Parenting as a Team
Written by: Katie Sprunger
I’ve been a stay at home mom for the last 4 years. I always imagined that I would be a working mom. Little did I know, my heart would change, and all I wanted was to be a mom. It’s been the best, hardest, longest, and shortest years of my life.
Since staying home, I’ve been the person who spends the most time with my children. This means I became the main disciplinarian, and I have a way I run the household while my husband is at work. My kids have learned my expectations and the rules, and in my mind, I felt what I did was the best for everyone in my family.
So of course when daddy came home, I found myself frustrated because how I did things was different compared to how he did things. He played differently with the kids and disciplined differently. For a while, this caused some tension in our marriage.
One day in the midst of him disciplining my second born child, I interjected my own thoughts of how I thought he should handle the situation. In my mind, I knew what worked and figured I’d save my husband a battle. What I didn’t realize was that I was showing him I didn’t trust him or respect him. And my way wasn’t actually the best way. I realized it was so difficult for me because I didn’t have control of the situation.
I started to realize that I had to shut my mouth. I needed to respect my husband enough to let him lead in our home and be the dad God has called him to be. Instead of always reacting to situations, we began to talk about how we would handle situations before they arose. I asked if I could share how I handle situations and he gladly listened to me share. This didn’t mean that he’d choose to respond exactly as I did but he was willing to listen and learn. And this meant that when situations came up, I would let my husband take the lead and discipline as he saw fit.
At first it was hard to watch. However, as I began to trust him more and empower him to lead as I knew he could, I began to find freedom. I began to see it was good for my kids to be disciplined differently. It is good for them to see that I respect their dad enough to let him lead our home.
This change led me to surrender my own pride and ask my husband what he thought of how I ran the household. I humbly asked him to share if he had different ideas how he thought I should discipline the kids. This was eye opening as he kindly revealed where he thought I needed to change. Instead of feeling angry with him, (like I would have in the past) I took his advice and made some changes that impacted our family in a positive way.
We’re a team. It’s not me vs. him; it’s us. I need my husband and he needs me. Our kids need us to be a team to raise them. It takes a lot of work to communicate. It takes humility and trust to grow. Yet, through the “growing pains” I find our marriage grows stronger and our determination to be a team affects our children and home in a more positive way!
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