from myself, but also from his children, as he couldnt really be the father he wanted to be. As long as the children were safe, physically and emotionally, in hindsight, I feel I should have let go. As mothers, we want to tick certain boxes, and have the perfect family and kids, but that shouldnt outweigh our relationships with our partners, or their relationships with their kids.A few years ago, a survey was conducted by Mumbai-based Early Childhood Association (ECA). Findings revealed that 75 per cent of mothers surveyed had a helicopter parenting style. They used the words no and be careful much more than fathers. In contrast, fathers were more relaxed, with over 68 per cent being open to kids learning from their mistakes.The saying mother knows best is perhaps laced with some truth. Nutritious meals, after-school activities, schedules and carpools are all the domain of well-organised mothers. The world may judge us for trying to be perfectionists but we are also under constant scrutiny, says Manasvi. We are guilty of micromanaging our partners, but the rest of the world places us under a microscope. Did we breastfeed enough? Are we giving our kids too much screen time? Are we to blame for that temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store? Somehow, dads never seem to get any judgement for any of this. So, when we micromanage our husbands parenting, it is also about trying to ensure that all the discipline and order weve worked so hard to inculcate does not come undone in a few hours or days.It isnt easy to stop being a maternal gatekeeper, but a few simple steps can make the process easier. Start outsourcing one activity entirely to your partner whether it is a sports class, a weekly playdate or a carpool, and dont ask for details. If your child is happy and safe, you dont need to know anything else. Dont redo what your partner has done in front of the child brushing teeth or combing hair, for instance. Let it go for the moment and discuss it rationally with your partner if something really is amiss. In fact, dont belittle anything your partner does when your child is present. Let them prepare a few lists and to-do things for you instead. Give them access to your childs doctor, and also the school chat or WhatsApp group. Let go of the need for control, and youll find that good is almost always good enough.