Ever heard that saying, "Behind every great man is a great woman?"
I'm pretty sure we all have at some point. And I know, I know, tons of funniness accompanies it. But, let's get serious for a minute.
For me, that quote rings true. Having a partner-in-parenting is a blessing and a luxury I don't take for granted.
I've never felt more ready to take on any task or kick-life's-proverbial-ass, than when my wife is beside me. That support never rings more true, than in our parenting. Our stress is reduced tenfold, when we step in, stand up and support each other. It makes those "unbearable" parenting moments and/or choices just a bit easier.
So, why don't we apply that support to our parenting enough? Is it perhaps pride? Maybe a sense of "I don't need help?" I don't know. I wish I did. But I do know, she's bailed me out of a few parenting conundrums.
Too often it seems, one of two parents bears a load they shouldn't bear alone. We've all been there. Relaxation begins, our favorite show is on, our beverage of choice poured, we are FINALLY chilled out and BOOM; The kids are going absolutely bonkers in another room. That moment of peace we thought we had? Gone. And you know what? It sucks. It sucks bad. Because then, the irritability, annoyed even amgry feelings tend to set in. Why now?! WHY?!?
That moment when the kid(s) decide it's time to interrupt our parental peacefulness up, is almost always the moment everything is seemingly calm. And let's be honest, we love our kids, but we love our "own time" as well. (Or at least we should)
But those instances of kid-anarchy, do not have to escalate, they do not have to get worse or even cause an argument between parents. Simply put, we can try to avoid those instances as much as possible, by stepping in for your partner, and not leaving them high and dry to deal with it alone.
If you see your wife/gf/husband/bf/what-the-heck-ever struggling, do something, do anything. For their sake, please, help them.
If Dad is one inch away from going "Postal worker on Monday morning after a crappy weekend"? Take over. Throw yourself on the floor and pretend to be snoring, do a jumping jack, ask why Elmo has a goldfish, anything to distract and/or deturr the young child from their tantrum.
If Momma is about to flip her lid because the 4 year old wants Cheez-its and there are only Cheetos in the cabinet? We should do something. Tickle the kid, take them for an "airplane ride" in your arms, run around making monkey sounds, do anything to give your parenting partner 30 seconds to clear the mechanism.
Support each other always and especially in those 5 minute moments that too often define an evening.
Hash out the why's, how's and what-not's later. In the moment, when all hell is breaking loose, when controlled chaos becomes uncontrolled kid anarchy, stand up, stand beside, stand in and support your parental partner.
Oh, and when it comes to teenagers, just throw ITunes gift cards and band t-shirts at them.