I wrote a few weeks ago about my own parenting, wondering when I’ll feel that I really have this motherhood thing down. It’s had me thinking more about it all recently, and has had me stopping myself a few times and reflecting on things that I could do differently. However, when I then think about how the Husband parents, well I think that he has absolutely got it right. Fortunately for the kids, he seems to know what he’s doing!
In the big things, we parent in the same way. We give consistent messages to the kids, we set boundaries, we both discipline fairly and similarly. We agree in all of these areas and whenever issues arise, we talk them through and settle on a plan of how best to deal with it together, in the same way. I think it’s important that we do this, that the kids see us as a united front, supporting them both in the same way.
I am not so critical of myself that I can’t see that I bring different things to the table, which is probably why we work well as a partnership. I tend to take the lead with all things school-related and I am also the one that the kids will confide in more often, as I help them to navigate their own fears, friendships and concerns. Oh, and their love of reading, that’s totally me!
But then setting aside these areas, our own personalities come to the fore when we look after the kids, and that’s where I think the Husband really comes into his own.
He is patient, far more so than I am, and as any parent will know, patience can go a long way with children!
He joins in, because he wants to. He’s just more fun, I think?! The Husband loves sport, loves to play football, so he’ll play with the kids. The Husband is a natural artist, so he gets involved whenever they are drawing or painting, sitting alongside them and doing the same. At theme parks, he’s the one taking them on every ride as he enjoys them (OK, my motion sickness is a factor here!), and if it’s anything remotely active, he’ll be doing it with them – ice skating, Go Ape – it’ll always be Daddy with them, I take the photos! Oh, and don’t even get me started on the Nerf battles that take place here, I just try to avoid the crossfire!
He’s better at the gadgety stuff. He’ll be the one to sort their tablets if they don’t work, he plays on the PS4 with them, helps Boo to pop more music on her iPod. These things mean a lot to the kids!
His energy is seemingly endless. Along with his patience, he can keep up with them, no mean feat especially with our high energy daughter!
Then there’s the key to it all, the key to the bond that he has with them both. He spends time with them, both the fun quality sort and the ordinary every day moments. We are very fortunate in that he’s normally home from work in time for us to all have dinner together. He then gives them their baths each evening, and we both put them to bed each night, reading their stories. In these little moments that make up the fabric of our days, he is present, he is involved.
I love seeing the dad that he has become, Little Man and Boo are lucky to have him.