We need to talk about partners and parenting in partnership.
It’s hard to find common ground when it comes to parenting our children with our partners. The differences you and your partner had in childhood significantly impacts the approach that each of you take now. We are all heavily influenced by our own upbringing and the tendency is to repeat the parenting we experienced. The key is to decide what parenting we want our own children to experience, but that of course takes an element of awakening. I have many friends who make a great couple but parenting is the one area that causes many 'discussions'. Whispers of, "It never did me any harm," marking the end of many. When of course it probably did on some level. Add in personality or tolerance levels, and even if you’ve got similar parenting values, applying them in reality may not always make for the dreamy family life you envisioned. Familiar? ⠀⠀
In our home we are, fortunately, on the same wavelength. But despite being probably the most level, smartest person I’ve ever met, my husband turns to me when he doesn’t know how to handle a situation with the kids. Or THINKS he can’t. Even when he can. In our home the difference in our parenting approach comes down to our individual tolerance levels. We are both introverts, but my husband struggles more with too much sensory stimulation (loud kids with big emotions stresses his nervous system!). BUT, here’s the thing. Sometimes I don’t have the answer. Or my mum tank has been drained and I’m out of mum energy. Or I’m just trying to do my own thing for 5 mins without interruption!! ⠀⠀
It can feel like there is no real option for in that scenario. It can feel like a lose-lose situation for the parent who usually has more tolerance or a gentler mindset when it comes to parenting. For that parent it either can feel like you have to step up and find the reserves, taking what feels like more from yourself than your body and mind can really handle, or let the kids down. When I talk to friends and my instagram community, you tell me you feel the same. You feel overwhelmed in those moments where in a split second you see your two paths playing out ahead of you: find that bit extra, even though you’re so overstimulated by everyone else’s needs, or lose it. Letting out all your own stuff in big, hot, angry ways for a brief moment of relief, shortly followed by your child’s crumpled face and a tsunami of guilt. ⠀⠀
Compromise and personal development for both parents means one person doesn’t use up everything in their reserve tank before they’ve had time to refuel. This means creating a joint approach; talking through ideals and values to find a common ground, agreeing on approaches to regular issues, agreeing to back each other up and not undermine and stepping in for the other if you can see your partner struggling.
Share the load. And I mean the emotional one. It’s not down to one parent to do all the parenting. ⠀⠀
Hey! I'm the founder, creator and voice of Ink and Scribbles. Sharing thoughts on child well-being and parenting that are based on my teaching and parenting experience, and NLP learning.