My husband & I were raised the same way. You did what you were told, & when you didn’t, you were spanked. Our parents both raised pretty respectful children. Landon & I were good kids. We both never got into much trouble. One reason I walked a straight line is because I was scared of my parents. I can’t speak for Landon, but I know his parents pretty well & I know that they did a great job of raising him. My parents, however, took spanking to the extreme, so I knew many moons ago that spanking would not be on my child rearing agenda. My husband, on the other hand, just wanted to do what he knew.
Having a child brings out the “mama bear” in you & I think we can all agree on that. You want to nature & protect your young. The second you hold that baby, you feel a rush of love mixed with extreme protectiveness. Nurses, friends, family can’t tell you how do mother. But what if it’s your own husband who tries to change your mind?
Babywearing & co-sleeping were foreign to my husband. Why would we do that if we spent money on a crib & stroller? I was doing what felt natural & it took a while for me to see that he was just doing what he knew.
My husband has an admirable amount of patience. He is a great father with a huge heart. He is, in essence, the perfect father. We aren’t always on the same page, however, when it comes to discipline. I expect only what I know my children are able to deliver. My husband expects more. This has been a source of many talks & disagreements between us. Even now we have our own ways of handling situations.
When I handed him a copy of The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby by William & Martha Sears, it was an invitation to him to learn more about how I want to parent. After reading the pages & excerpts I had marked for him, he understood more about attachment parenting & that there were actual reasons for what I had been preaching. To this day, though, we still battle it out over expectations & discipline.
We both work outside of the home. We are both under an extreme amount of stress. The last thing we want to deal with when we come home from a 10 hour work day are two screaming, filthy kids who don’t want to eat the three things we prepared for them. Sometimes I am more irritated at his actions then I am at my children. Slowly he is coming around. When I introduced 1-2-3 Magic to him as a form of discipline for Jax, he shook his head & said “That will never work”. By working as a team, he saw that it does indeed work. It works if you are both on the same page. Otherwise you have two parents going in two different directions.
Parenting has been a HUGE learning experience for both of us. We have learned to work as a team. We are a great team together. I have to remind myself quite often that we are a team & we are both working towards the same goal. By teaching our children together, we are also teaching ourselves & each other. Parenting together is a battle in progress. It takes an immeasurable amount of communication between Mom & Dad. We spend a lot of time talking about how we are feeling & the best way to handle certain situations.
All in all, my husband has come around to my ways of parenting. We still disagree on certain things, but hey…we are two different people with two different ideas. What matters is that he is open to my ways of doing things. He hears me out & he understands what I am trying to accomplish. By nurturing our children, we are nurturing each other & our relationship. Parenting has brought us closer than ever. We have respect & open ears for each other & it’s made all the difference.