By: Frank Danna, III
Having a family gives parents pause at nearly each decision they must make. No matter how inconsequential these decisions may seem, parents take care in making them. Where should we go on vacation? Is that restaurant kid-friendly? Are we going to be able to afford this/that? These decisions usually lead to discussion at the dinner table, while cleaning the kitchen, while bathing the kids, you know the drill. We don’t necessarily enjoy these types of discussions, we know intrinsically that they are necessary. Do they sometimes cause squabbles? Yes. Do they cause hurt feelings? Yes. Do they cause fear? Absolutely. What we fail to see so often is that we should be incredibly proud that our partner is so instrumental to our world that their opinion matters.
Yes. Your partner’s opinion should be important to you. I find that it is always much easier to settle on a conclusion when you face it as a team. This speaks to our definition of parenthood, teamwork. There is simply no other way to do it. You don’t honestly believe that one parent can do it all? And well? It’s virtually impossible. I couldn’t even begin to explain how much my spouse does for our family, and she is well cognizant that I pull my weight as well. We both work our tails off for one common goal: to raise our kids in a home which sets forth an example for what marriage should and can be. It’s now about bank accounts, retirements, vacations, restaurant outings, etc. It’s so we can provide these kids with an example. An example of how adults function, in a tumultuous world, faced with a litany of adversity. Please don’t misconstrue this as a “woe is me” type thing. That is just how these parents see a decision. We discuss, plan, form a backup, then plan again, because each decision we make is important to us in the scheme of parenthood.
I am proud of the fact that years from now, we will be able to look back at each and every big decision and think to ourselves: “Yep, remember how difficult/easy that was?” These moments of reflection are not badges you get to wear, like your trophy case on that app you’ve been playing. They are moments in your lives where the two of you were on the same page. Isn’t that what marriage is all about? Always being on the same page? It certainly is to us. We might not always be reading the same book, but I can assure you, we are on the same page!
We ask you to experiment with this. Tell your partner about your day. Discuss decisions, no matter how seemingly trivial they are. Let your children hear your conversations, keep them cordial, keep them factual. These kids MUST see what it takes to become a parent. It is our calling to ensure that they understand each and every aspect of what it takes to raise productive and thoughtful children. After all, there is a good chance they will be floating in the same boat at some point.
Note: Our little babe Beatrice is wearing a cycling cap in this photo…she doesn’t mess around when it’s time to make a decision. “Hmm am I hungry? Why yes, I am. MOMMMMMYYYY!”