Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Better Parent

For today's Won't You Be My Neighbor post, I'm welcoming Christine LaRocque of Coffees and Commutes. (If you're on top of your game, you may remember I had the honor of guest posting for her last week!) I discovered Christine (yep, she has me to thank) last fall, and I've enjoyed her writing on the juggling act that is working and mothering ever since. Thank you for joining me here today, Chrstine!

I admire my husband. I gush about him frequently at Coffees and Commutes. It's not to be irritating or to set him up as better than others. The reason I'm so quick with the praise is because...well, he deserves it. It's that simple. I count my blessings and give credit where it's due. Not a day passes that I'm not thankful he's my partner and best friend. Here's why:

The top 10 reasons my husband is a better parent than I:

10. He plays endlessly with our boys, no game or activity is too trivial. His patience and enthusiasm for their various forms of fun amazes me.

9. He includes our oldest in almost every job he does around the house. This cannot be without frustration for him because it takes him hours longer than necessary to complete a task. And yet, he accommodates our soon to be 4-year-old budding handyman and let's him tag along and learn.

8. He's got a better sense of humour about almost all challenges said preschooler throws our way. He rolls with the punches so to speak and offers perspective when I can find none myself.

7. It's clear to him, much more than it is to me, that no matter how hard this intense period of caring for little boys is, it will get better as they get older. I don't mean the actual parenting, I have no illusions that it just changes, and perhaps, arguably, gets harder. What I mean is in terms of finding time to get things done. As they get older they will be more independent, more willing, even wanting to entertain themselves on occasion. He reminds me constantly that they won't need me so intensely forever.

6. He's better at discipline. My son doesn't get under his skin and doesn't "work him" like he does me. He makes a decision and sticks by it.

5. He has a much better imagination. He can talk to both boys (even the 14-month-old) at their level. They just chat about stuff and enjoy it. I like to chat too, but I marvel at the things he thinks to talk with them about. He explains everything, he's creative, he tells made-up stories that delight the boys. It's enchanting.

4. He can go for weeks without any time to himself and still enjoy our company. I, on the other hand, cannot go for more than a few days.

3. Have I mentioned how well he plays with the boys? Oh yes! But worth mentioning again because I so envy him this skill. I am NOT good at getting down and dirty with trucks, trains and tools. But he does, for HOURS.

2. He's much better at letting them go. He understands that boys will be boys. He's okay with the scrapes and bruises, the daredevil attitude, the unbridled energy. He just gets it, encourages it, and copes with it.

And the number one reason my husband is a better parent than me?

1. He gets me, the mom. He supports me unconditionally. He lets me be who I need to be to my boys. He doesn't harp that I hover, or snuggle or cuddle too much. He's been the best breastfeeding coach a mom could have. He listens over and over again to my various worries. At the same time, he encourages all of my personal pursuits because he knows, in the end they make me a better, more present mother. I'm not sure I do the same for him.

Please leave comments for Christine (the luckiest woman ever) below! If you have a neighbor visiting you this week, be sure to snag the banner at the top of this post and link up!

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