My Fiancé And I Have Totally Different Parenting Styles And We Probably Should Have Discussed This

shutterstock_154542038Yeah, there’s one BIG thing my fiancé and I forgot to talk about before having a baby. I don’t think, or I hope, I’m not alone. When you are ready for a baby, all you are thinking is, “Maybe this is the month I’ll conceive!” And, then, if you do conceive, you and your partner will only be arguing over names, what kind of crib or stroller you think is safest, and how to decorate the baby’s room.

I’ve come to realize – a little too late – what a couple SHOULD talk about before having a baby is not how you don’t like the name Kelly, because that was the name of the girl who bullied you throughout school, but about PARENTING STYLES.

Oops! It turns out that my fiancé and I have somewhat different parenting styles, which I really only realized in the last few weeks. Our son is 21 months old.

We’re definitely not on the same page when it comes to disciplining, what time the baby should go to sleep, and how to play with him. I don’t like toddlers who eat junk food. I think it’s bad for their teeth and that sugar high? Well, it’s a real thing! I’m not a food Nazi, but I don’t think our son should be eating cookies whenever he wants or Pringles whenever he wants.

Sadly, I’m more of a hard-ass parent than I thought! For example, my son, who I loving call, “The Little Terror,” has learned to punch because his father plays, in my eyes, quite roughly with him. My son loves to wrestle with Dad, and Dad loves wrestling with him. But not every second of the day can be wrestling time, so when my son punched him the other day, out of nowhere, my fiancé did indeed punish him, by sitting him on the staircase for one minute (I told him that for every year of his life that’s the amount of time he needs to be punished. So if he’s 6, he’ll get a six-minute time out.) Not only did my fiancé not see that this was a result of his rough playing but I don’t think our son lasted more than 30 seconds on the stairs before my fiancé was giving him a…cookie.

You can reach this post's author, Rebecca Eckler, on twitter.
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    • JLH1986

      Owning dogs has actually been really helpful to my husband and I because he realized he is too laid back and non-chalant about things (like routine, if the dog is used to pissing at 6 p.m. when you decide to dick around until 9, guess who is gonna piss on the floor?) and I’ve learned I am too up tight (getting home at 620 to let the dog out is ok, I do not have to leave work at 445 to make sure I’m home by 6 to let them out, 20 minutes is ok). I know animals are NOT the same thing as children but this did prompt some of the questions you suggested.

      • Ursi

        Very much this. Although I’m wary of people using a dog as a “starter baby” because I worry that the dog will get pushed to the side once baby comes along there is really no better prep for discipline and reinforcement as far as I can tell. I don’t have kids but I’ve spent my whole life around dogs. A lot of that translates to how I interact with children, especially when it comes to positive reinforcement. Going through training with a dog will teach you a whole lot about human behavior.

      • JLH1986

        We’ve had our dogs 9 years, 6 years and 4 years respectively so they aren’t going anywhere. lol Two we’ve each had longer than we’ve been together. But when we moved in together Seeing how we interacted things like that have brought up “so what if this was a child? How would that work?” It’s actually been really great for us. But I wouldn’t recommend going to get a dog to test it we just happened to be in that position.

      • Jezebeelzebub

        I agree with you- before I had a kid, I had dogs, and my dogs are awesome. Well.. one of them is, anyway. The one I got when she was still a puppy is awesome because I trained her. The other one I got from a shelter when she was about a year old, and she is a hot mess. I love her and she is sweet natured, but also she’s naughty- because I didn’t raise her from the time she was little. That sort of sounds like waiting until a kid is almost two years old to teach him/her what is or is not acceptable behavior. Anyway… my now ex husband and I are jointly raising our daughter and even though I really can’t stand him, the ONE thing I can say about us both is that neither one undermines the other. He and I also have different parenting styles, but if our kid is in trouble with one of us, then she is in trouble with both of us. If I say no (for instance to an iPhone), even if he were okay with it, the answer is still no. If he says yes (for instance to a sleepover) and I don;t think she’s ready for all that, then the answer is still yes (and I had to go get her from her friend’s house at 10:30). It’s not about who wins, it’s about our daughter understanding that even though her parents aren’t together, the one area where we will always be a united front is when it comes to raising her. This lady and her fiance are still together… it shouldn’t be so hard for them I don’t think. So my question is this: is he undermining her (the mom) for some reason? Or is she steam-rolling him (the dad)? Is this even about the kid, or are problems in their relationship playing out in how this little boy is being raised? That is what I would like to know.

      • pixie

        This is great, and I applaud you for working as a team with your ex even though you’re no longer together. I’ve never been in that situation, neither as a child nor as an adult, but I had many friends growing up where one parent would constantly undermine the other and while my friends did like some things (like one parent would let them stay out later or have a later bedtime or eat cake for dinner…cell phones weren’t really a thing with kids in my area in the early 2000s, so that wasn’t really an issue), for the most part they got frustrated with the inconsistency and began acting out. Some of them probably would have acted out anyways, but most of my friends in situations like that acted out to feel like they had some control in their lives. If they had parents like you and your ex who keep things consistent, they would have been much happier.

