By: Kristen Eriksen
My husband, Paul, and I are probably a great example of how “opposites attract”. When we got married, we decided to write our own vows. I worked very hard to be sure I said what I really needed to say at this very important moment in our lives. What I was so clearly able to see is that Paul helps me take my life less seriously. He explained that I help to keep him in line, so to speak, and I am his voice of reason. I think we really got it right when we described our relationship in our vows. Since then, I have often had to remind myself that the things that first attracted me to my husband also tend to be the ones that will drive me crazy in our day to day life. This is especially true in regards to our parenting.
OK, so to explain, I am the serious one about all things parenting. I choose my words very carefully. I think very seriously about discipline and consequences. I tend to keep a closer watchful eye on Ben and Charlotte. At the risk of criticizing my husband, I will just say that he does things very differently.
My point in this blog post is not to say that I do things the right way, and my husband does not. My point is not to debate parenting styles or talk about parents being able to meet halfway. Let’s get real! Moms and dads are just different birds, with different feathers. I don’t have the energy to debate all the issues or debate which way is best (although, of course, I think my way is best!!!!). In my experience with families and in my marriage, I don’t think it is really possible for most couples to find common ground or that happy medium. It is black and white, vanilla and chocolate, hot and cold; you pick the opposites, any will fit. I think that the real point is that there really is more than one way of doing things. We just have to be able to find the way to explain that to our children. The world is full of differences that we all must deal with, accept, and learn from every day.
Many times I hear other women complain about their husband’s way of doing things (and believe me, I am easily able to chime in, too!). I have tried to remind myself not to chime in, but to try to appreciate his differences. As difficult as it may be sometimes, I think it is part of the master plan to help our children see different perspectives, and learn to deal with things differently. I have to remind myself of this every day, and now need to pass that reminder on to my children.