Something else I'm learning in my "parenting life" is to allow my partner to be involved. The word “allow” may sound demeaning. After all, he IS their father! But let’s be honest, moms, life gets hectic, insanely busy and it’s much easier to make all the decisions ourselves, especially if we are the primary caregiver.
I feel so fortunate that my husband is pro-active with the girls. We talk about why we do things. We view this whole parenting as a “team effort.” He reads parenting books with me, sometimes before me!
I am the primary caregiver, so when it comes to making parenting decisions, let's be real here -- I do have the option to shut him out. I’m sure I have done so on various occasions. However, I feel it is SO important to be intentional about letting him be involved with parenting decisions. I can testify from first-hand experience that this takes some pride swallowing. OUCH! Over the years, he has brought up certain issues about how we (ahem, sometimes ME) were doing things (in a loving way, of course. Thank goodness he’s not a dictator!) and doggone it – he is usually right. Rrrgh. LOL
I can’t even imagine what my parenting would look like without my husband. He backs me up when I’m ready to give up. He has taught my daughters things that I never thought of. They are learning and developing his STRENGTHS because I give him a chance to be involved. Strengths like communication skills, spiritual concepts, organization and love for people. He allows them to take risks that might be out of my comfort zone and sometimes he expects more from them than I do. Me: "You just told her to go poopy on the potty and she did it??" And, wow, my girls have grown and matured leaps and bounds because of him!
Parenting is a tough, beautiful life experience, isn't it? And I still feel like a newbie, even though it's already been almost seven years. I’m sure you realize that every day is not full of rainbows and sunshine at the Caton house, and I certainly don’t have it all together. (Do I need to tell some stories?! Aaaagh) Anyway, my main goal for now is to NOT look like a deer in the headlights. At least not on a daily basis!
And since I’m on my soapbox: No matter what parenting style you go with – let’s be gracious with each other and not so critical of other parents. Let’s be open to ideas to better our families, even when it means swallowing our pride. (I’m talking to myself here too, btw) Our children deserve the best.