Co-parenting is not an easy task.
My daughter was already over a year and a half old when my husband and I were married. I had been a single parent for the entire time leading up to that, which meant that I was able to make all of the decisions about parenting by myself. While it was difficult at the time, I realize now that there were a lot of benefits to being able to make decisions on my own without having to consult another person.
After getting married, my husband became my partner, and obviously, this partnership extended to parenting. At first, it was a huge adjustment for both of us. And in a lot of ways we’re still learning and adjusting with each new stage our daughter goes through.
Communication is key.
It’s so easy to let emotions or even pride get in the way. I often think that my way is always right, and I get frustrated when we don’t see eye to eye on things. This is toxic and not only prevents us from accomplishing anything but also makes our relationship suffer.
My husband and I have learned to let each other know right away if there is a problem. From there, we are careful to respectfully talk things out. I think it’s helpful to ask questions to clarify what the other is saying. That way, we avoid making assumptions.
I also think communication is vital in keeping each other up to date on what’s going on. We like to have a catch-up session each day where we can talk about the day’s happenings.
If our daughter had a really great day or did something new and exciting, we’ll celebrate those exciting moments. On the opposite end, if she didn’t listen or threw a tantrum or two, we’ll share that as well. I like to do this because it keeps us both on the same page.
Your childhood affects how you parent.
Early on in our marriage, we began to realize many differences in how we were raised. I believe that plays a lot into our different parenting styles. It was important for us to understand where the other was coming from when suggesting a solution to a parenting issue.
For example, at Christmas, we had different opinions about how many gifts our daughter should receive because our families celebrated Christmas very differently. I was initially upset that he wanted to do things a certain way, but after discussing his reasons, we were able to have a more open conversation about it and come to a mutual decision.
Because we don’t always see eye to eye, we’ve really had to learn to meet each other in the middle on some issues.
One thing we dealt with recently was making the decision to wean our daughter off of her security blanket. My husband suggested doing away with it all together because it was getting to be a bit yucky, and for a while, I didn’t want to get rid of it at all. After talking things out, we decided to compromise by only letting her have it at nap and bedtime.
The bottom line:
Co-parenting is hard whether you’re parenting with your husband, significant other, or even someone you’re not in a relationship with.
Keep the communication open, be willing to compromise, and most importantly, be respectful and understanding of each other!