Before the birth of our daughter my husband & I rarely fought. There was not much to fight about. We shared similar interests, we traveled together & we had a great division of household chores. Life was easy. If we wanted to come home from work & drink some wine & nap on the couch together we could. Those days are long over.
After the birth of our daughter there were more & more arguments. The disagreements were most often about our differing parenting styles. My husband is often very lax with his approach to parenting. This can be infuriating to me. While I am trying to hold firm with teaching our daughter lessons in responsibility or addressing a behavioral issue my husband is usually right behind me giving in. He refers to me as the “No Mommy”. This is not exactly a title I like to hold. It is not fun being the mean parent all the time. The “Yes Daddy” gets to have all the fun.
Sure it would be easy to say yes all the time. I would have a happy child & I would sure be a lot less stressed, but what would I be teaching her if I let her call all the shots.
Mai cut herself the other day & was bleeding. I cleaned up her wound & put a Band-Aid on it. Last night after her bath, I removed the Band-Aid & cleaned the now healed area. She asked for another Band-Aid for her boo boo.
“You don’t have a boo boo anymore.”
“I bleeding still…seeeeee. I need a new Band-Aid.”
As the “No mommy” protested, the “Yes Daddy” gave her a new Band-Aid.
At first I was upset because I had already told her no, but the more I thought about it I began to wonder why? Of course I want to teach my daughter. I want her to know the difference between right & wrong. I want her to know that there are repercussions for bad behavior, but does it really matter if she wants a Band-Aid when she no longer has a boo boo? Similarly just yesterday she was singing to us and banging on one of her toys with a spoon. “Mai stop banging that.” My husband looked at me and asked “Why?” “She is just keeping rhythm.”
It made me think. Are all of my restrictions & no’s really in her best interest or have I gotten so caught up in being the disciplinarian that I no longer know what I am fighting for? Are these just my own little hang-ups? Does it really matter if she has another Band-Aid? Will it screw up her childhood if I let her wear mis-matched clothes? Maybe I am too much of a “No Mommy”. Perhaps my husband can teach me to relax a little bit & maybe I can convince him that Doritos do not make a good supper.