Nothing tests the strength of a partnership like co-parenting. I felt like my husband and I were in total synch for the first couple of years of our kids’ lives. Then our babies turned into highly verbal, defiant preschoolers programmed to test limits and I realized my husband and I won't always share the same parenting philosophies. There are ways your partner subtly shames your parenting; ways that you don't automatically notice when you're trying to work through your differences and your kid is mid-tantrum and you lack the time (or energy) to find an immediate compromise. I first noticed when I was tasked with dealing with the a majority of our kids' tempter tantrums, as my initial reaction seemed to go against some intrinsic value my partner had that I wasn't necessarily aware of.
I don’t believe my husband means to hurt my feelings when he throws shade at me for some way I’ve decided to handled a situation with the kids. I think (and I know, because I feel the same way when he executes some disciplinary policy I don’t agree with in the moment) he is simply frustrated. He’s annoyed that he has to relinquish control or because I didn't consult him or because we’re having the same argument for the 18th time. All those feelings are swirling inside him at the exact moment he says something, or makes a face, or leaves the room with a certain flair that disrupts any flow of righteousness I might have been feeling about my current parenting move. He takes the wind out of my parenting sail, and it’s a bummer.
Though it stings in the moment, it’s by no means a tactic meant to undercut my authority as our children’s co-parent. I know that, because these are pretty isolated instances that don’t color the rest of our (fairly) harmonious time with our kids. But if you’re constantly being put down by your partner for your parenting efforts, it might be time to get some outside guidance. If you’re not feeling in step with your parenting co-pilot, you may recognize these as ways your partner is subtly shaming your parenting: