Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dudes vs. Chicks; Parenting

I know this topic is not one of originality, but I have decided to blog about my personal take on it based on my experience with my own Mr. Wonderful. It has been said and written about before, men and women are different (duh). I could not agree more. We are different in many aspects, especially parenting. These differences often lead to strife in relations between the sexes because while men are relaxed and seem to inherently understand we all do things in different ways, women believe our way is right and men are unqualified to make their own decisions on how to perform the daily parenting tasks. So, for your amusement here’s some of the parenting differences in my home, Sabreena vs. Dave edition:

Feeding: I am anal about feeding times. My boys eat breakfast upon waking, lunch at noon, a snack after nap, and dinner by 530 (I let up on weekends occasionally). Snacks are not sweets and if they get any sugar it’s after dinner. My husband on the other hand does not subscribe to this philosophy. Breakfast is the same but lunch comes when he gets hungry or if he wants the boys to go take a nap. Snack can be a cookie and should he buy them candy it is immediately consumed with dinner as an after thought. Snacks themselves can be overly frequent under Daddy’s watch as well. Now, I don’t starve my boys, but I keep snacks to a minimum so they will eat their main meals. Dave will feed them snacks all the way up until dinner or lunch. Our ideas on feeding are very different and though I don’t agree I am just thankful he remembers to feed them and usually grateful to get a break from the responsibility.

Servicing the Beasts: For whatever reason though my boys are 2 and 3 I am still in that baby phase of getting them what they need right away (notice I said need not want, I’m not crazy). Should they require beverage service I will usually stop what I am doing to get it. The boys need something that is out of their reach? Mom will get it right away. Dad on the other hand, it could be days minutes before he takes care of it. If my husband is doing something he can drown them out until their little voices grate on my nerves and I end up doing the deed. Don’t get me wrong, he does not neglect them and will eventually fulfill the need, but he makes them wait longer than I would. I actually admire this quality as they are old enough now to wait a few extra minutes and they do need to start sharpening their patience skills. Dave’s like Super Hearing Loss Man and I am constantly jealous of his sound blocking powers.

Bedtime Business (i.e. Prelude to Happy Hour): Now this particular part of the day is almost never done by my husband. He has put the boys to bed maybe 4 times during their short lives so far. When I do bedtime we do “jammies, teeth, story, nigh night” (exact verbiage used in our home). The pajama tops and bottoms always match, I do the teeth brushing to ensure maximum cleaning, and after story they get covered completely with blankets. The few times el Dave has done this chore it has gone much differently. Pajama components rarely match (some don’t get put on at all), he will skip teeth, and his half ass blanket job leaves most limbs exposed. As I said, he rarely performs this part of the day so when he does I leave him to it, happy it’s not me.

Showering: We both shower with the boys most times. I am in charge of baths when we do them but to save me the time on the weekends my husband or I will take them in the shower with us. I wash the boys with their Johnson & Johnson no tears products faithfully. Dave, on the other hand, has been known to use Axe shower gel and occasionally no shampoo. Let me tell you, hair does not smell too good after a shampoo-less shower.

These are just a few examples of how differently things can go down in my home depending who is on duty. Most of the time we’re both on but as with any good team each player has their parts (I play majority of the parenting positions though). I don’t always agree with how my husband does things I am so glad he does them. I am thankful I found a man who not only loves and takes care of me but is also hands on with our walking genetic reproductions. I have sat back and let up on my expectations because he needs to be able to do things his own way in order to enjoy parenting on his terms. If I get in the way or demand he do things in a certain manner he will not have the interest in helping out that he does now. Sure, any man will do as they are told, but my man actually gets to enjoy caring for his children because I am not hovering over him all of the time reminding him of how wrong I think he is. He parents his way and I have mine. His way of parenting is different but it allows my boys to connect with him in their own personal way. We stick together on important things like discipline and rules but as for the day to day stuff we are different and that’s good for us and our kids. I watch too many women micromanage their men around their kids and in turn I see some of those men just going through the motions of care. They love their kids but aren’t getting to enjoy coming up with their own little daddy rituals. Some men aren’t allowed the freedom women have to stumble through parenthood and find your own way of doing things because they have mama hen clucking at them too much.

My point is, I have learned that if I let Dave put his own spin on the day he has fun with my boys and actually looks forward to his portion of the care. As long as the boys survive and are happy (and I get to shrug off some of the pressure) who gives a shit how it was done (except the teeth thing honey, that has to be done even if it’s half ass because the lack of that activity has the potential to cost us mad Benjamins later in life).


Jackie said...

Fantastic post. I get a little uptight when H doesn't follow "the schedule" or do things my way. But, you're totally right - don't tell him I said this! - his way or mine, if the kids are happy & healthy we're good.

Randa said...

Wait, you ALL shower together? That is one big ass shower! And how do you get clean? Any time I shower with Jesse there is no "showering" going on. I'm amazed about people that can shower with their others. It just baffles me.
Jesse is the routine guy in our house. I on the other hand don't do anything. I eat when I'm hungry I feed Oscar when he's hungry and the only thing that we do at about the same time every night is dinner. Other then that, bed time is the biggest thing that we stick to. And we have since the beginning. And the boy knows it. We have yet to have a problem with bed time. It's nice.

Brittney said...

lol yall sound like us!! Except we dont get along with the discipline thing.. but we're working on it lol!

*LLUVIA* said...

I loved this!

I have all kinds of rules for nap and feeding times. Hubs is more of a "whatever keeps her busy while I watch TV."

Lisa Anne said...

I wish I could have been that routine with my son. Since I'm a single Mom I'v enever really had to deal with the double parenting. I don't think that makes me lucky though! said...

I am following you from Friday Follow;-)


Jeanette Huston

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