Sitting on the floor, Wes threw his arms out in front of him and started to bawl. “He’s ok, don’t pick him up,” Mark said. I felt frustrated that I was being told what to do even before I did anything. And I'm certainly guilty of doing the same to Mark.
We’ve gone back and forth about a few parenting topics. Last time, it was about night-wakings, today it’s about tantrums.
But this suddenly dawned on me: it’s OK to have different parenting styles. It’s ok that Mark lets Wes have it out in a tantrum and it’s ok that I talk him through it. Funny enough, he gets over it in about the same time, regardless. As long as we generally agree (or come to an agreement) on the things we consider important, it’s perfectly fine that we deal with things differently.
Can you imagine two parents who both yell, who are both overbearing, both cautious, both careless, both coddling, etc? It’s great that we give Wes a variety of comfort, love and experiences. We balance each other - where I am cautious, Mark is flexible and vice versa. At the end of the day, it's important to us that Wes knows we're a team.
Mark doesn't have to be wrong for doing it one way and neither do I. We think because we're married, we'll automatically agree on parenting styles. But parenting is such a personal experience and we aren't exactly the same - there will be some ways we overlap and some things we do differently. The good news is, we can both be right :)
The next time you’re frustrated about your different approaches, remind yourself that it’s ok, you're creating balance and see your differences enhancing the experience for your family rather than disconnecting your relationship with your partner.