If you ask me, parenting is the ultimate team sport. Luckily my husband is completely cross-trained and can do anything that I can do at this point. Heck, now that breastfeeding days are behind us, my only distinction is probably that I’m a squishier (and thus better!) hugger.
Between us, we’ve got eight years of experience under our belts (or sixteen if you add them all together, and you should!), so we’ve had lots of time to practice. We’ve gotten pretty good at handing off, zone defense, and any other apropos sports metaphors you want to throw in.
But my mantra wasn’t always simply practice, practice, practice! Here are three must-reads that helped us hone our parenting skills and philosophies. I highly recommend them to anyone out there with kiddos…
1. Babyproofing Your Marriage, by Stacie Cockrell, Cathy O’Neill, and Julia Stone
If you’re struggling to find a new version of “normal” with your spouse after having a baby, Babyproofing your Marriage is life-changing. The trick is, though, that you both need to read it. But I promise, if you and your man can get through the chapters and exercises, you’ll be well on your way to keeping petty differences from overshadowing all the good stuff. Get rid of the score-keeping and the ‘ole “Ten O’Clock Shoulder Tap”. On kindle for $8.
In this terrific post on PhDinParenting, mom blogger Annie shares a few sample schedules to help reach that ever-elusive balance between baby, work, couple, and friend time. (Oh yeah, and ME time!) She maps out a sample day in various scenarios working and stay-at-home parents are both bound to encounter. (The image above is her proposed plan for two working parents.) Skeptical? Go ahead and give it a try to see if it works for you.
3. Minimalist Parenting, by Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest
This final book pick is easier to suggest for the simple fact that only one of you has to read it to feel the impacts right away. In Minimalist Parenting, authors Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest urge you to figure out just what it is that you want more of and what you want less of. Their theory? When you arrive at your answer (and adjust your expectations), you’ll be a much better-prepared partner. If I had my way, I’d ask both of you to read it; but c’mon — you also need to be doing things that you both fabulously enjoy while being involved parents and partners… so do what you need to do.
My last bit of advice here? In order to migrate from those scary new parenting moments—when it feels like MOM MOM MOM! all the time—to a functioning parenting team, Mom needs to sit in the passenger seat and let Dad try stuff out, too. It might just be as simple as that.
So step aside and let him figure stuff out on his own. Go get your toes done. Wish them well. Yes, he will do it differently—but that’s the point. And that’s okay.
Where do you go for parenting advice? Share below!