My husband, Evan, and I differ in how we parent our children. Even our play habits reveal a contrast.
When our kids were little, I cooed, I snuggled, I built blanket forts where we?d giggle as we read through an armload of books. Evan?s style was to walk in the door, grab our toddler and throw her up in the air with a "Whooooop!"
Differences in parenting can be a cause for conflict. Many times I?ve bristled at Evan?s choices. He lets the kids go down the street to play with children I haven?t met (I haven?t approved them for interaction with my children). He sees nothing wrong with buying a trampoline for the backyard (yikes?lawsuit material) or a puppy (just another baby in my book) for the family.
His choices are often not my choices. They bug me. And when I get bugged ? well, I tend to criticize. In fact, I can become downright mean.
It starts like this: we?re all at dinner and the subject of a trampoline comes up. "Puhlleeeeeezzze Mom!" "Yeah, pleeeeze?Dad says it?s OK!" I look at Evan. We?ve had many?underline that?many conversations on this subject. He thinks trampolines are fun. I imagine my neck craned from every window in the house to watch over the back yard, phone in hand ready to dail 911.
"When did you say it was OK?" I hiss.
It?s in moments like these that I conclude all logical and rational powers have evaporated from my dear husband?s brain. In their place I see "irresponsible" and "immature." And because that?s what I think I see, my actions are less than respectful.1