Parenting is tough, and parenting with someone else is sometimes tougher. That’s not to say single parents have it easy, because no. However, they do have one slight advantage: they don't have to compromise. They can dress their kid how they like, feed their kid what they like, take their kid where they like, and never have to suffer a passive aggressive remark or eye roll or heavy sigh from anyone else. At least, for the most part. They certainly never have to deal with the kind of ridiculous fights I’ve had with my partner over parenting.
My partner and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on how we raise our son. Even when he was in the womb, we both had differing opinions on how to “care” for him. Trying to decide on a name we could both agree on was also a bit of a struggle. and, to this day and as we near our son’s third birthday, we still have many (usually light-hearted) disagreements over what’s best for our child. I’m almost certain that arguing over parenting decisions is never going to end, but I’m hopeful that the arguments will slow down as our son grows older and is able to make his own choices in life.
At the end of the day, there’s really no need to argue with your partner when you could both calmly discuss your way toward compromise. There's definitely no need when you realize that what you're arguing about is essentially the same thing you both want, need and will fight for: what's best for your baby. So, if you see yourself fighting over any of the following, maybe take a step back and find a better way.
Who Changed The Diaper Last
Changing diapers sucks. Even when your baby is an infant and they’re all tiny and cute and their poop doesn’t actually smell like much, it’s still unpleasant. So when there’s the chance to offload some of that work, you can be we’ll stick it to one another to be the one to change him next.
Whose Turn It Is To Give Our Son A Bath
I know some parents enjoy bath time, but I’m not one of them. It was kinda cute at first, but after roughly 1,000 baths and showers, I’m kind of over it. If it’s time for my kid to wash off all the grime from the day, I will usually try and make a deal with my son (after chiming in that I was the last one to bathe him, which may or may not be true).
Who Warmed The Bottle Of Milk To The “Right Temperature”
This is a silly and brief argument we often get into. My mother helped raise our child in his first year of life, and she got him into the habit of drinking warm bottles. (Note to pregnant folks: DON’T DO IT. FEED IT TO THEM COLD, ALWAYS. PLEASE TRUST ME ON THIS.)
We’re still finding ourselves having to warm his milk, but we often disagree on what’s too hot or too cold. Our son usually determines the winner (by drinking or not drinking the bottle). I blame grandma.
Who Can Feed Our Son The “Best” Foods
My kid can be something of a picky eater, and often goes days on little more than chicken nuggets and yogurt. However, when either of us are able to get him to venture and try new (healthy) items, we tend to gloat.
My husband, I must admit, is better at coaxing our kid to experiment with foods, but I’ll always argue my point: I can almost always get him to eat more in general. Boom.
Whose Turn It Is To Wash The Baby Bottles
I hate washing bottles. Hate it. Then again, so does my husband. We will both ignore the growing number of milky bottles collecting by the sink until our son is completely out, and then whoever got up first has to clean them (or at least one, if we’re being extra stubborn). My partner swears he does them often, but no, it’s usually me.
What Cartoons Are Appropriate For Watching At His Age
My spouse will sometimes put on what I would consider to be “questionable” cartoons on the TV for our son to watch. For example, one day he thought it a good idea to show the new Ninja Turtles movie (rated PG-13) to our almost-3 year old. I quickly nixed it when it got spooky and violent (within, like, two minutes). He wanted to resist, but eventually caved. This argument happens more often than it should.
How Close Is Sitting Too Close To The TV Screen
I know it’s not right, but sometimes (if my kid is super distracted and I’m almost done with something important that requires lots of focus), I’ll let my kid watch the TV and probably from way too close. I know, I know. My husband will argue on this point with me each and every time. He’s right, but goddess knows I hate giving him the satisfaction.
To Curse Or Not To Curse
This is an argument I usually win because I try not to curse around my kid too much. Not because I find cursing to be offensive (I don’t!) but because our kid is so young he still doesn’t get the whole “you can say certain words in certain places and to certain people but not to others” rule.
As a kid, I never sword around my family (because they never swore and they were strictly against it), so I learned quickly I could curse around friends, but not family or teachers or friends’ parents. My kid will learn this too, someday, but for now he thinks it’s funny to use the f-word occasionally and my husband (who curses like a sailor) will try to get him to stop (but of course, what toddler actually listens?).
Whether He Should Be Allowed To Walk Along The High Areas Of The Playground On His Own
My husband and I are both nervous helicopter parents. It’s mainly due to the fact that we lost our first kid and almost lost our son. We know it and admit it and are working against it, and one way I do this is by trying to let my kid explore the playground without mommy being too close.
My partner, on the other hand, hates letting our kid venture more than a couple of feet away when metal bars are involved. Sometimes we argue about this but, in the end, I usually give in to my fear that he’ll fall and break and arm or crack his skull or worse (at least until he’s got a better grasp of gravity).
High Chair Vs. Booster Seat Vs. Regular Seat
Not exactly a fight-fight, but there’s always that moment at a restaurant where we hesitate as to where our son should sit. Sometimes we agree on the high chair, but lately it’s been more a "booster seat versus no special seat at all" debate.
These mini-fights are short-lived but, sometimes and when neither of us are feeling decisive, it can get to be a bit annoying.
Whether He Should Be Allowed To Continue To Suck On His Thumb
Our little one loves to suck his thumb. Loves it. He’ll forgo food if he’s got his thumb, so I go to great lengths to find ways for him to focus his attention on things other than his thumb. My husband has been wanting us to stop allowing this for some time on the grounds that it’ll mess up his teeth. I say he can keep his thumb (at least at night) for a bit longer. I don’t know why we argue about this so constantly, but no one ever said parents aren’t petty.
Whether Or Not To Bring His Stroller On An Outing
I don’t get why my partner so often forgoes bringing the stroller along on outings. I always bring it because I value my arms and my back and know our kid can have a meltdown at any moment and a stroller is the easiest way to get him out of an area.
However, I probably shouldn't argue. Instead I should just keep laughing whenever I see my husband struggle with our 30 pound child.
Which Shoes He Should Wear With His Outfit
It’s not exactly an argument, but more of a passive aggressive thing. I’ll dress my son one way, my partner will dress him another. Sometimes we’ll be underhanded and change what he’s already wearing (though not very often). Maybe we parents just need to grow up, though.