Parenting Team Supreme, or How To Break Your Spouse Down

I do feel like I should give a disclaimer on this: Anyone in a single parent household; or a military household where one parent gets deployed (by the way, please tell them I said Thank You for defending our freedom); or households where one parent does a lot of traveling; this blog probably won’t include you.

I think this past weekend’s birthday party for our oldest, at Chuck E. Cheese is the catalyst behind this blog. So as ½ of a WONDERFUL Parent team, I go to bed thanking God for being blessed to have such a wonderful (if not stubborn at times) teammate in this journey called Parenthood. And we have been blessed to have kids that, for the most part, are very good (as good as a 3 and 5 year old can be), and love us and each other (things I don’t take for granted, as well). I notice, more and more, in 2 parent households, that usually one parent is the scapegoat.

I am just wanting to bring some of this to light, because if you read this, and find that you fall under these categories, instead of getting mad at me, or responding with the, “Yeah, but I’m only this way because he/she doesn’t…..”; maybe you could try and rectify your behavior/view point from this point going forward. Let me give some examples.

Let’s take Adam & Eve (yes, names are changed, as to not put any specific person on blast). Both are wonderful parents. But Eve, as most Moms’ do, has a bit of an ego about motherhood. Adam believes in trying to just do the right thing and isn’t really concerned with patting himself on the back. But whenever they are around other parents and Adam gets complimented on being a good Father, or the fact that he is the more patient one, Eve, immediately jumps in to say something like, “Well he’s not like that all of the time”; or “Usually the (child/children’s name inserted here) listens to me and not Adam”; or basically anything that minimalizes Adam’s efforts, while subsequently keeping Eve on a pedestal. Eve has to ask herself, “Why do I do that? Why do I have to tear Adam down, when all he does is love me and our child/children?”

Or Eve can be the one who always gets up early (no matter what time she went to bed) when the kid/kids get up. She gets them dressed and fed everyday. It doesn’t matter if Eve is a stay at home Mom or a 40 hour/week Mom, because both are demanding, when Eve is always the one up first and last to bed after everyone is tucked in. Eve is the one who at dinner time is usually eating cold food and after Adam and the kids, because she made sure the kids had their food, and Adam had his food, and anything else that was needed, before she sits down to eat. And usually Eve has to inhale her food, because as soon as she sits down, kids, and or Adam, need something. So when weekends come, and Adam is home more, is it wrong of Eve to expect a little weight taken off her shoulders? And what does she get for this innocent wish? Adam out with friends; playing video games; watching TV, etc., with no consideration that Eve is on the edge, and isn’t asking for a lot, just breathing space.

We, as parents, have to always realize our actions in front of our children (“in front of” is NOT a literal term….kids are as equally highly empathetic as they are effective listeners) are nothing but the lenses on which they will come to view the quality of life. If they grow up, seeing both parents equally working hard at raising them, they will not only have a HUGE sense of self respect, but when they get of age, will seek out equally satisfying relationships to blossom. If they see a parent not appreciative, they will most certainly grow up almost expecting/accepting that is how it is supposed to be, and continue that cycle.

So take a moment, out of the day and write the other half of your Parenting Team Supreme a letter saying how much you appreciate the way they effortlessly hold the family together. When your child has a birthday, give your spouse flowers as a thank you (but, as I just learned, if the child sees them, they may never make it to the spouse, but they will know your efforts).

On the flip side, if you are feeling like your spouse is contributing nothing at all to helping the Parenting Team Supreme, then calmly (as in, not in the moment of something angering you) sit them down and tell them how you feel, citing specific examples, and never making it accusatorial (“You don’t…”; I wish You would…”; Why don’t You….”), but simply expressing what you need, in simple words. Understanding that you are not telling them to change them, but simply so they can hear you.

I mean, there is nothing wrong with saying you are a good parent, but always be cognizant of the fact, that you have a partner, who is giving everything they can (presumably), and just because they may not be doing it they way you want them to, doesn’t mean their efforts are any less important.

-Until The Wheels Fall Off
Corey

Comments

  1. Great post, it is very true. Not enough parents act as a team. My son is still very young, approaching 18 months, but is starting to exert his independence while picking up on our moods and attitudes. We are new to parenting, so we try to make sure we explain our thoughts on things to each other in private. If for nothing else than to understand the situation, especially if we disagreed with what happened taken at face value.

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  2. Thank you PJ. What I also should've added is what you just touched upon. Giving each other, and more importantly, ourselves the freedom to learn from mistakes, and the freedom to voice them to each other. Nice to meet you, fellow blogging Dad!!

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