Raising kids is hard work.
I’ll be the first to admit I struggle. Don’t we all? I’m not ashamed to admit it. Nobody can honestly say that becoming a parent was the easiest thing they’ve ever done.
Whether you have one, two, or five children, every day brings something new. One thing that can lighten the load and help us navigate the unsteady waters of raising our children is support from our parenting partners.
We are a new family of 4. Our newest little addition joined our family right before Christmas. I was told countless times that going from one child to two is a huge adjustment, and I couldn’t agree more. Our daughter is 4 ½, so going back to the newborn stage has been very….interesting. Yes, interesting is the word I’ll use.
My husband is my parenting partner and has been my rock as we’ve made this family transition. We don’t always see eye to eye on things and we can certainly get on each others nerves. He gets frustrated when I ask him the same question more than once and I don’t understand what’s so hard about changing the toilet paper roll.
But I will say that one thing we do right is stand together when it comes to parenting.
We support each other when it comes to raising our children. Have we made mistakes? Yes, a lot of them. But I know that I couldn’t do this parenting thing without him by my side. We have to have support from someone when it comes to being a parent. Whether you receive that support from a husband, a wife, a friend, your mom, a support group; remember to stand together.
Have each other’s backs when it comes to discipline.
- Don’t allow one of you to become “the mean one.”
- Make sure the kids know that you are going to talk to your partner first before giving them an answer.
- Let them know that you communicate with each other.
- If they get a “no” from one of you, then can’t think think they can get a “yes” from the other. If one says no…so does the other.
- Use words like, “we should,” not “you should.”
- Don’t play the blame game with each other.
We can’t let the little humans rule the house. Even if you aren’t 100% on the same page, don’t disagree or correct each other in front of the kids. Address it privately so in their eyes, you are still a team. Be careful how you critique each other, too. I know at times I’m not always the best with my words, especially if I’m upset or I don’t agree with how my husband handled a situation.
- Don’t argue about who does more around the house or who was supposed to do what.
- Be sure to divide and conquer when it comes to parenting and adult responsibilities. One can do bath time and the other can do bedtime. One cooks dinner and the other does the dishes. One can start the laundry and the other can fold it.
- Don’t assume that your partner knows what you want, or need, them to do.
- Allow one another time for themselves to take a nap, go work out, do some shopping, or enjoy a hobby.
- Don’t make them feel guilty about it.
Here’s a personal example for you: The other night I was exhausted. My husband was downstairs relaxing on the couch and I found myself jealous. Envious of him. I couldn’t remember the last time I was able to just sit and relax on the couch since our son was born. And then I found myself getting emotional. So I went downstairs and sat by him and started crying. I told him I needed him to take a feeding shift and give the baby a bottle so I could get a few extra hours of sleep.
He looked at me and said, “Okay, no problem.” I immediately felt better. We all need a little downtime and Lord knows every parent needs a break! Help each other out when you’ve reached your max.
Celebrate Your Support!
Whoever your parenting partner may be, thank them. Show them gratitude. Let them know you appreciate even the littlest of things. That simple act can go a long way and keep your bond strong.