Accepting a “Different Parenting Style”

The New York Times’ Motherlode blog has a plea for advice from a young mother who says parenting is “ruining her marriage.” I scarcely need to offer you a synopsis of her plaint: Essentially, she performs singing puppet shows with cutlery while her spouse is thumbing through his e-mail on his BlackBerry. Who hasn’t heard that before? In fact, this month’s Parents magazine highlights an argument so nearly identical to this one for its article on “How to Fight in Front of the Kids” that I had to double check to make sure I’d actually read two separate pieces on the topic. The Parents mom makes a healthy breakfast on weekend mornings and heads to the playground, while her partner turns on both the TV and his laptop. What’s a “good” mother to do with such a “bad” dad? Because while neither complaining mother used such inflammatory adjectives, the subtext was clear. One parent is clearly not pulling his weight.

And because the Motherlode mom actually asked for advice, I feel free to offer mine: Dump him. Just pack up those two kids under 5 and walk away.

Read more on Slate’s XXFactor blog (and please, get that I’m kidding.)

I have more interest in this than I let on–I’ve been thinking more about it today, and the fact that the tables were somewhat turned in our family when Rory was adopted, and Rob was the one with the more, ahem, giving and loving parenting style there for a while.

2 Responses to “Accepting a “Different Parenting Style””

  1. Kelly says:

    I don’t give my husband the option of ignoring the kids. However, we have a very egalitarian marriage. I always feel bad for spouses who feel they must take on more of the parenting duties — whether it’s the husband or the wife.

  2. Lisen says:

    We are SO lucky!

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