Parenthood is a Partnership
Published: September 27, 2006
I have written many articles about being a Stay at Home Mom and all my experiences with raising my children, but I realized today, as my husband took the children out for a walk to allow me time to write; that I wouldn’t be in this position at all, if I didn’t have his support.
Let’s face it, if my husband didn’t want me to be at home, and wasn’t willing to sacrifice some things, then I wouldn’t be at home raising our children, and I certainly wouldn’t be writing this column. The truth is, I may very well be a mom who wants to be at home with her children, but unless my husband is in agreement with this choice, then it simply doesn’t work.
If one partner is willing to sacrifice some of the things and the other really isn’t “on board” with that decision, then resentment builds up and the relationship itself begins to deteriorate. Also, if a woman really wants to return to the workforce, and her husband doesn’t want her to leave the children, then it’s the same outcome. I’ve heard from many readers who are on both sides of this issue, and what I’ve come to realize is that it is a decision that needs to be made by both partners, openly and honestly.
My husband and I have had many discussions about what is expected of both of us, as parents and as partners. We often talk about what we both need and want from our relationship and what we want for our children.
For instance, when my husband comes home from work, I try to have dinner ready for him. And “try” is the operative word here, as sometimes I really don’t have time to make dinner if both children are having an especially cranky day. They become my entire focus and my day to day chores get pushed aside. So on those days, my husband will help make dinner and set the table. He understands that my days are sometimes like that, and so he is willing to pitch in when I need help.
During some evenings, my husband knows I need time to myself, so he will take both children for an outing, to allow me some down time. On the weekends, we both work together to get chores down like vacuuming and floor washing; things that are next to impossible to get done, when I am looking after both children during the week.
And when our children are in bed and we both need to vent about our days, we listen to each other. And I don’t mean just nodding and waiting for our own turn to speak. I mean, we listen with our hearts. He knows that my day at home is just as important as his day at work. Both are equal – just different.
Parenthood is a partnership, irrespective if one parent is at home with the children or not. Both parents must be committed to raising their children together.
Could I be at home with the children 24/7 with no emotional or physical support from my husband? Probably. Would I eventually have a melt down? You bet. Even if we had all the money in the world and I could be at home with no financial worries (dream of all dreams), it still wouldn’t work successfully if my husband didn’t provide the emotional and physical support as well.
One of my most treasured words of wisdom is “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction”. I am a Stay at Home Mom, but my husband is a Stay at Home supporter. And that support has made all the difference.