Balancing parental strengths and weaknesses

I find that when it comes to parenting -- as with various other aspects of our lives and relationship -- my wife and I each have our various strengths and weaknesses. Being able to recognize where we excel and fail, helps us put our best foot forward when it comes to raising our child. Therefore, we try to advance or retreat depending upon the situation in order to step up for one another when we are at less than our best.

While I recognize that for single parents -- as my mother was -- the roles of both parents may have to be balanced in one complete and total package, for those of us with a significant other, knowing where our strengths and weaknesses lie can help us balance and better perfect our parenting skills while relying upon one another as a support.

My Wife:

There are some things my wife just does better than me or is more interested in than I am. This means that I'm willing to take a secondary role when it comes to such items, even if they are things that don't always fit the expected "mom" and "dad" roles or activities…such as sports.

Sports

Both my wife and I are good at sports. She played softball (and even declined a chance to play in college) and is a great swimmer. I also grew up playing baseball, basketball, tennis, and football, but as an adult, I'm just not into them as much as my wife is.

Therefore, while I'm there to help with techniques, stances, throws, and the likes, I'm often content to let my wife lead the charge outside to play ball with our little one, even though it's often considered more of a "dad" role.

Patience

My wife blows me out of the water in the patience category. I guess this is why she makes such a great occupational therapist. And I know that with certain activities in which my patience will be tested, it's better just to back off and let my wife take over occasionally.

Fun

In many cases, my wife is a more fun individual than me. She has a more light-hearted, happy-go-lucky attitude, and is just more carefree in general. Therefore, when mommy gets home from work and our son immediately runs to her for games and entertaining activities, I am content to step back for a while and let them play together.

Me:

While my wife is great at things like sports, patience and fun, this doesn't mean she holds a monopoly on the positive parenting attributes. I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to aspects of parenting at which I am quite good as well.

Discipline

While my wife is quite patient, she is sometimes a little too patient and this leads to disciplinary issues with our son since he knows that he can push the limit and get away with more around my wife. Though I've discussed this with her, and she knows she needs to work on this aspect of parenting, she often defaults to me when it comes to disciplinary action.

Teaching

I grew up with a mother who went to school for education, worked in daycares, and even owned her own daycare when I was little. Therefore, I'm used to the learning environment; it's just kind of second nature to me. Add this to the fact that I work from home while caring for our little one, and I have now become Mother…or I guess "Father Goose" when it comes to teaching and educational activities.

Activities and Imagination

While I'm super creative, and I love to imagine and think outside the box, my wife will openly admit that creativity is not her forte. This is okay since I'm often the one to come up with the activities and fun ideas, and she's the one to carry them out.

A Healthy Balance

Between the two of us, our individual parenting abilities are both bolstered by our collective strengths. We are better able to minimize our weaknesses by openly and honestly discussing and accepting them, and working not only to improve upon those weaknesses, but help one another minimize the effect those weaknesses have upon our son.

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