      • Jezebeelzebub

        We try. it’s really hard because I really can’t stand him- in every other circumstance he’s as underhanded as they come and then some- but in this ONE area I can find no fault with him. Most of the time after I speak to him I have to call a friend so I can motherfuck him to the sky. I’m sure it’s the same for him. But one time I read a quote or a blurb or something from Judge friggin Judy where she said you have to love your kid more than you hate your ex- so… you know.

      • rebecca eckler

        No problems in the relationship. With my father’s daughter, we are like you (if he’s says ‘No’ to something, I back him, and likewise) I met my fiance when his girls were almost pre-teens and my daughter was 7. So it had been a LONG time since either of us had a baby. We were so happy to have one (me, age 40 plus him a reversal) that the little parenting styles – chips and junk food, or bedtime – we didn’t talk about. We did talk about larger issues, like school, money religion etc…

      • Lola

        Food and bedtime are large issues, if they weren’t, then why
        does the tone of your article make it seem like they are?

      • NYCNanny

        Food and bedtime are “large issues” in the mommyish blog world…. not in the real world. Crap that like doesn’t matter in the long run. Rebecca and her fiance seem like fine parents and they’ll figure it out…

      • whiteroses

        They actually are big issues in the real world. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t discuss them here. Kids wouldn’t be obese, and depriving them of sleep wouldn’t be considered a form of abuse.

      • NYCNanny

        Oh c’mon! We aren’t talking about child obesity or DEPRIVING them of sleep! This is about whether Rebecca and her fiance want their kids eating chips and whether to put them to bed @ 7:30 or 10:00. Give me a break.

      • whiteroses

        1) I never said that Mommyish only discussed “real life big problems”. But I would argue that if you come onto a blog site and you’re familiar with the content, said content shouldn’t surprise you.

        2) You mentioned food and bedtime. Feeding kids crap is the leading cause of obesity. Depriving kids of sleep is a form of child abuse. Did I say that’s what Eckler was doing? No. But food and bedtime are a pretty big deal when you’re dealing with a child. Consistency is huge when you’re trying to raise a kid.

      • Jezebeelzebub

        That’s good news then- there’s not some weird power play happening. So then maybe you just need to have the proverbial Come to Jesus meeting with him and tell him WHY you feel the way you feel about certain things. And maybe before you do that, have a meeting with yourself and decide what is shit you can let go of. For *me*, it would be the Pringles. Like, the kid can eat the Pringles BUT then Fiance can’t undermine punishment that has already been handed out. That’s totally undermining your authority as a parent and that shit is not cool. If Fiance hears from your mouth that you feel like he is punking you out, he may knock that shit off. I’d hope so, anyway. If he is totally dismissive through word or deed to your pleas, then maybe you guys really DO have some underlying issues. Just saying. Good luck.

      • Katherine Handcock

        There was a comedian that had a great routine when I was in high school (I think it was Mike Macdonald, but I won’t swear to that) where he proposed that people who wanted kids should be allowed to get a cat, and then if the cat survived, they could have a dog. If the dog survived, THEN they could have kids.

      • m

        I wouldn’t really like this kind of animal experiments :( (yeah, I know it’s a joke, but I love animals more than babies :P)

      • EX

        You could have just described us when we were pet parents. Turns out it’s the same with kids. But we actually balance each other out rather than undermining each other (which is what I feared). He’s gotten me to relax about a lot of things and I’ve gotten him to see the importance of routine and consistency.

      • JLH1986

        I’m hoping the same will be true for us. We do some with the dogs but kids are obviously a whole other ball of wax.

      • EX

        You could have just described us when we were pet parents. Turns out it’s the same with kids. But we actually balance each other out rather than undermining each other (which is what I feared). He’s gotten me to relax about a lot of things and I’ve gotten him to see the importance of routine and consistency.

      • Larkin

        So true. My husband and I have both had pets (both dogs and cats) our entire lives, and we currently have one dog and two cats right now. My husband is definitely the “bad cop,” and I am the softie… so we kind of know going in that we’ll probably be the same way with the kid.

      • NYCNanny

        Yes! I totally agree! All couples should have to raise a dog (or 3) before being allowed to have children. Yes!

    • whiteroses

      I’m sorry, but really the only thing I can think of in response to this is, “Duh. Of course you should have talked different parenting styles before you had a kid.” Kids need consistency, and they’re not likely to get it if their parents can’t be on the same page.

      Also, doesn’t your fiancé have kids? Wouldn’t you have seen some of his parenting before you had one together?

      This article makes no sense to me.

      • CMJ

        Also, isn’t a little give and take?

      • whiteroses

        In my experience- it’s mostly give and take. My husband has been a parent for precisely as long as I have, and neither of us have all the answers. We have (sometimes WILDLY) different ideas about how to do things, so we discuss them as they come up. Hubs basically leaves what our son eats up to me since I do the shopping, and I leave outdoor activities and bathtime to him. We split diaper changing, disciplining, playdates, and reading time.

        We parent the same way we’ve done everything else- as a team.

      • CMJ

        Yeah, it’s weird. I mean, all kids are different so I would think that one parenting “philosophy” might work with one kid but not work for another kid. My mom’s motto was always – “whatever works.” Which is why I rarely judge other people’s parenting styles.

