"Don't take up a man's time talking about the smartness of you children; he wants to talk to you about the smartness of his children."

When you and your partner disagree on how to raise the kids



[Editor's note: This story is a an essay about a women and her husband. While this is one example of one type of relationship, we understand, appreciate and celebrate that relationships come in all forms and configurations.]

In the beginning, I didn't realize how different the parenting styles of my husband and I were. We wanted to imbue our children with the same values (kindness, respect for others, enthusiasm for learning) and had the same goals (getting them out of the house and independent enough to schedule their own doctor's appointments by the time they graduate).

When your children are babies, let's face it, there's not a lot of actual parenting that goes on. Aside from loving them unconditionally, at that stage parenting is mostly care-taking: changing diapers, wiping runny noses and the like. Yet, at that point, we still had the same values (discussing how our children were the cutest on earth) and goals (getting them to sleep for more than two hours at a time).

The first year or two, we rarely disagreed. We had the same opinions on babywearing (great for naps), breastfeeding (free food), and vaccines (as many as advisable, as soon as possible). But as our children grew...


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