Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Saturday Morning Parent

So, my husband works full time like the majority of other Baby Daddies in the country. He punches in via time clock, concentrates on his job for 8+ hours (minus a leisurely lunch break), then punches out. That's it, job over for the day.

We've been married for nearly four years and we are just now getting to the point where he is pitching in more with the housework and childcare. Granted, he has always "helped out" but that's all it is, lending a hand when things get rough, then retiring back to the couch/computer/video game/fishing pond/baseball field/you get the drift.

After a teeny tiny bit of nagging, he has come to the realization that I don't have a punch card. That I'm on duty 24/7, I don't get a lunch break, and my shift never ends. And even some days I'd rather work at the garbage dump, shoveling stinky filth while rats scamper over my feet and crows snap at my head. Really. It sounds like a wonderful change of scenery.

The past 8 months or so, the Hubs has really started pulling his weight. He has been picking up after himself, straightening things up, and even vaccuuming. Even more important is that he has been helping with the kids A LOT. He'll entertain them while I do housework, take them to visit his mom, and most importantly, let me sleep in on Saturday mornings.

Now that he has spent more time with the minions, he has started to gain a bit of apprecation for what I deal with on a daily basis (whining, crying, tantrums, scratching, and throwing, just to name the mild problems). While I snooze away the Saturday morning hours, he sees first hand how hard the Threes have hit us, and how much of a stinker Ali "cantmakemehappy" Mae is.

We've been arguing lately over parenting and discipline choices. I tend to ignore the tantrums and then talk about it with them once they have calmed down. This mostly applies to Ali since she throws a tantrum every few minutes (on a good day) and will scream herself blue. She climbs on the table, she tries to throw things in the toilet, she chucks toys, she throws herself on the ground, she kicks, and she scratches. She uses her cute little baby teeth to inflict pain on innocent bystanders, she steals toys, she generally wreaks as much havoc as possible. Yeah, she's a sweet one.

He is upset with me for letting the kids get away with the behavior, not being strict enough, etc. I am upset with him for trying to meddle with the way I do things, since I am the one doing it the other 164 hours each week. I wouldn't say we are fighting about it, just discussing and trying to figure out a solution. I know that we are both the parents, we both have the responsibility of raising our children, and we should figure it out now while they are still little.

So, what do you think? Anyone else experience frustration like this??


Mary Ann said...

No advice for you Julie. Nathan and I are just now trying to figure out how the heck to discipline. This is hard! Yay that hubby is helping out more though!

Corey~living and loving said...

lots of hugs my friend. I wish I had good advice. I am sorry I don't. I have Sugar duty 100% of the time and Hubby has no say in her discipline, so I am lucky in that way. I just know if he has his say...we'd be in huge trouble. WE see child rearing very differently.

Laura said...

Ooo, that's hard! Mark and I are pretty much on the same page about discipline, but occasionally we have differences of opinion on how to handle a specific situation, and that's frustrating.

VERY cool that you get to sleep in on Saturdays though!

Jill @ Live, Laugh, Blog said...

That's tough!
J & I are kind of at odds on what to do with the almost three year old. She's just becoming so defiant sometimes and time outs are just not working these days.
I say pray together, aloud, about it so you'll know exactly where one anothers hearts are about the situation and you can work from there.

And maybe I should follow my own advice.

fairytalesandmargaritas said...

Every day. Robert was raised with spankings and belt whippings, constant yelling and mean offhand comments. I was raised differently. We try to find a happy medium, but we have problems. THis is probably the #1 thing that we fight about.

Jen said...

Jules....we have the same prob here. Mostly because I tend to chose which battles to fight wisely...when you're only battling one day a week...it all seems EASY! NOT SO! ;)

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