        Also, my husband and I don’t have kids…but we talk about parenting styles ALL THE TIME.

      • whiteroses

        Which is what you have to do. You have to talk through these things.

      • CMJ

        Also, Pringles are DELICIOUS.

      • whiteroses

        I know, right? My son eats mainly organic, because I myself don’t like eating something I can’t pronounce. But eating a Pringle or a cookie isn’t the end of the world.

        What bothers me, too, is the idea of using food as a reward. That never ends well.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Um, I’m sorry, but I want a food reward now :(

      • whiteroses

        I’m having one :) Chocolate No Bake PB Cookies. Awesomeness.

      • TOXIC

        TOXIC

      • Erin Murphy

        We were the last in our group to have a baby. Watching our friends gave us plenty of chances to talk about what we would do in a variety of different situations. Our son is 5 months old and things haven’t been perfect but there hasn’t been a, single parenting disagreement. I’m sure there will be conflict as his personality grows but for the most part we agree on our limits.

      • EX

        This. We had a lot of discussions (in private) about how our siblings handled their kids’ behaviors before we had our own. I think that definitely helped (although I’d like to take back some of the judgemental things I may have said now that I’m a parent myself). Also, we have several pets and I knew from that that I would be the “bad cop” because my husband is a big softy. But I knew that going in and we discussed it and he has definitely stepped up and certainly always supports and never undermines me. Although I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t around it would be a junk food eating, tv watching, no sleeping free-for-all.

      • Larkin

        Yup, same here! Our first kid is still gestating… but my SIL has two young kids, so we wind up having a lot of conversations about our parenting styles in contrast to her/our friends/articles we read/etc. I’m sure some surprises will pop up once we’re actually caring for a child full-time, but so far I feel like we’ve got a good handle on each other’s styles.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        My husband and I decided I’m the primary parent and he’s to back me up and that’s the plan. If he’s alone with our son, he can make executive decisions, but generally I decide everything and my husband finds this relaxing. This plan has resulted in, no joke, zero parenting arguments (Our fights are about other stuff :P).

      • MerlePerle

        Basically the same here. He has absolutely no idea what diaper-brand we use or which size shoes our daughter has. I like not having to discuss every detail and he likes not having to care about that stuff. Big decisions are made together but I usually have the final say (he didn’t really like out daughter going to daycare at 13 months but he saw the necessity and just shut up about it)

      • Kay_Sue

        A LOT of give and take.

      • Robotic Socks

        Kay you’re back!

        …again!

      • Kay_Sue

        I am. Had another funeral out of state, this time for my sister-in-law. All in all, I am entirely, completely and totally done with 2014. It’s been a shitty year.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        Oh! Sorry Kay!

      • Kay_Sue

        Thanks, Wendy. I’m just going to crawl in bed with my laptop for the remainder of the year and only interact with people online. I’ve used up my emotional reserves.

      • Bethany Ramos

        That is awful. You are always missed. :(

      • Mystik Spiral

        Every time I think she can’t possibly stretch further for article “content”, she surprises me and pulls out more bullshit.

      • Julia

        Yes. This. I do think at this point she is enjoying the negative attention and the MANY MANY comments that come along with her articles. She is def trying to be provocative in choosing her topics and writing with the tone that she does. I have concluded that it is the only reason she is writing here anymore – it causes a buzz and gets people onto this site and reading. Sigh.

      • rebecca eckler

        Actually, not true! I don’t go out of my way to write to get “negative attention.” I am human. I do have feelings. I don’t even go out of my way to write controversial posts. They just are good conversation starters! (that’s what I hope!)

      • shadow guest

        Jeez then stop reading her articles. You guys are so mean to this woman.

        Just be nice.

      • whiteroses

        If you post something on the Internet, you have to know that what you get back may be something you don’t necessarily like.

      • CMJ

        I have noticed more and more lately people making comments along the lines of “Stop being so mean!” I don’t fucking get it. I will be mean to anti-vaxxers and I will criticize (respectfully) points I disagree with.

      • whiteroses

        Exactly. Criticism is not mean, people. And it’s not mean to point out when someone is acting like an ass.

      • Shadow guest

        If you know you don’t like her writing – walk around it and click on something else- or read her stuff with your biased opinion and then bitch about it. Hope you feel better afterwards. B

      • Shadow guest

        Why the heck did i put B? Oh the red wine. Cab actually.

      • whiteroses

        I wasn’t necessarily talking about Eckler, more the circumcision/anti-vaxxer articles that have appeared on Mommyish in the last few days… but you keep doin’ you, man. You keep doin’ you.

        I’m pretty sure I’ve been respectful to Ms. Eckler when she’s responded to me.

      • CMJ

        Ugh, the mean police. I actually don’t think many of us are mean (yes, some people are dicks) but the majority of people just don’t understand her points and try to make valid criticisms. If she hates the criticism so much here, she doesn’t have to continue writing for Mommyish

      • JLH1986

        In general there is only one commenter I’ve noticed who takes it to a level that makes me uncomfortable. Everyone else brings up valid points (like um he had kids already you didn’t notice his parenting style before?)

