My husband is the better mom

My husband is a better mom than I am.

He is patient, neutral, and he knows when to stop talking. Like an email or text conversation, I am never quite sure when to stop. Do I say one more thing, or leave things be as they are? Sometimes I wonder if I have left the conversation unfinished, or if the person at the other end has just lost interest. When I’m having a conversation, I ¬†generally expect a response.

The sought-out response from my kids = cooperation.

When you deal with kids you need a different set of rules. I am a reactive person. I don’t follow rules very well. As a parent you say your peace and, given the age of my kids, let the kid figure things out. I (apparently) harp on and nag. I get my point across in so many ways the kid is now engaged in the “last word” battle, rather than reflecting on what I have suggested. I, too, often forget what my point is because now I’m trying to backtrack out of an argument I somehow started and just want my voice to be the loudest one.

My husband knows when he’s ahead and when to quit. He can bite his tongue far sooner than I can. He gets more done with his patience and silence than I do (loudly) rallying around with empty threats.

I don’t do well with appointment times. Before we can be there on time we need to leave the house. Getting myself ready is one thing, so factoring in unexpected distractions and stubborn refusal in another person is a complete guessing game.

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Given my mystical powers of anticipation, I should know that instead of putting on his shoes my kid will go and seek out that tiny eraser that may be buried in the bottom of the toy drawers. Or that he may need to play 5 more minutes of some game he found last week on the computer. I should know this right? I am his mother.

But this changes, daily. He doesn’t like to get dressed and so today when he asked for help I gladly jumped on the chance to hopefully get something done. He likes his independence but resists doing the routine stuff. Getting dressed can be a chore from taking off his pajamas to not wanting to wear socks to just not wanting to do it. So today when I came upstairs he instructed me to “just pick out whatever and I’ll put it on.” And he did. And it got done. And together we got it done in minutes.

However to offset this speedy cooperation and success, I spent 15 minutes trying to get him to come downstairs to put his shoes on. My husband told me to stop nagging. The kid even yelled down from his room to tell me that the more I yelled at him to hurry up the slower he would go. It wasn’t his fault per se; this is how he is hard-wired.

If he could do things differently he would.

And so would I.

But for now I nag, through gritted teeth. I have to be somewhere. We have to go. Now.

And my husband is the better mom.

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29 thoughts on “My husband is the better mom

  1. My husband is the more fun parent and I am the structured band aid for everything. I used to think it was a drawback until I hear him get frustrated because my daughter doesn’t take him seriously. He doesn’t realize how many rounds she and I have gone in order to gain her attention and cooperation.All I can say is that children are only benefited by having parents that are different in their methods, as long as the parents are in agreement on core issues.

    • So true. If the core boundaries and structures are the same, kids definitely benefit from differences in parents. My kids have figured out which parent is more lenient in which way and so go to that parent first for permission. It’s a constant balance, because kids are never the same day to day either. I like the idea of “structured band aid”. Maybe not so glamorous, but I’m sure your daughter definitely knows who she can go to for help.

  2. In our home, my husband is the one that has trouble letting it go. I always tell him, when talking to kids, less can be more. They only hear so much. Make it worthwhile; get your point across; and then get out. If I forget to do this myself, I just think back to how my mother’s going on and on sounded like white noise to me. So I try not to be white noise to my own kids. :)

    • My mom also made the astute comment to me that she stopped herself when she knew I’d lost interest because it was the same with her and her mother. I forget the point where you step back and get out and give them the space to act.
      White noise indeed!

  3. I think kids also respond differently to each gender. When I taught, the boys tended to test me at first, then treat me like they treated their moms (not always a good thing). They didn’t dare try that with the two male teachers. Even my dogs, both female, treat my husband differently.

    • Ha ha… even the dogs know the difference. I think there is something to that. I know that when I yell and when my husband yells it means something different to the kids. It’s like I’m just hot air, but my husband means business. Perhaps I need to use my “outside voice” more sparingly. ;)

  4. haha my brother used to do the same thing. “The more times you ask me to hurry up, the longer I’m going to take!” it’s so funny how kids come up with that on their own! I never did that though, oddly.

    • Strangely, the same balance works in our house. My daughter (the older one) is usually on time or else rushes like crazy to make things happen. My son couldn’t be bothered and couldn’t care less. One day he will directly feel the consequences of his actions when they affect him, but until then I’m wrestling with my patience and his lackadaisical attitude.

  5. Nah, we are all different, but doesn’t make us better or worse, just different, and what a great mosaic it creates in our lives… I’m sure you both compliment each other very well…! Good luck out there :)

  6. I have to learn to shut up. Once i’ve made my point any further noise from me is just nagging and goes un-heard anyway.
    As the parent you always have the power in the relationship and converstion. You have to be careful with that power as it can be damaging.
    Sometimes I can’t help my self no matter how hard I try not to be a deuche.

  7. First of all, I love your blog.
    Secondly this was hilarious in an ironic sort of way because I feel and say the same thing about my husband.
    Third you gained a new follower and I am looking forward to this blog for sure:)

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