When my husband and I were dating, I just knew he was going to be a good dad. At the beginning of our relationship, I saw glimpses of the kind of father he was going to be. We would always talk about having a family and I would joke that he would be the “fun” parent. I pictured him secretly giving our kids a cookie after I said no or being the one the kids ran to when I fussed at them. Somehow, I just knew I would be the strict one and I’d have to keep everyone in line. That’s what moms do anyway right?
What I didn’t realize was that parenting is a group effort. It’s about teamwork. Naturally, as a mom, I felt that when I had an infant I did most of the work. Exclusively breastfeeding my little ones for the first 4 weeks meant I was up the majority of the night. Wait, who am I kidding… I was pretty much up from sundown to sun up most nights. I would get upset that being a mom meant that most of the work fell on me.
But as the kids got older I felt a shift of the parenting responsibilities. Now, that the kids are older they love to play with dad. They play games together. They get on the ground and wrestle too. He’ll take them to the park, goes for a walk, or he takes them to the store.
I feel like my strengths and qualities were what got us through the infant stages. I’m able to function without much sleep, my patience has gone from 20% to about 90% since having four kiddos. It really takes a lot of craziness for me to start feeling overwhelmed. On the other hand, I see now how my husband’s strengths are being used since the kids are older. These qualities that are stronger or completely different than my own. He has a way of really listening to the kids that I lack when they are upset. When they are throwing a tantrum he gets to eye level and tries to solve the issue in a calm manner without additional tears. When I’m on the brink of my own meltdown, he takes charge and handles whatever situation we are in. He loves to joke and laugh with the kids and even helps me remember to slow down and enjoy the time I have with them. Many times when we are discussing something in regards to the kids he shows me a completely different point of view that hasn’t crossed my mind.
Parenthood is one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs. it is constantly changing, and we, as parents, get overwhelmed when we realize every decision we make on a daily basis are shaping these little human being’s lives that we are responsible for. Parenthood is about communication. To always make sure that you and your spouse are always on the same page with everything that is going on. It’s so important that each parent feels that their voice is heard.
What are you and your spouse’s greatest strengths when it comes to parenting?