      • rebecca eckler

        Or you don’t have to continue reading it…(and I have pretty thick skin. Constructive criticisms I’m more than happy to read. But to write meanly just to, um, write meanly? Not my cup of tea!)

      • CMJ

        I would like to point out that majority of readers are pretty respectful. And will even (gasp!) defend you when certain meanies are being mean just to be mean.

      • Mystik Spiral

        I’ve tried to give constructive criticism on your articles in the past, but nothing changes so I can only assume that the editors either don’t edit your articles, or don’t care. Your grammar and spelling are consistently poor, and in general your articles take a simple thought and repeat the same phrasing over again, just like beating a dead horse.

        I’m not trying to be mean, and I do try to ignore your articles, but what can I say. I’m human also and either a glutton for punishment or a hopeless optimist in believing that THIS time the ideas and grammar will come together and provide an interesting read. Alas, I’m still waiting for that day.

      • rebecca eckler

        Well, I hope one day your wish comes true!

      • Shadow guest

        It really shows how much you try to ignore her articles.

      • m

        I actually thought that there wasn’t as much repetition this time, and also thought that the content was fine (well, maybe I have read too many of her articles to think that this one doesn’t really seem that bad). I’m not gonna say anything about grammar though, as English isn’t my mother tongue.

      • brebay

        If you had thick skin, you’d let some shit go, and not get the last word on every damn negative comment. None of the other bloggers on here do that.

      • rebecca eckler

        Word!

      • Psych Student

        I have wondered if an article that was actually written by you was first posted under a different name if it wouldn’t get so many negative responses.

      • Shadow guest

        And you don’t have to continue reading her articles.

      • rrlo

        I would imagine most writers would prefer negative comments and generate discussion rather than have people not read their stuff.

      • rrlo

        I would imagine most writers would prefer negative comments and generate discussion rather than have people not read their stuff.

      • Shadow guest

        You’re probably right.

      • rrlo

        I would imagine most writers would prefer negative comments and generate discussion rather than have people not read their stuff.

      • Leave Rebecca Alone!

        Wah, I know, they’re so mean! She’s just a nice lady who goes around hating random toddlers based on their diet!

      • Shadow guest

        Well I hate on random toddlers for being so inconsiderate. And loud. And GD loud. I just want to purchase my mondavi cab in GD peace!!!! Somebody’s kid is always screaming

      • Valerie

        Agreed. My husband and I talked about parenting styles from the start because we spent a good deal of time with his nephews. We would discuss on the way home from family gatherings how we would handle this and that if it were our kids. We also talked quite a bit about our own parents and our childhoods and how we were both raised. We thought that was probably pretty important to share if we were going to spend our lives together and bring children into the world…..

      • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

        My husband and I seem to be on the same page about everything. At least, that’s what I tell myself based on the way we seem to be in perfect accord when we are being judgmental of parents we see outside. x_x

      • CMJ

        Yep. It usually starts with – would YOU ever do that? Nope? Oh, thank god.

      • CMJ

        Yep. It usually starts with – would YOU ever do that? Nope? Oh, thank god.

      • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

        I can only hope the fact that we get all sanctimonious at the same time is a good thing.

        Fun fact: I’ve been reading so many parenting blogs I forgot the word “sanctimonious.” The other day I described something as being, “Super sancti-mommyish, except not about baby stuff.” My husband looked at me like I’d lost my mind and was like, “You mean sanctimonious?” And I did, but I had forgotten that was a word.

      • CMJ

        Sometimes, I say – So I was on mommyish the other day…and my husband’s eyes start to glaze over.

      • Valerie

        For my husband, its Mommyish, Pinterest and my other mommy board that I’ve been on for years. He totally goes to his happy place. And God knows where dafuq that is.

      • CMJ

        His is Final Fantasy (whatever number) and Reddit. :)

      • Valerie

        Mine is very “blah” toward the internet in general. He uses it for solely practical purposes. His kryptonite is History Channel and Discovery Channel.

      • Véronique Houde

        LOL my boyfriend is sick of hearing about mommyish too ;)

      • Bethany Ramos

        My Mommyish = my husband’s Reddit, so there!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Bethany I forgot to tell you this, but my husband used BOLTHOLE in conversation the other day, but in the proper usage and I was all omg I gotta tell Bethany #Bolthole

      • Bethany Ramos

        Made my day!!! #bogrolls is next. ;)

      • CMJ

        Please convince him to put it in an ad. MOMMYISH WORLD DOMINATION.

      • Larkin

        Hahahahahaha, this happens to me ALL the time.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        Me too. And I say, “Eve says” and “Bethany says” as if they’re people I just had a chat with.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Awwww so much love :)

      • Psych Student

        My wife does the same thing! It may be because we don’t have any human kids and I’m reading a mommy blog. To my defense, it’s pretty awesome!

