Sometimes, we need little reminders to give not just ourselves, but our partners, a little grace when it comes to this parenting thing.
As I’ve said it many times before, I’ll keep saying it. Being a parent is hard. You spend nine months (or less, depending on when you found out you were pregnant) reading every book, article, and blog post – watching every discovery channel special and youtube video from reputable sources – on how your baby is developing from conception to the point they move out and go to college. You try to mentally prepare for every imaginable scenario, so if anything happens, from a cold to a broken bone, you’ll be able to handle it. You strive to know the most about the human body possible, so you can recognize early onset of anything possible, to ensure that nothing will ever happen to your sweet, precious baby for the next 18+ years….
That’s if you’re a mom. I’m sure there’s some father’s out there who read all the pregnancy and child rearing books with their partners too, so they could be just as well prepared. However, mine was in Russia for his study abroad program for college during my pregnancy. And I’m pretty sure he was only worried about teaching our little boy how to hunt and fish once he’s old enough.
So it’s probably more natural than not to feel uneasy when you see your husband pushing the baby a little too high on the swing (for your over-protective preference), or sneaking him french fries because “he’s had a whole pile of blueberries, baby wants a french fry”(yes, that happened).
It’s also ok to feel angry when you catch your toddler standing on the coffee table while Daddy is playing on his phone.
Feelings are valid, especially when it comes to your child. But it’s important to give not only yourself grace for the little things, but your partner as well. As mothers, we beat ourselves up enough worrying; is my child getting enough exercise? Are his meals perfectly balanced? He only had one nap yesterday, and hasn’t slept today. Is he getting enough rest?
It doesn’t do anyone much good to bless your husband out for giving the baby too many cookies, and allowing him to watch Wrestling, a few minutes over bedtime.
As long as there isn’t any actual abuse taking place, the next time you catch your husband doing maybe the exact opposite of how you would have handled a situation, remember this: Everyone’s parenting style is different. Including your partner’s. What may seem like a big deal to you, might not be to them (and vise versa). Allow Dad to handle things as he see’s fit. It’s all a learning process, and no one – NO ONE – is absolutely right.
And honestly, I can almost guarantee you that as soon as you leave, Dad and Kids are going to do exactly as they want. Especially if they know it’s something you really don’t like ( like say, letting the baby eat espresso flavored ice cream…yes, that happened too).
You are a good Mom. And your child has a good Dad. As long as the family isn’t in danger, then show your partner – and yourself – some grace when it comes to the small details. It’s worth it in the long run.