Tuesday, February 09, 2010

How do I love my parenting partner? Let me count the ways.

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we're writing about how a co-parent has or has not supported us in our dedication to natural parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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So I'm sitting here, at my computer, a mere 1 hour and 20 minutes before the submission deadline to join in February's Natural Carnival of Parenting. Procrastinate much?

To be honest, this a really easy one. I have a kick ass parenting partner in my husband, Matt. I could extol his virtues in the ways he supports me all day long and still not run out of examples of the way he's stood by me (or gotten out of my way, as sometimes the case may be!)

For a little history, when I became pregnant with Iris, our five year old, Matt and I weren't in a committed relationship, and we weren't until Iris was close to six months old. Not that Matt had NO say in how things were handled at that time, but being a single mama for a while, I quickly fell in to my comfort zone of doing things my own way without discussion, agreement or interference from anyone else.

To a certain degree, I would say that is about how things still work in terms of the parenting choices we have made. I pretty much discovered what basic parenting style was going to work for me, which has been natural birthing, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, blah blah blah, and Matt has supported that. I can honestly say that I've never come right out and asked Matt if he agreed with those parenting choices, but given that my convictions were so strong, and that he didn't really care either way, and I feel like (or at least choose to believe) he saw the benefit of the choices I felt very strongly about. For the most part I was/am the one reading the books, doing the research, talking to friends/family/doctors, visiting message boards, so I had quite a list of reasons why I chose to do things the ways I did-- but Matt trusted, and still trusts, me. For me that's what it all boils down to, is that I have a husband who doesn't undermine my decisions, even when they are crazy and outlandish seeming, he has never raised a serious concern. To my recollection the one thing I can remember Matt disagreeing with me on was the issue of vaccinating our girls. I don't think we'll ever see eye-to-eye on it, but even then, it was something Matt knew I had my convictions about and he was/is okay with letting me make that final decision.

Not only does my husband support my choices, but his eyes never glaze over when I launch in to dissertations about why I think something should be done a certain way. He might already agree with me, or even just not care, but he still listens. He has always given me his attention when I need to talk about the most random of parenting issues, even when they are as mind-numbing as rattling on about something I read on a message board one day or about how some random parent was doing some random thing. I mean, NO ONE cares about this stuff, but he always acts like he does.

So hopefully I've gotten the point across how many buckets of awesome my husband is for supporting without question my parenting decisions, but here's the other MAJOR thing: my husband 110% supports my desire to be a stay-at-home mom and does everything in his power to make it work and is committed to continuing to do so as long as I want to be in this role. He has never, not ONCE, come home from a long day at work to a disgusting house and sneered "what did you DO all day?!". He fully understands what life is like for me as a SAHM-- at least in the way that he knows I'm not sitting at home dusting bookshelves and cleaning baseboards all day long. He knows how hard I work parenting our girls and being our family administrator and he knows that also doesn't mean our house is spotless all of the time (or geez, even most of the time!) and that our kids aren't perfectly behaved because I am some uber-mama all day long. My husband works his butt off for us but I don't think there is anywhere else he'd rather have me be than at home, where I love to be. It does take quite a bit of the stress off of him to have me home and handling all of those day-to-day activities that get lost in the shuffle of a busy work outside of the home lifestyle, but mostly, if I'm happy, he's happy.

It's true that like most couples, Matt and I have our fair share of issues, but in this way, in this one glorious way, he and I have a really lovely thing going for us. We are fantastic parenting partners. We can't put a piece of IKEA furniture together as a team to save our lives, but through every amazing parenting moment and pitfall alike, we can co-parent fluidly and gracefully.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated Feb. 9 with all the carnival links, and all links should be active by noon EST. Go to Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama for the most recently updated list.)

8 comments:

  1. It's great to remember and acknowledge the great things our partners do. :)

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  2. I love how much Matt trusts you and gets behind your decisions. I think being on the same team is the most important part of any relationship — not sniping at each other but having that respect and letting it be "you and me against the world" if needed. Sounds like you have just that!

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  3. Putting in an entire IKEA kitchen ourselves when I was 6 months pregnant was the best test of our marriage I've ever had. I think we passed, mostly.

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  4. Yeah, I've always wondered where the image of Susie Homemaker came from - if anyone lives up to that in a real family, they must have a maid and a nanny. ;)

    ~Dionna @ Code Name: Mama
    http://codenamemama.com

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  5. I forget how rare it is to have a husband who supports us for stay-at-home mom-ness. Not that we can afford for me to be one anymore, but I still only work *very* part-time. I've even told JP that I'm willing to go back to work full-time if he wants to be a stay-at-home dad and take a break from working and he always says, "No way! I couldn't do what you do! You have the hardest job in the world!" That is really validating (even if I love being a mom and think it's way funner and easier and more rewarding than working full-time!)

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  6. I hear you on the IKEA furniture. I love IKEA furniture, I buy IKEA furniture, but somehow I cannot co-operate with my husband to assemble IKEA furniture. Luckily, building furniture really is a rather rare event around here.

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  7. Horray for husbands that manage not to glaze over when we go into yet another speech about parenting!!

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  8. I laughed when you were talking about the glazing over of the eyes. My husband listens too, and I love that about him!

    It's so great that he is so supportive of you being able to stay home. Someone asked me the other day if I felt bad that my husband works so much....well I work too!

    Sounds like you two have a great thing going on :)

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