Snapshot: When you and your husband disagree about parenting

by singlemomseeking on December 28, 2013

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions. Do you? This coming year, I resolve to stop picking fights with Chris. It’s usually about little things, and almost always when I’m exhausted (Hello, mom of a toddler!). But still. Sometimes it’s not nice. So, there you have it. I’m going to do my best to be more mindful before I react.

That’s not to say that Chris and I haven’t gotten into it over BIG things. Like how to co-parent. So, when you’re arguing about a big issue, how do you resolve it?

I’m honored to feature one of my favorite blended family bloggers: Crystal, who’s talking about exactly this. Crystal calls herself Ewokmama because she grew up in the 80s and adores the ewoks from Star Wars. Two years into her remarriage to David (pictured below), she found out that her son Jack, who was five at the time, had leukemia. “Cancer completely changed our lives in every way.”

ewokfamilyCrystal met David when Jack was two.
“Things kept lining up for us. We worked a few blocks from each other, so it was easy to meet up for lunch. He let me set the pace for everything. I had gotten so used to working incredibly hard to keep my marriage together, I had no idea that a relationship could just flow. We were so grateful to have found one another that we treasured any spare moment we could get.”

That’s not to say that Crystal and David haven’t had their challenges.
“I had to work hard to undo a lot of the damage my rocky marriage had caused… My ex was a challenge, as well, and I learned how set my boundaries with him, something I hadn’t done in the past. I made sure to let my ex know that he was always going to be Jack’s dad and no one could take his place, and I think that helped. When he started dating someone else, that was an even bigger help!”

Most recently, she and David hit another roadblock.
“David and I are trying to conceive, and we’re both anxious about how things will change with another child. David is worried about shortchanging Jack when he becomes a biological father, but he’s also concerned that sometimes I coddle Jack, who has a lot of fears about being alone. For example, Jack wants me to be near him when he uses the bathroom or goes into his bedroom to play. David wants to encourage Jack to be more independent, but I worry about pushing him too hard.”

Crystal said that she turned to a professional to talk, and also found some helpful books.
“I’ve concluded that Jack’s fears are related to his illness — he’s two years into fighting leukemia and hasn’t been able to go to school regularly — and we need to be more relaxed. I hadn’t explained any of that to David, however, and that resulted in some tense conversations. When we eventually sat down to talk, we had to put our  emotions aside and work together to understand why we weren’t in agreement.”

Thank you, Crystal, for your openness! I can’t end this post without giving a shout-out to the amazing Jack. When you get the chance, check out Crystal’s blog about Jack, a boy who doesn’t like guns and prefers for his clothes to match. A few choice things Jack has been overheard saying:

I feel like chicken filled with whipped cream instead of muscles.

You know why I’m like this – it’s because of the droids! (After he’d wrapped up a week of steROIDS.)

Maybe in the future, in 20 years, we can learn to make magic happen.

If you’re part of a blended family and you’d like to be featured here, I’d love to hear from you. 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

CCD December 31, 2013 at 7:06 am

I don’t know that there are any formulas for dealing with blended families, and there certainly aren’t any that are perfect, free from stress, and free from conflict. I grew up in a blended family too, so I have seen it from the other perspective as well. SGG did also and her experience was a lot different from mine.

SGG sees the world differently from me, and I from her. We have some common ground, but I also know that fundamentally we will see the same situation with the kids in completely different ways. I also know that there are many solutions to problems, not just mine and not just hers. We have good friends that let us know when we are being childish and selfish…and stupid. I have learned, and it is hard to practice, that sometimes I have to let her do something her way and live with the outcome even when I think it can be avoided. I have had to learn to do the same thing with my son. In both cases I know that they are doing what they think is right, and often I find that I was the one that was wrong in the anticipated outcome.

We both have different stress points and triggers. I sometimes don’t realize I’m doing something that will trigger some fear or reaction in SGG, and vice-versa with her. She said it best a couple of years ago when I had done something that really irritated her, “Its hard to get mad at you when I know you are trying to do the right thing.” That is a hard thing to grasp and often harder to accept, to know that the person that just triggered some deep seeded fear and emotion was in truth trying to help. And regardless of what she said, she still gets mad at me and me with her.
CCD´s last blog post ..Becoming an adult…

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singlemomseeking February 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm

I love what your wife said to you, so good to remember:
“It’s hard to get mad at you when I know you are trying to do the right thing.”

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T January 2, 2014 at 9:14 am

You know I hear you. I love that you still highlight other blended family challenges here on your blog. So many blogs to relate to!

The kids want to go to San Francisco soon. I hope to see you all!

xxoo
T´s last blog post ..Holding on to Memories and Moments

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Jamie January 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Thanks for sharing. I am from a blended family…. only I’m the step mom who had the kids move in full time a year after I was married to their dad and then just over two years ago the biological mother by her own choice had me adopt them and then less than a year after that she passed away in a tragic, sudden motorcycle accident…. it’s been a strange, strange ride that’s for sure….. :)

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