When your work life is stressful, the house hasn't been cleaned all week and you're dealing with a screaming baby in one arm and a defiant toddler in the other room, the last thing you're probably thinking about is how to make things easier on your partner or co-parent. Regardless of your day job, parenting is hard work and, while it definitely can lighten the load, doing it with someone else often feels like the cherry on top of the stress-sundae. However, there are certain things you should never say to your co-parent, even in the heat of the moment, whether they're your partner, ex or anything else.
Although some of these phrases seem harmless and even common in conversation, saying them in certain contexts — especially when stress levels are high or you're on the verge of a fight — turns them from innocent phrases to biting words that can wreak havoc on your relationship and, ultimately, your parenting. Remembering your co-parent is the other half in this messy business of raising children will not only help both of you be more sensitive to the other's needs but will result in a happier parenting relationship which results in happier kids. And that's a win/win for everyone.
1"What Have You Been Doing All Day?"
Is there anything more disrespectful you could say to your partner? Whether they stay home with the kids, work from the home, or run around the office, assuming that they relax all day long or otherwise have it easier than you do is as ridiculous as it sounds.
2"You Do (Insert Dreaded Chore) So Much Better."
Parenting, just like any job, can't be split halfway. Saving the dreaded chores for your partner to do is inconsiderate with a little side of laziness. So what if your co-parent is better at handling the the melt downs or the dishes? Tackling one of the the dreaded tasks for yourself will show them that you value their time and are willing to put in as much effort as they do.
3"I'm Too Tired."
Parenting is exhausting, and while it's important to give yourself a break, saying that you're too tired implies that you don't think your co-parent is as tired as you are.
4"I Just Want To Be Left Alone"
Don't we all. Remember to give each other a break every now and then so that one of you doesn't feel over worked while the other enjoys their alone time.
5"You're Just Doing That Because It's How You Were Raised"
Even if you were raised in drastically different backgrounds, pulling that card will only cause a fight. Instead, use your differences to compliment areas where one of you may have a weakness.
6"Just Let Me Handle It."
Even if you don't mean it this way, taking over tasks implies that you don't think your partner or co-parent can adequately handle the task at hand.
7"I'm Sorry But..."
This apology is insincere at best and fake at worst. It suggests that you're only saying sorry to appease your partner in the moment, but you really think the problem is their fault. Owning your side of the issue will make for a much smoother and sincere exchange.
8"Just Calm Down"
Asking someone to calm down without listening to why they're upset in the first place tells them that you don't really care about how they feel and only want to quell the situation.