      • Ddaisy

        I can’t even tell anyone about my mommyish obsession. Because I don’t have kids, and am not in any place to be having them anytime soon, I’m always afraid people will get the wrong idea if I tell them my favourite website is a parenting blog…

        I often find myself saying, “So, um, I read this… article on… the internet…”

      • CMJ

        Sometimes I share articles with some of my friends and they say: Why are you on Mommyish

      • m

        Same, lol. My husband especially is a bit puzzled…

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        Just own it. One of us. One of us!

      • Valerie

        Lol. The couple that judges together stays together. ;-)

      • Valerie

        Lol. The couple that judges together stays together. ;-)

      • CMJ

        OMG – WE WILL BE TOGETHER FOREVER!!

      • Valerie

        Right? Judging is like, our fave hobby.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        I am now picturing you two as the old Muppets who sit in the theater box and criticize everything. They’re my faves!

      • pixie

        My boyfriend and I actually occasionally talk about parenting styles and what we’d do in certain situations if we ever have kids. We’ve been together for 7 & 1/2 years, so staying together and popping out spawn isn’t too inconceivable for us and I think it helps us figure out who we’re turning into as adults (a lot of those 7 & 1/2 years have been long distance, so while we talk every day and see each other over school breaks and stuff, we’re developing separately and sometimes we surprise one another with things we say/do…usually good surprises :P )

      • rebecca eckler

        As I mentioned early, I met my fiance’s kids when they were 9 and 11. My daughter was 7. We were WAY past that baby/toddler phase and I guess we just, um, forgot about the little bumps in raising a baby (not already grown children.) I knew he was/is a wonderful father. I just don’t agree with everything he does as I’m SURE he doesn’t approve of somethings I do.

      • whiteroses

        Sure. But it would have been possible to discuss these things. And, in fact, I would argue that it would have been extra important to discuss them since he’s a father figure in your daughter’s life. How a person parents a toddler changes when that toddler becomes a preteen, but their basic tenents of parenting don’t. Our basic values don’t change no matter how old our kids get. The age difference notwithstanding, you might have seen him parent his daughters, right? So why does this surprise you?

        I’m not trying to be mean. I’m just genuinely curious how you could have been with someone for years and never picked up on any of this. Neither my husband nor I had ever been parents, but I had a pretty good idea what kind of dad he would be based on how he treated our nieces- and he was certainly not their dad.

      • rebecca eckler

        Because I saw how much he loved his kids and all that he did for them (and my daughter too!) But the toddler stage, as are all stages of childhood, are different. Perhaps, when our son is older, we WILL be on the same page. But I don’t think it’s realistic for every couple to agree on EVERYTHING relating to their children. And I know you’re not being mean :)

      • whiteroses

        I don’t agree with everything my husband does either. Of course not. Not only are we two completely different people, but we’re from two completely different cultures.
        We still had conversations about what we would do if certain things came up. I think you’re making this way more complicated than it needs to be.

      • NYCNanny

        Oh come on!! Give her a break! NOBODY knows how their partner will parent until they actually have kids with them. I don’t care if you’ve known your partner for 10 years or 10 days… you don’t know their “parenting style” (a term I dislike) until you have someone to parent.
        And seriously… who has the same exact parenting style…?? I’ve worked for 10+ families as a nanny and have yet to come across a couple who is 100% on the same level when it comes to parenting.

        In addition, I think it’s completely fine to have two parents with different styles. My parents had their own unique outlooks on raising us and we turned out just fine.

        I don’t always agree with Rebecca, but I like this article and I think she wrote it for a good reason… open the dialogue.

      • Sara610

        See, I disagree. My husband and I didn’t discuss every single possible scenario, but we did make sure we were on the same page about the big things before we had a kid together. We had talked, for example, about how we were going to integrate our baby into a household that included a dog. We made sure that we were on the same page on discipline, just like we made sure before we got married that we had the same ideas about finances and the division of labor in our marriage.

        I actually don’t think it’s that unusual for couples to make sure they agree on these major things before, for example, getting married and having kids.

      • whiteroses

        Thank you. This is what I’m saying.

      • whiteroses

        I don’t think I’m being mean or disrespectful. But I also don’t think it’s realistic to not talk over big issues (like discipline) and just expect your partner to be on the same page.

      • Psych Student

        Yes, and people should discuss how to spend their money, if they want children, what their priorities are, etc., before they get married. But often they don’t. It’s unfortunate, but common, so is it really so bad that she didn’t think about this and neither do many other people?

      • whiteroses

        No, not really. My point was that she shouldn’t be surprised this is causing conflict if they’ve never discussed it.

    • Kay_Sue

      Okay. I am going to state my bias upfront: I believe that roughhousing with kids (that want to roughhouse) serves a purpose. That goes for boys and girls. It helps with gross motor skills, and it’s honestly a hell of a lot of fun. It’s an easy way for some people to engage with their kids. My dad did with us and my husband does with our children.

      However, we very quickly learned that there were appropriate and inappropriate times for it, in part because he did discipline us if we crossed the boundaries. No ill effects here. Your fella’s consistency is what I would question as a parent–no discipline is effective if it is applied inconsistently.

      This really is something that people should figure out prior to having kids, and I don’t really understand how you missed it, but that’s whatevs, I guess. Good luck sorting it all out now.

