I am so happy to share these great words of parenting wisdom from Arlene Pellicane about how dads parent differently than we do–and that is okay! This is taken from Arlene’s newest book, 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom.
My oldest child Ethan is in 6th grade this year. I remember when he was just a baby and I had my first mom’s night out. I pulled into my driveway at 10 pm, certain my little bundle would be fast asleep in his cozy crib. Imagine my surprise when I opened the garage door to find my husband James’ car missing!
A few minutes later, James came strolling in with baby Ethan who needed to be fed because he was hungry. AT TEN O-CLOCK AT NIGHT! I was ticked. James had taken Ethan to the mall, with no regards to Ethan’s normal bedtime.
My mind whirled and my face grew hot. I was mad. The dishes were piled high in the sink; Ethan was in his high chair eating baby oatmeal.
Can’t you just get him to bed at a decent hour and do the dishes? I thought as I glared at the supposedly responsible party.
James was calm as a cucumber. He said, “Lighten up. One night won’t kill him.”
Well, I guess James was right because Ethan’s still around. It took me a few years to realize that instead of being indignant about the way James’ chose to parent that night, I could have been grateful. I could have chosen to say, “Thank you for watching Ethan for the last 5 hours so I could go to a women’s event and get re-charged.”
I could have said, “Not many men would gladly watch their one-year-old and even dare to take them to the mall, but I guess you guys had a great time!”
Our husbands may not enforce curfew and rules like we do, but our children are still living and breathing aren’t they?
Perhaps we would be happier moms if we stopped putting the emphasis on being right all the time – on being the “superior know-it-all parent.”
We can make our husbands feel incompetent as dads with our cutting remarks. We may have expectations that they must parent exactly how we parent. But if you can embrace the differences (two heads are better than one), and stop expecting perfection from your spouse, you will be a much happier mom. Give your husband the same grace you’d like for yourself.
Just because he does things differently, doesn’t mean he does it wrong.
Just this weekend, I was out of town at a speaking engagement. On Friday night, James took our three kids (ages 5, 8 and 10) to the park at 8:30 pm to play laser tag with their new toy guns. They were out until 10:00 pm! A five-year-old!
Now, that’s not a schedule I’d ever sanction as a mom, but you know what? It’s a good thing I wasn’t home because they had a blast. Moms and dads roll differently, and I’m so grateful for that.
When your husband parents differently than you, how do you respond? Is there a way you could improve that response?
We are giving away a copy of Arlene’s new book, 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom. Watch the trailer below and share in the comments your parenting stories to enter and win!
31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom and 31 Days to a Happy Husband. She is also the co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (with Gary Chapman). She has been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, The 700 Club, and Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah.
Arlene lives in the San Diego area with her husband James and their three children.
To learn more and for free family resources such as a monthly Happy Home podcast, visit www.ArlenePellicane.com