Monday, March 18, 2013

Modern Family Parenting

Parenting is tough and when you throw in two parents in different households, boyfriends, girlfriends and step-parents into the mix, then it becomes exponentially more difficult. You have differing parenting styles not to mention that each parent has the kids for different time periods.

Saturday, I packed up all the girls and we headed to the mall. Hannah still needed a prom dress and I didn't want to leave the rest of the girls with Jason. I made sure to set some ground rules before we left because I wanted everyone on their best behavior. You really haven't lived until you've been mall shopping with 5 little girls on a busy Saturday in the middle of prom season.

Fortunately, all the girls were really good for me. They found different ways to entertain themselves while Hannah tried on dresses and I made sure to visit all the stores that they wanted.

She was pretending to be a mannequin

Elsa came close to a meltdown in Build-A-Bear because I wouldn't let her get one, but she managed to recover. Hannah finally chose her dress and we started heading out of the mall. We made a stop at JCP because Cordie and Paige wanted to look at shoes. They didn't find any but Elsa found a dress that she really wanted. I shouldn't have bought it as she threw a major tantrum on Friday night. (Side note: Elsa's tantrums are legendary and I will be dedicating a whole other post to them.) However, by this point I was exhausted after being at the mall for 5 hours and I didn't have the fight left in me so I just bought the dress.

She picked the mint dress, but wouldn't let me take a picture of it on
 Jason tends to be a stricter parent than I am. He feels that I tend to make allowances for the girls because I feel guilty or because I don't want to be the "mean mom". He's right, of course. I tend to let some things slide because it doesn't seem worth the fight when I don't see them all the time. At the same time, he refuses to try to "parent" the girls. He doesn't feel like it his place since he's not their dad. However, if they do something that bothers him, he expects me to say something. For example, leaving their shoes on the floor instead of putting them in the closet or leaving trash in the car.

We got into an argument Saturday night because he didn't think that I should have bought Elsa the dress. He felt that I should have been stricter about punishment as a direct result of her behavior Friday night. He was trying to get me to see his point of view, which I did, I just felt like he was wrong and so I was being stubborn about it. I may have stormed off and proceeded to drink an entire bottle of wine. Not my finest moment. Cheap wine hangovers are no bueno.

We did make up and settled on a compromise. I would keep the dress at our house for the next two weeks and Elsa would have to earn it with good behavior. She, of course, did not like that at all and screamed about her dress on the drive home. Clever girl though, she ripped the tags off the dress already so I can't return it to the store.

There is, of course, not just one "right way" to parent. I know it is just a matter of compromise and working together, but disagreements sure do make it tough.You just have to work together, whether that means working with 2 or 3 or 4 parents to help raise the best kids you can.

I haven't received any questions for Jason's guest post yet, so please leave me some in the comments or email them to me. Maybe this post will get the question asking going.


  1. Yes. How about this: How does he survive when he's in a house full of women? Because, I mean, that dude is totally outnumbered! :)

  2. I left you some questions. :) I also heard that Elle Noel was doing a spouse linkup this week... maybe Wednesday.

    And there is nothing wrong with a fight, a bottle of wine, and some compromising!! Hahaha

  3. Parenting is tough on everyone, especially in a modern family. I am such a pushover when it comes to parenting, I hate being the bad guy and seeing my daughter upset, even while she is being the devil, makes me give in way to fast, I am getting better about it but it's hard - and i will never forget the time when G and I first started dating, I disciplined his girls and he got upset with me, until I explained the situation - then he agreed with me - one of the girls was watching the movie we were watching while they were taking a nap and it was's all super hard and I think we are awesome for not drinking bottles of wine every night :)

  4. OBVIOUSLY behind on my blog reading.....parenting is HARD! It's the hardest job we've got!!!! My sweeties are only 5 & 2....I am ALREADY praying about when they are teenagers & hormones come into play cause it's NOT going to be pretty!!!!