Since yesterday was Father’s Day, I thought I would talk about parenting.  I was always what you would call a “Daddy’s Girl.”  Of course, now that I’m older, I realize that’s because my Mom always had to be the bad guy because my Dad wasn’t home too often.  It was easy for him to be the hero.  I’m not saying that my father was a bad dad, because I’m not.  I idolized my father.  But what I am saying is that my mom was a far better parent than I’ve ever acknowledged.  My dad was great on vacation and at Christmas, when he would be there to participate in all of the fun.  And he’d be really there and I remember many of those moments as some of my favorites.  However, I’m sure that my mother planned those vacations and those holidays and did a lot of the work (if not all of it) to make them happen.  Yet, it was the time spent with dad that I remember most.  Fair, no.  Now that I’m a parent, I get it.  And boy do I ever owe my mom a big thank you and a big apology.

My husband is a very involved father.  He participates in my kids lives completely.  I am still usually the bad guy, but he’s the bad guy enough that he doesn’t always get to be the hero.  Parenting is a tough job and doing it as partners is even tougher.  It’s easier to say, this is how I do it and so this is how it must be done.  It is very hard to say, well you do it your way and I’ll do it mine.  Not to mention that there are a million things that you have to come to a concensus on.  But it is better, oh so much better, for the kids. 

I used to play my parents off each other because I knew my mom would say no and my dad would say yes.  That really hurt their relationship with each other and it hurt my relationship with my mom.  My kids do not try to play that game because they know it will not work.  My husband and I talk to each other constantly.  Granted, sometimes with stuff like me floating my son a few extra dollars or letting my daughter have a few parakeets (in addition to the rest of her menagerie), I get to be the hero, my husband the bad guy.  But for the really important stuff, we stand together.  After all, when they are gone, we’re still going to be here together.

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