It's My Way or the Highway

Love & Sex 4

When you're used to doing everything yourself, it's only natural that you start to believe that your way is the best way. It's not necessarily that it actually is the best way, but it sort of becomes that way by default.
It's like being a captain of a squadron. Or the executive chef in a kitchen. They may not always have the strongest plan of attack or the best method to prepare the ingredients, but they're in charge. So there's no arguing or questioning or politely suggesting another way of doing something. And in doing so, it makes getting the job done inordinately easier. 
But as much as I run my home, it is oftentimes run like a squadron or a restaurant kitchen, with lots of more fun, fewer uniforms, and extremely less appetizing food, and as much as I hate to admit, I'm not the commander in chief. 
I'm only acting as such while my husband is gone
It should come as no surprise that I have a difficult time relinquishing some of my power when he returns. It's not that I have this desire to be in charge of everything. Or maybe I do and I just don't know it yet. 
But when you're the boss all the time, it's hard to have another boss around, particularly one who does things differently that you do. 
And it's just as challenging to help the kids adapt back to a two-boss household. 
But it needs to happen, not just because I need a freaking break, but because the kids need to know that there are other ways of doing things. It's part of the beauty and privilege of growing up in a two-parent household, regardless of how often my husband is actually around to parent.
When I have a quiet moment to think about my days, I know that my husband might actually do things better than I do. And even if he doesn't, so what? Does it matter whether the kids are all in the bathtub at the exact same time? Should I care that he gives them dessert a little earlier than usual?
No. I shouldn't. And it's a waste of my time and energy to think otherwise.
Like a commenter boldly shared in so many words, it's not like he's dangling them upside down off our second-floor balcony. Or feeding them wood chips.
He's doing what I did and still do -- trying to do the best he can. Sometimes hitting the nail right on the head. And sometimes fumbling around aimlessly in the dark.
And for that, like any parent in the trenches, he deserves more credit than I've been giving him. Lord knows I've done my fair share of screwing up and he's never said a word.
So it's time for me to do the same for him -- not just for my kids. But for us.
Image via kia4067/Flickr

love, marriage, sex


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maxiecat maxiecat

Wow - nice to see you pass on some praise for your husband!!  You nailed it when you said that you were both doing the very best you could!! I hope he got a nice big hug and you said this right to him, too!

When my kids were small, my husband had a job that kept him from home, sometimes in a way that he could not even contact us to say when he would be back.  When he was home, he totally had his head wrapped around the parenting gig - and our kids were very flexible about doing things "dad's" way and doing them "mom's" way.   Hubby and I also discussed a lot of their routine, and came up with ways that were consistent whether he was home or not.  We tried very hard to stay on the same page with things like what got consumed at mealtime or snacktime, bedtime routines, bathtime routines, acceptable television habits, etc.  Seems like that made it easier to have some consistency for the kids, rather than two completely different ways of doing things.  I also learned that his way of folding laundry, or cleaning up after meals, or anything he did slightly differently than what I perceived as "the right way" was never fatal - the laundry still got put away, the kitchen sparkled and everything got done.  We seemed to have raised a couple of pretty fine adults, who look back on their childhood pretty fondly.


CafeM... CafeMochaMom1

Hello Kristen,

If "you're way" works for you than why can't it be the right way. That's how I see it. It cetainly makes things run smoother. Anyway, kids like routine and if they aren't complaining about it then you're doing it well.

RanaA... RanaAurora

You have a refreshing attitude about this.

THe #1 lesson I think a LOT of women need to learn is that Daddy doing things DIFFERENTLY doesn't mean he does it wrong.  Does he get the same end result in a healthy, productive and pleasant way?  Okay then!

Keep in mind, power-mongering ladies, if you think your way is always right, remember your husband will start to resent you for saying that HE is always wrong!  That's NOT a partnership.

nonmember avatar ame i.

A couple of my friend had a similar problem years ago with him away from home for work quite often while she worked at home carrying for their 4 children.

She critisized every thing he did.  He decided that he would continue doing some things his way in a seperate home.  After the divorce he was still able to see his children as often as he did while still married to their mother except for "all that yappin at heels." His words.  He and the children are happier not sure about her.

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