I watched my husband dangle our 7-year-old daughter from her ankles the other day, her head inches away from the sidewalk as she completed a backflip against his body and landed triumphantly on the ground. Another mom next to me said, Wow, you must really trust him!
Her remark made me laugh because several years ago, I would have been frantically telling him to put her down.
When I was a new mom, I was often horrified by the way my husband parented our children. He tossed them way too high in the air, fed them the weirdest concoctions like goldfish-and-peanut-butter sandwiches, and never seemed to worry about bedtimes.
But now, after years of (mostly successful) co-parenting, I dont just tolerate my husbands very male style of parenting, but appreciate all it has taught me, including:
Keep it simple: I used to think quality family time had to entail some huge outing together. But my husband has taught me that playing soccer in the family room or riding on the backyard rope swing can be just as fun. Our kids and our family are actually happier when life is not a big production, but a culmination of simple, happy moments.
Girls need roughhousing, too: Every day when my husband gets home from work, our two daughters tackle him to the ground and wrestle. I am convinced there is no better cure for bad days or worries than a good, old-fashioned round of roughhousing.
Mistakes make memories: My go-to response when plans fall through or activities dont work out as I expected is to throw my hands up and then spend the rest of the day pouting. But thanks to my husband, I have realized that sometimes the best memories come from the days when everything goes wrong. Like when it rained on a park outing and we ended up soaking wet, hiding under a pine tree while the kids darted out to jump in puddles.