I first stumbled across an article in Parents magazine about partners that work through their parenting issues with a mediator to discover — lo and behold — their partners actually do help them in more ways than they realize.
I was so inspired by the article that I wanted to do my own take on it. I freely admit that when it comes to parenting, I tend not to give my husband credit where credit is due. I’m the primary at-home parent, and as such, much of the household and parental duties fall on my shoulders.
That’s not to say, however, as I discovered, that my partner doesn’t help me to become a better parent. Read on and make your own version. I guarantee you will leave feeling as mushy and lovey-dovey as I.
8 ways my partner helps me be a better parent 1 of 9
Image via the author
He taught me to play more 2 of 9
I admit that I'm not one of those moms who naturally loves playing with her kids. In fact, right now, my girls and husband are running around the house playing some treacherous game called "Shark Attack," while I'm happily cozied up with a blanket and my laptop. I much prefer to be the parent in charge of the schedule and the doctor's appointment, but the playing? Doesn't come as easily to me. My husband has really taught me to let loose and have more fun with the kids.
Image via me with my son
He’s taught me the importance of expressing their feelings 3 of 9
My husband is a teacher, and one of the things he does really well with our kids is validate their feelings and give them plenty of time to express how they are feeling in the midst of a fight or tantrum. He does all of those things that I used to think were cheesy like, "I understand that you are feeling angry," even when the kids were very young. It's something I never would have thought to do, but it makes a difference when they feel like they have a chance to be heard.
Image via me with my brood
He taught me how to soothe a crying baby 4 of 9
I have nursed all of our kiddos, so I'll be honest with you — feeding them is really all I have in my bag of soothing tricks. So it's not much. But my husband? Man, he's a master of that football hold that I can never seem to do. It instantly soothes a crying, fussy baby.
Image via my husband and son
He taught me the ever-elusive nighttime patience 5 of 9
Ok, I have a confession to make: my husband is better than me at getting up with the kids at night. That's not to say I don't get up with the kids of course, but when I do, I can't seem seem to snap myself awake. I literally am half-asleep, groggy, and tend to be a bit on the snappy side, whereas my husband pops out of bed on the first whimper and somehow invokes the sympathetic god of caring with endless amounts of patience. I definitely need to learn a thing or two from him on that front.
Image via my husband and oldest daughter
He models what it means to be a man 6 of 9
How can I accurately express what it feels like to see my husband son together? The love that threatens to overflow my heart, seeing the joy in my son's eyes when he puts on his workboots just like Daddy's or watches the lawn mower with fascination? My husband makes me a better parent simply be being the type of man I hope our son will grow up to be.
Image via the two men I love best
He’s always up for an adventure 7 of 9
I have a strange mix of laziness and adventure in my personality — meaning I love to plan adventures for our family, but when it comes to executing them? I start to get lazy. Having a partner in crime to help me follow through on our little family outings makes them all the more fun.
Image via our first family vacay
He supports my career 8 of 9
My husband knows how important my work as a writer is to me. He supports me in whatever ways he can, whether that be cooking dinner while wearing a baby (please see above picture) or asking me questions about my work that he really doesn't understand. His support and help in making my career happen makes me an even better parent because I can be fulfilled in all aspects of my life.
Image via my hubs
In his words … 9 of 9
To end my love-sappy piece, I had to turn the tables on my husband of course and asked him what the #1 way that I helped him to become a better parent was. His answer? "By giving me more kids to parent. Practice makes perfect!" Did I happen to mention I am currently pregnant with our fourth child? I do what I can ...
Image via us and our plus one on date night