      • whiteroses

        I agree with this. If a kid is sometimes disciplined for doing something and sometimes not, he’s never going to have the vaguest idea what’s expected of him.

      • rrlo

        That’s why IMO it’s important to whittle down the list of punishable offenses (like hitting) to a manageable amount. I find some parents discipline too much and it is really hard to be consistent that way.

      • Katherine Handcock

        Agreed as well! Roughhousing with clear limits (including an immediate halt when someone says “ouch” or “stop”) is definitely allowed in our house. My husband definitely roughhouses differently than I do, though :-)

      • Kay_Sue

        Much differently. He makes me cringe sometimes. But the kids eat it up, and as long as they are okay with it–have at it.

      • rebecca eckler

        You have valid points, but the things we may disagree on are little things, not major things. They all get sorted out, and I don’t believe for one second, in the joys of being pregnant, that EVERY SINGLE PERSON asks small questions to their partner about parenting. I mean, did you ever ask, “Honey, what would you do when our soon-to-be baby pulls the dogs tail?” There are things that just come up, that you don’t realize until they actually do!

      • EX

        I’m not saying we’re perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but my husband and I definitely discussed how we would help our baby/toddler and our pets get along. I was very concerned about the possible negative outcomes (dog bites toddler, dog has to be re-homed, etc.). I know you were just using this as an example, but as a pet owner I’d think this was an important discussion to have.

      • Kay_Sue

        Monstrously important, in my opinion. If you have a pet before kids, it’s critical.

      • Kay_Sue

        Eh, I disagree with your specific example–my dog is a rescued dog, and I spent too long rehabilitating him to allow him to be mistreated, so we very much discussed how we would incorporate him into our family–but I agree in theory. There are a thousand small things that come up. But the consistency thing–that’s not a small thing. That’s a big thing, at least it was for us. When we talked about parenting, we absolutely discussed that whatever we came up with together had to be consistently applied.

      • Sara610

        I think part of this, also, is that if you’re in a long-standing serious relationship and you’ve made sure you’re on the same page about all the other “big things”–religion, finances, division of labor, how spouses should treat each other etc. it probably follows that you’ll also be compatible on the parenting front. The likelihood that two people would agree on all the other big things, and then all of a sudden find out that they have wildly different values and prioities when it comes to parenting, seems pretty slim to me.

        On the other hand–and this is purely anecdotal–I notice that a lot of the time when couples find that their parenting styles are incompatible, they’re also incompatible in other ways that they maybe didn’t discuss until the issue smacked them square in the face. The parenting differences are just one more example of a pattern in the relationship.

      • Kay_Sue

        This is true. It’s all about value systems in my experience. Similar value systems seem to produce similar outlooks across a variety of important areas, including parenting. There are always small inconsistencies, because everyone is nuanced and no relationship is perfect, but overall, I think it really holds true. I’ve observed the same thing too.

      • Kay_Sue

        I should add too: Both my husband and I were parents coming into our relationship, so we were probably more inclined to talk about parenting, because we knew it would be important if we were going to have a relationship for any length of time.

      • Sara610

        I think part of this, also, is that if you’re in a long-standing serious relationship and you’ve made sure you’re on the same page about all the other “big things”–religion, finances, division of labor, how spouses should treat each other etc. it probably follows that you’ll also be compatible on the parenting front. The likelihood that two people would agree on all the other big things, and then all of a sudden find out that they have wildly different values and prioities when it comes to parenting, seems pretty slim to me.

        On the other hand–and this is purely anecdotal–I notice that a lot of the time when couples find that their parenting styles are incompatible, they’re also incompatible in other ways that they maybe didn’t discuss until the issue smacked them square in the face. The parenting differences are just one more example of a pattern in the relationship.

    • msenesac

      I have a co-worker who clearly did not have this conversation with her husband before having kids. The stories she tells (like how her husband called her a monster when she let the baby cry for a sec instead of running to pick him up, how he doesn’t believe in discipline, how he thinks they should baby their son) is unbelievable. She’s had such a tough time raising her now 3 year old that she’s decided on not having any more children. I think she now gets that parenting has been much more difficult than it needs to be. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she eventually divorces him.

    • Jessifer

      I guess it’s good to talk about these things beforehand but I don’t think you can really know what sort of parent you’re going to be until you actually become one. I thought I was going to be really strict but after having my son I realized that I was kind of a pushover and more willing to bend the rules than I ever thought I would be. I guess what ultimately matters is that both parents sit down and agree to a set of rules (some you might like, others not so much), and then apply them consistently. Otherwise the child will get very confused and will have no idea how he/she is supposed to behave.

      • whiteroses

        What I don’t understand, though, is that they both already had kids before they had this one. There’s no reason why they wouldn’t be well acquainted with each other’s parenting styles. And there’s no reason why they couldn’t have discussed it.

      • Kendra

        That’s a very good point. You would think that would’ve come up. What struck me as odd, was that she is just now noticing issues at 21 months. My daughter is only 19 months now, but we’ve noticing various parenting “hiccups” if you will, since she first came home. Variations on how sleeping should be done, whether or not to CIO, how long to breastfeed, when to start solids, what solids to give, etc. There are a whole bunch of topics that should come up long before 21 months, I would think.

