Parenting; the one thing that can divide even the strongest of relationships. Not completely, obviously, I mean I’m not implying that all relationships are doomed once you produce offspring. However, it does seem to be one thing that can cause a passionate divide in a couple.
It seems to be the belief of both parties in a parenting couple that each one has it harder, or alternatively that the other has something good that they themselves do not have as much of. Please note that I am not saying either party wants to swap places with the other, simply that something, albeit usually small, about the other person’s life seems sweeter perhaps.
For example, the parent who stays home the most may feel that the other parent has more time to themselves without the stresses of young children while the parent who goes out to work more feels that the other has more quality time with the children and is lucky not to suffer the stresses of work. Neither person is wrong in my humble opinion; having been on both sides of this particular coin at various points in my life I feel I can defend and argue both viewpoints.
So, my train of thought behind this blog post is simply questioning why it has to be such an opposing situation? Why do parents, who are ultimately happy with their circumstances, find themselves driven to fuel this age old argument? It gains nothing and simply leaves both parties feeling that the other doesn’t appreciate all they do for the family when that is not the case. In fact that usually couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Surely it would be so much healthier for both parents to just acknowledge and appreciate that both positions are hard, tiring, mentally and emotionally draining but also rewarding and of course, necessary. So why is that so hard to do? I would like to think it’s because of the level of emotion involved in such matters. Love is powerful and turbulent after all.
I guess all we can do is try to be better. Be more selfless, more compassionate, more understanding. Put our faith in the love and bond that is family and hope that it prevails over all obstacles. Because if you’re lucky enough to have family then you have it all.