9 Ways Every Grown-Ass Man Handles Parenting Disagreements With His Partner
Before we successfully procreated, my partner and I rarely argued. Our first "fight" came 6 months into my pregnancy, when I was upset (read: hormonal) that he wouldn't wear my football team's jersey during the NFC Championship. I was devastated, and considered my partner to be a horrendous person (until the hormones let up and I realized I was being very unreasonable). Now that we have our son, now a toddler, we find ourselves debating more often, usually about parenting choices. Thankfully, my partner is a grown-ass man who handles parenting disagreements like a boss.
We share the responsibilities of parenthood pretty equally, which means we make the necessary decisions regarding how we want to raise our son together. Sometimes that's very simple, as we have a lot in common and think relatively similarly and have the same beliefs. However, from time-to-time we disagree, and find ourselves wanting to make juxtaposing decisions when it comes to how we raise our child. When that happens, we have to come together and speak like adults, instead of prepubescent adolescents who would rather be right than do the right thing. Sounds easy enough, but when you're exhausted from parenthood and passionate about a choice you think you should make and the care of your kid hangs in the balance, well, things can get messy.
Which is why every grown-ass man who is part of parenting team, will do the following things to ensure that the disagreement is handled in a healthy, respectful way. You're not always going to agree with your partner, but you can always do the things that will ensure you, eventually, reach some sort of agreement.
Listening to your partner is key in any situation, but especially when it comes to making parenting decisions that will affect your child and, essentially, your family. Instead of assuming that your partner is wrong or they don't know what they're talking about or all of the above, listen. Like, really listen. Understanding where someone is coming from and why they think what they think and why they want to do what they're advocating to do, will help you both end up on the same page.
A grown-ass man is going to actually know what he is talking about, and not just pull some random-yet-opinionated belief out of his you-know-what. If you're going to take a stance or a position on a certain parenting choice or tactic, you better know what you're talking about (and, of course, this goes for every parent).
He Takes Into Account His Partner's Background/Own Childhood
My partner and I had a difficult time, at first, agreeing on how we should discipline our son. My partner came from a healthy family, who loved him and cared for him and made him feel safe. I came from an abusive background, with a very toxic parent, and my past most certainly shaped my beliefs regarding discipline. I can't bring myself to spank or physically discipline my son, in any way, and my partner understands why because he know where I came from. Looking at the big picture helps him see why it is I believe what I believe, and it makes my choices and, in the end, our collective choices, easier to understand.
He Knows That Some Parenting Decisions Aren't His To Make...
A grown-ass man is going to know that, well, some parenting choices aren't his to make. How his partner wants to give birth; whether or not his partner wants to breastfeed and/or for how long; literally anything that has to do with his partner's body, isn't his decision to make. Sure, stay involved and if his partner wants to bounce ideas off him or ask his opinion, I say give it, but at the end of the day what his partner wants to do with her body is absolutely her decision.
...But He Stands Up For Himself, As A Parent, When The Decisions Should Be Made Together
A grown-ass man will not consider himself a secondary parent (something the patriarchy is still trying to convince men and women of). Instead, he will think of himself as an equal and, as such, will advocate for himself and stay involved and stand up for his choices when he wants to make them. He won't back down or leave all the parenting decisions to his partner, just because outdated and sexist gender stereotypes say he should.
He Considers Himself An Equal Parenting Partner...
A grown-ass man knows he is just as responsible for his child as his partner. Just because he is unable to become pregnant or give birth or breastfeed (if his partner chose and was able to breastfeed), doesn't mean that he isn't an equal parenting partner and, as such, equally responsible. Would it be easier, in terms of arguments, to just hand the reigns over to one partner and give them all the decision making power? Maybe, but that isn't a parenting partnership or a co-parenting partnership or, you know, much of any partnership at all.
...So He Wants To Be Part Of The Decision Making Process
A grown-ass man is going to want to make decisions. He is going to want to have his voice heard and take part in shaping his child's life and doing the "dirty work" that is all-too often required of parents.
He Doesn't Care About Being "Right"
When you become a parent, your ego does (or should) go out the window. Being "right" is no longer important, not in the sense that you get to boast about "knowing it all" and telling your parenting partner that you had the correct idea all along because #goals. No. What matters is that you do right by your child, and sometimes that means admitting that you were wrong and/or someone else was right.
So, when you're in a parenting disagreement, you won't keep arguing for the sake of argument and you won't keep debating until your partner concedes the point; you'll keep going until your goal is reached, which is to come to the best decision for your kid.
He's Not Afraid To Compromise
Because being "right" and having things done one, specific way (your way) is no longer the ultimate goal, compromise will never be off the table. It won't be a big deal to meet in the middle (when possible) and try to accommodate the ideas or choices of both parents, so both parents can feel as comfortable as possible.