We all have our own way of doing things, it’s just a fact of life. We look at the way other people cook, or talk, or make a business deal and think, “my way is better.” But when it comes to parenting, “my way is better” can be truly detrimental to your relationship with your partner.
On last week’s Up All Night, Regan (Christina Applegate) finds herself with an unexpected week off, and Little Miss Overachiever discovers that the only way she can relax is rearranging everything stay-at-home-Dad Chris (Will Arnett) has well established in the house. She has a “better” way of folding socks, organizing the junk drawer, and even arranging the furniture. Regan thinks she’s helping, but all she’s really doing is telling Chris that his way is the wrong way.
When I first got engaged to my husband, my sister-in-law told me that while she avoids giving advice, she did have one piece of wisdom she was forever grateful had been instilled in her. When you have kids, don’t hen-peck your husband, gritting your teeth every time he holds the baby wrong or changes the diaper crooked. When we do that, it just sends a signal to the other parent that they shouldn’t bother or that they’re contribution isn’t appreciated. It’s not how we intend it to be taken, but think of how we would feel if the situation were reversed.
Let’s face the fact that there are very few truly wrong ways. Your husband isn’t going to hold the baby upside down by her foot. He isn’t going to teach her how to juggle knives at three. If he folds the socks in a way you don’t love, does it really matter? After all, they’re just socks. And your relationship is worth a whole lot more than tense arguments over laundry.