My friends over at City Dads Group just wrote a great Mother’s Day themed article “What Our Wives Taught Us About Parenting” on their blog. What a clever way to recognize moms and to promote the notion of shared-care parenting. I highly recommend you read it.
Their post gave me the inspiration to write about what I’ve learned from Amy about parenting as a way of recognizing her on this Mother’s Day. Of course, Amy and I became parents at the same time, and had no hidden reservoirs of prior expertise. But, she’s an awesome mom and I’d be silly not to have learned from her example.
The over-riding lesson I learned from Amy is that everything in life, including parenting, is better with 5% more fun.
Thanks to this lesson, I’ve had a far more joyful time as a dad.
And thanks to Amy:
- We celebrate birthday cake breakfast in bed for all our birthdays. Sometimes this means there are crumbs in bed. Sometimes this means Nick misses the bus and we have to drive him a few minutes late to school. But a fun family celebration is more important.
- Relatedly, I’ve learned to be better about slowing down. Yes, routines are important, but dinner, homework, bedtime, etc. can all wait a few more minutes when you are having fun.
- I occasionally shift my work schedule around, not just for family obligations, but also for family fun. I won’t miss class, but if I can reschedule a meeting or a deadline so that we can take an extra day at the in-laws, or grab a day at the local ski mountain, I’ll do it. The old Scott would be far too uptight for that.
- I’m getting better about putting down the smartphone, shutting off my mental to-do list, and soaking in the moment. I’m still not where I’d like to be, but I’m better about setting aside chunks of time to really be with Amy and Nick without being distracted by thoughts of work (or promoting my book, which you can buy here!)
I often say that the best thing I ever did in my life is marry Amy. There are so many reasons why this is true. This Mother’s Day, I want thank her for helping make me a more mindful and joyful parent. Thanks, baby!
What have you learned from your spouse about parenting? Let’s discuss in the comments section.
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