      • whiteroses

        Exactly. It’s no surprise to me that he’s a “little terror” if his parents have just now started disciplining him. If they’ve never been able to present a united parenting front none of this should be surprising. Even a kid who isn’t 2 yet can see if their parents aren’t on the same page.

      • rebecca eckler

        Actually, Kendra, I like the term “little hiccups.” That’s what they are! My fiance’s children and my daughter were way older than our 21 month old son. I think both my fiance and I forgot the baby/toddler stages! Thanks for sharing!

      • whiteroses

        You forgot them entirely? And forgot how important it was to talk about these things?

      • Cabbie

        Maybe the nanny quit and she finally has to spend time with him?

      • rebecca eckler

        nope!

      • rebecca eckler

        Voice of reason! Thanks!

    • Melissa

      I don’t know you, but I don’t like you at all. Pringles? Really? Get over it. Dads do things differently than moms. No matter how much you agree or disagree. Maybe if you didn’t call him “the little terror” he’d quit acting like one.

      • Mel

        “Dads do things differently than moms” – are you serious? This kind of generalization is nonsense. And, apparently you’ve never met a toddler. If you think that calling him a silly name is going to affect his behavior, or that not calling him that is going to magically make him behave better, then you’re out of your depth here. I don’t know YOU at all, but you’ve definitely brought down the level of discourse here.

      • Kati

        Gender differences in interaction do exist, in general. That’s not to say that roles are never reversed, and that lines between aren’t constantly blurred, but there are some general differences that have been studied. It’s absolutely true that men are more likely to roughhouse with their kids, based on percentage. It’s ridiculous to say that mothers are incapable of wrestling with their kids. That’s the difference between being a non-biased observer of behavior and making generalized assumptions. I’m not sure which camp the original post falls into, but I’m wiling to give the poster the benefit of a doubt.

      • rebecca eckler

        Oh, I wrestle with my son. Just at the right times (not before bed, for example!) But, yeah, we get into it pretty good! :) Time and place for everything.

      • rebecca eckler

        Well, he IS a little terror, just as I nicknamed my daughter, when she was born, “the nine pound dictator.” It’s F-U-N-N-Y! Or we have different senses of humour (and we definitely won’t agree on the Pringle thing! Pizza Pringles? YUCK!)

      • JLH1986

        Ha ha 9 pound dictator! I’m adding that to my list of potential nicknames for any kids!

    • Kendra

      My husband and I have a little bit of differences in our style. I think that’s kind of a reflection of how you were raised. The problem is that he wasn’t ever really raised. His mom did her best, but she didn’t know what she was doing. Anyway, when he does stuff like what you described, I tend to just choose to accept that he is his own parent. He is going to do things differently. Yes, there should be common ground which it sounds like you’re missing. You guys are on two different wavelengths. But, I think it’s okay for parents to have slight variations. If I feel he’s crossing the line by giving her three chocolates, I intervene and say “hey, no more chocolate”. I’ve taken it upon myself that mom has to be the boss, which is again how I was raised. The only other note I could add is I don’t like that you said “I don’t like toddlers who eat junk food”. I think you meant “I don’t like my toddler to eat junk food”, but your phrasing came off a bit offensively.

      • rebecca eckler

        I didn’t mean to come off as offence but it is true. I don’t like kids eating junk food. There are many reasons why – because it usually turns into a “bribe” thing and I don’t like that. I also like cavity-free kids. But, okay, I don’t like MY son to eat junk food. Thanks for sharing!

      • Kelly

        You wrote that you don’t like kids who eat junk food jackass. That’s the meaning of the combination of words you strung together.

        That’s why she said it was offensive. Do you seriously see a toddler eating a twinkie and think, “Goddamn, I fucking hate that kid!”

      • rebecca eckler

        Jackass? Really? I think nothing of seeing other children eating junk food. I’m not the junk food police! And just because I don’t like toddlers eating junk food, doesn’t mean I actually care all that much. They’re not my child! If another parent wants to feed their toddlers junk food, all the power to them!

      • Rebecca Eckler

        Duh… I’m Rebecca Eckler, I pretend I no understand English instead of admitting my stupid mistake.

    • jane

      I mean, yeah, this is a good thing to get on the same page about. I don’t think it warrants 14 exclamation points, though. Upside: your son is still a toddler. Work it out now.

      • rebecca eckler

        AGREED! (just one explanation point!) Whoops! Three! (Or now four.)

    • happyrelationship

      This article was written in a way that made the fiancee sound like a stupid teenager and the author sound like the authoritarian “experienced voice of reason” – it seemed as though the author was simply trying to garner sympathy or “see they agree with me!” votes in an argument.

      I also think that parenting and other differences with your partner need to be hashed out in person instead of complaining about it on a blog – there are certain parts of our lives that are sacred and complaining about your partner online is never going to go down well in the relationship.

      Please also proof read for content because of the two articles I’ve read recently they’re nowhere near the standard I expect from Mommyish and sound like they’ve been written by an amateur who doesn’t know about structure or style.

