3/14/12

Parenting requires a cohesive team


“…Husbands and partners need to understand and support you no matter what. They need to understand that whilst they may not understand, you are the mother and your maternal instinct is the most important tool you have. And visitors and family also need to know that there are boundaries and if you reach to take your child back, they should hand it back. However not all visitors will always understand this and mothers have to try and remember to be strong, and intervene assertively if a family member will not comply with your request (instead of crying alone in the bedroom!!). Also, be clear with family about your expectations for visitors, as they don't always appreciate how exhausting being a new mother can be and that sometimes there can be such a thing as too many visitors! The whole experience really over whelmed me and I hope that
others can avoid a situation like mine!...”

This is an excerpt from an email I received from a friend and blog reader. Over the weekend she was in an unfortunate situation where her husband did not support her when she asked him too. This hits home with me in so many ways. Since having my son, my husband and I have had multiple arguments and disagreements over situations just like hers. Dads just want to play all the time, while the moms know there is a lot more involved to maintain a happy playful baby.

I just want to type in all caps right now thinking about the arguments my husband and I have experienced over the last 6 weeks. We both have VERY different ideas about parenting and draw very different boundaries. What gets me the most wound up is that I am the primary caregiver, I feed him, bathe him, create his routines and well basically do the “motherly” thing. My husband plays with him, over stimulates him, takes him way past his bed time and then inevitably it falls in my lap to calm down a screaming new born and get him to sleep.

My friend was dealing with the same problem of daddy having fun with the visitors and not understanding two very vital issues going on. 1. His son needed to be bathed and put to sleep because he had been on a long trip and was extremely tired and 2. His wife asked him to support her and he said “what’s the big deal?” (Husbands if you are reading this, DO NOT EVER ASK THAT QUESTION!) I know from talking with many other mothers, new and old, the first few months for new parents is one of the hardest tests their relationships have ever had to go through.

I wish I had the answer on how to get husbands/partners to fully support and follow the routines and boundaries the mother lays out. I try to remember that dads do have a say, and I try to step back and let my husband try his methods. But, at the end of the day, I am still the one enforcing the routine because it still is working better than the play all the time routine. The only way for parents to maintain their sanity through raising children is to be a cohesive unit, support each other and most of all respect each other’s boundaries. And just like the reader said, we as mothers have to be assertive and stand our ground, so our partners/spouses will know the importance of the matter at hand.


Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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