Monday, April 22, 2013
A Dad's Point of View: Honey... It's Just So Sad!
Happy Monday The Wondering Brain fans! I've been writing about being a parent, career woman, and doctoral student for the last couple months now. While writing about my little adventures of life, I've always wondered what a guy would do. Thus, the segment A Dad's Point of View emerged! As I searched for dad bloggers who wanted to guest post, I met Tyson from Uplifting Love and I knew he would be the perfect dad to write on this subject. Without further adieu, meet Tyson Cooper:
Honey...It's Just So Sad!
“Oh honey! It’s just sooo sad,” my wife exclaimed as our new son cried in the next room.
“I know.” I responded.
“I’m going to go and get him.”
“Sweetheart, just let him cry.”
“I can’t. He needs to know we love him.”
“Beautiful, he knows that we love him. He just needs to cry.”
“It breaks my heart though. Please can I go get him?”
“My love, we’ve talked about this. We are exhausted. He is exhausted. We’ve checked on him to make sure that he’s not hungry, he’s not hurt, he doesn’t have a dirty diaper, and he’s not cold. He just needs to cry and we need to rest; YOU need to rest.”
“I know, but it’s just so sad.”
“I know Gorgeous. I love him too and I don’t like listening to him cry either. But he just needs to cry right now.”
“Alright.” My wife says with a long sigh.
This conversation, or some variation on it, has happened so many times in our home I’ve lost count. Parenting has pushed us closer together and unified our marriage in ways we hadn’t expected. Also, nothing has caused more contention and misunderstandings than parenting.
Marriage is about collaboration. Sometimes we say it’s about compromise but it shouldn’t be. It’s about collaboration, working together to achieve a desired outcome. One of the goals of my wife and I’s marriage is to raise our children to be honest, decent, God-fearing human beings. We each have a different approach to accomplishing that though, especially in the “early days.” My wife, Cami, is a sweetheart and hates to see people suffer, especially her own children. Her instinct is to coddle, nurture, love, and protect our children. While I also love them and desire to protect them my instinct is to help them learn to fend for themselves. These two instincts can put us at odds at times. We have had to learn how to reconcile our different instincts and opinions to bring unity to our parenting.
Our differing instincts lead us to see our children’s needs and how to meet them differently in different situations. What we have to do is collaborate, not compromise, and take a moment and discuss with each other what is really best for them. We decide together along with sincere prayer what each of our children need at different times and how to best meet those needs. Typically this requires us to blend our natural responses into a new, hybrid approach and then move forward working together to implement it. Whether that is a punishment for inappropriate behavior, the creation of new rules and standards, creating chore charts, or selecting a teacher and/or even the school that our children will attend we work together. Sometimes we decide that my instinct is best and we move forward with that. Other times (more often actually) we decide that my wife’s instincts are best and that becomes our plan of action. The end result is that the children’s needs are better met and we come closer together as a couple.
Compromise too often promotes, consciously or not, that there must be winner and a loser. This attitude can really cause a problem as husbands and wives (and vice-versa) begin to compete and one wins this round and the other loses waiting to win the next round. We should be collaborating, not compromising. Collaboration in marriage, especially with parenting, strengthens our marriages and builds up the team that is you and your spouse. Collaboration…it works. Try it.