The Balancing Act of Co-Parenting


Before I had kids, I heard a talk from a parenting coach who suggested “if you want someone to co-parent with you, you have to let them parent their way.”


Pre-kids, this seemed really obvious and a clear way my husband and I would raise kids.  After all, this wasn’t the 1950s, we both would be contributing to our family’s finances and we both would be contributing to raising our kids.


Fast forward to actually having kids, and like so many things I thought before children — co-parenting is easier said than done.


I drive my husband crazy when I tell the kids no treats until they finish their lunch, but later give in after a ‘few more bites,’ and I really wish he would not get the kids completely wound up right before the bedtime routine starts.


But should we really be parenting the same?


Think of any other situation where people work together for a common goal, really no where do two people have the same job or are expected to do it the same way.  A baseball team needs a pitcher and a first baseman, a company needs a CEO and CFO, a high school needs an art teacher and a math teacher.  We don’t judge the successes of the art teacher by her math skills, why do we judge each other parenting skills based on our own.


It is my experience that parenting is a middle game, and one of communication and compromises.{click to tweet that!}  I try to ask for what I need more often and judge his style of school lunch making less.  I think back to that bit of pre-kid advice, he is happy to pack the school lunches,  and I have to let him do it his way…even if it is not right mine.


My husband and I don’t parent our kids the same way, but I think my husband and I each bring a unique and special thing to the parenting table.


My kids get cleaner in the bath with dad than with me.  He is way more apt to wrestle on the floor after dinner or play a board game, where I prefer to suggest ‘movie night’ after a long day. He reminds them to cover their mouths when they sneeze and enforces the “pleases” and “thank yous” more than I do.  I let my kids paint the side of the laundry room with mud, but never forget to bring diapers and snacks when we leave the house.


No matter who enforces dinnertime rules or who makes sure the doctor appointments are scheduled, my husband and I are grounded in our bigger parenting goals.  We want to raise friendly, confident, independent kids who know they are loved unconditionally, by both parents, and know they are part of bigger team—our family.

What ways do you and your partner parent differently?  Can you embrace those difference as a positive?


Healthy Mama Parenting Personal Development Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

  • Camesha June 12, 2013, 9:22 pm

    Oh boy! This post couldn’t be more true. My husband and I differ totally in our parenting styles. The thing is I have to know when to pull back and let him do things his way. That was hard and sometimes it still is. I just remind myself that at the end of the kids we both love our babies to pieces and they know it. What more could I ask for?

  • Cara June 12, 2013, 10:07 pm

    Great blog! And so timely too. I shall be sharing this with the hubby and a number of friends who struggle with different parenting styles.

  • Jessica June 12, 2013, 10:24 pm

    Yes! It’s so easy to get caught up in the differences part – and not see how the bigger picture of your family values is being served.

    Lovely post!

  • Beryl June 12, 2013, 10:28 pm

    I absolutely love this post. It’s so true that we each bring something unique and different to the table. My husband and I have said forever that “we make a good team” and think that’s because we each have our special strengths. He’s great at playtime, and sticking to routines. I’m great at coming up with fun activities and conversation. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Jen June 12, 2013, 10:36 pm

    This is *great*, Meg! And I love the photos.

  • Franky June 16, 2013, 8:42 am

    Great post by Megan!! I enjoyed reading this article and whatever shared regarding co-parenting absolutely true. To become a inspiring parents I’ll definitely share this post with my wife as well. Thanks a lot.

  • Cathy | The Health Coach Group June 18, 2013, 7:57 pm

    Great topic! My husband and I have raised 3 generations of children…(I am really not that old)…we are on our granddaughter now. I am patient and nurturing…my husband is stern and demanding. Somehow, we have balance each other out and our children are great. Of course, with my children…I was in charge and he was at the golf course…time and age changes things too. Thanks!

  • Bianca | Video For Shy People June 19, 2013, 4:42 pm

    Megan, I’m not a parent but I totally loved this post! I think that there’s benefits to having both parents having a different approach. Growing up, I know my mom and dad had their own style to it, but they were both grounded on the same values. So I think that as long as both parents are on the same page on the big picture they have for their kids and the family, parenting styles and approaches can differ.

  • minista jazz June 19, 2013, 5:30 pm

    I was a single parent for nearly 11 years before meeting my husband. I was so use to making all of the decisions for myself. We parent differently of course but it works. We are both pretty hands off with the kids but his expectations are really high. I tell him even though they are teens there are things that they need to be shown. I love this article! Thank you for sharing.

  • Christie June 19, 2013, 10:12 pm

    One thing I appreciate so much about co-parenting is that my hubby and I have completely different talents to bring to the table. He’s happy to help with math homework and teach the kids music. I’m all for anything that involves writing and imagination. He’s way more likely to stay calm and cool when explaining tricky subjects (you know the ones I mean). I’m better at handling all the bodily fluid explosions that go along with sick kids!


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