4 Tips to Help You Navigate Parenting in Marriage
The newlywed years came quickly to a halt when my babies became toddlers. I was the perfect mom, or so I often thought. However, my husband might not have been the perfect dad, or at least in my opinion. How could I have thought so highly of myself and so negative of my husband?
A common reason I focused on my husband’s shortcomings when it came to parenting was because my husband didn’t always speak to our children with a kind tone, which was very irritating. I lost count of the number of arguments we had over how he spoke to the children. But rest assured, the number is significant.
Of course, I wasn’t aware of how I was speaking to our children. I was just certain it wasn’t how he was!
Ladies, marriage is hard enough, but then add parenting on top of that, and a healthy marriage becomes an unlikely feat.
So today, I want to share four tips to help you navigate the parenting struggles in marriage.
- You are not a mediator. For years, my children would get upset with their dad, and they would come to me with their complaints. I would then go to my husband with correction. An argument would ensue, and life was not peaceful for a while. When I learned that I could give my kids comfort and encourage them to take their problem to dad, I experienced newfound freedom. All of a sudden, it did not feel like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.
Not only that, I was building up their relationship with their dad and didn’t even know it. Relationships grow when we learn to embrace differences and love in spite of those differences. We thrive in opportunities to understand each other and seek forgiveness when it is needed. By teaching my children that I was not a go-between and that they were capable of telling their dad how they felt, I was nurturing their relationship and bringing peace into my marriage relationship.
- Understand dads are not moms! God gave both you and your husband natural characteristics, and they are different! In my home, I am the comforter, and dad is the cheerleader. Guess what? Kids need both in their lives. Just because my husband’s parenting style is different from mine does not mean he is wrong. Instead, it means that God is using our various methods of parenting to bring about His great work in our children.
For so long, I believed my husband’s parenting style was wrong, and mine was right. What a blessing it was when God began to open my eyes to the truth that He created my husband and me differently, and He gave us different parenting styles to bring about His best in our children. Do you need to offer your husband more grace in his parenting styles that differ from yours?
- Speak the positive traits of your husband to your children. When I felt ‘better than’ my husband in the world of parenting, I didn’t have much positive to say. My lousy attitude began to infiltrate my children’s thinking. God lovingly showed me one day it was time to make some changes in my attitude. It was amazing that as I began to compliment my husband to my children, they began to see him differently.
Take a moment to reflect on how you speak of your husband to your children. Are your words building your husband up or tearing him down?
- Pray for yourself and your husband as it relates to parenting. Pray that you and your husband would compliment and not correct each other in the ways you parent your children.. Allow God to soften your heart to a different parenting style than yours. Ask God to help you see the heart of your husband and to appreciate his love for you and your children.
I pray these four tips will help alleviate tension in your marriage during the childrearing years. Dear Wife, you’re not perfect (even though you might think you are ‘better than’ at times). Your husband is not perfect, either. Both of you are going to make mistakes along the way, so always be ready to extend grace for those mistakes. Then, allow these four tips to help guide you in this beautifully challenging journey called parenting.
Wife Step: Print out or write out the above four steps and keep them handy.
Karen lives in Madison, Alabama with her husband and three children. Karen has served as Preschool and Children’s Pastor and has been involved in women’s ministry for many years leading small groups, making hospital visits, organizing retreats, and encouraging the hearts of women. Karen now blogs at Glimpses of Faith and Struggles. What started out as a way to communicate medical facts has become a place where Karen uses life experiences to encourage others in their life journey. When she’s not busy caring for her family or writing, you might find her cooking or crafting.