      • rebecca ecker

        Ha! No, he’s the mature one. I’m not! I’m definitely not the “experienced voice of reason” for others. Just maybe in my own home. Then again, maybe not. Anyway, it was meant to be written with humour. My fiance can see that! He knows my very well! :)

      • rebecca ecker

        Ha! No, he’s the mature one. I’m not! I’m definitely not the “experienced voice of reason” for others. Just maybe in my own home. Then again, maybe not. Anyway, it was meant to be written with humour. My fiance can see that! He knows my very well! :)

    • K.

      This doesn’t strike me as a difference in parenting style. It sounds like your fiance doesn’t handle stress well and is avoiding any kind of discord with the kid–that’s not a parenting style; it’s satisfying an emotional need on his part.

      • rebecca eckler

        No. I’m the ONE who can’t handle stress well (or maybe I can.) He definitely can handle stress, for example, running his business. And, also, he LOVES our son. It’s just little things that pop up, that you don’t realize you may have different opinions, the little things. Not the big things, like religion, or school…

      • K.

        I mean, fine–you know him and I don’t–but from the article you wrote (which isn’t about religion or school, but about basically life’s incidentals), this sounds like someone who is avoiding conflict with his child. That doesn’t mean he can’t handle stress wholesale–if his job is stressful, then it would seem reasonable to me that he’d try to mitigate stress at home and avoid conflict. I never accused him of not loving his son either–not sure where you got that.

        A “parenting style” in my view is a particular philosophy when it comes to raising kids and the examples you chose don’t seem to describe a man who’s choosing to be lenient because he thinks it’s a great parenting strategy; he’s choosing to be lenient because it’s less of a hassle.

        It’s not a point of criticism; I just thought that my reading of the situation was perhaps a way of understanding what *might* be going on between what you see as differences in your parenting styles.

      • rebecca eckler

        Could very well be!

      • JLH1986

        It’s about learning to pick your battles for you? You know the Pringle isn’t a life/death situation…but it still irks you? Is that what you’re getting at? That’s how I’m taking it anyway. lol

      • Rebecca eckler

        Yes it irks me. It’s crap food! Can someone actually tell me that Pringles are good for you?

      • JLH1986

        It’s a crap food and tastes terrible. I mean I get Oreo Cookies because they are delicious. Pringles aren’t my thing.

      • rebecca eckler

        No. I’m the ONE who can’t handle stress well (or maybe I can.) He definitely can handle stress, for example, running his business. And, also, he LOVES our son. It’s just little things that pop up, that you don’t realize you may have different opinions, the little things. Not the big things, like religion, or school…

    • Katherine Handcock

      Just another wrench to add to the works, though: even if you talk it through, you’ll be surprised how much conflict comes up. My husband and I thought we had talked about everything and that we were both on the same page, but with every new step, there are new kinks to iron out.

      I think having a signal and/or an agreement to talk things over later helps.

      • rebecca eckler

        Exactly. You really don’t know what type of baby/toddler you are going to have, so it’s not like we asked each other, “For example, you don’t mind if our child eats ON the table?” We talked about bigger issues, like schooling, religion etc..but it’s the small stuff that constantly surprise us! Thanks for writing!

      • whiteroses

        I agree. But it shouldn’t be this complicated, you know?

    • Angela

      My husband and I did discuss parenting in depth before having kids but for the most part it just served to prove how little we actually knew about children or parenting. What I don’t get though is that you and your fiance both already had children. How could you not notice that you had different parenting styles? Did you just assume he was only more laid back because his kids were older? Or did you just not realize how much it would bother you when it was your own kid? I’m not trying to be snarky. I’m just really confused as to how you could really not have known beforehand what kind of parent he is.

      • rebecca eckler

        I think because I had no idea that my son would be so different from my daughter, who I raised alone for the early years of her life. I saw how my fiance treated his children, but they were older, almost pre-teens. But raising a baby/toddler I don’t think we discussed because, as you said, we already had our own children. (But not babies!) For example, I knew his children liked, let’s say, junk food, but they were, as I’ve said, much older than our 21 month old.

    • rrlo

      I don’t think that it is mandatory to discuss parenting styles before having kids. It makes sense that two people with different backgrounds, personalities and upbringings will have plenty of differences. But it is important to agree that parenting decision will need to be made jointly and need to be committed to by both parents.

      Following that – at least while the child is young – all it should require are half hour conversations every couple of weeks to realign the parenting approaches. It shouldn’t be so complicated.

    • Kati

      Just an FYI, a 21 month old throws toys on the floor not to be naughty but to learn about cause and effect. Sure, it can be annoying to pick a toy up 20 times, but your little one is simply being a little scientist exploring his world. Sure, take it away if you get fed up but don’t delude yourself into thinking that you’re toddler is capable of understanding whatever “lesson” you’re trying to teach. Let me know if the screaming that ensues is less annoying than taking a half a second to pick up a toy. It’s important to have a plan for dealing with behavior but it’s also important to understand where your kid is developmentally and tailor expectations to that. It seems like you’re fiancé is a softy compared to you, but punishment is not appropriate for a child that age. Redirection is. (Takes hand, “we don’t hit mommy”, “let’s go look out the window at the pretty birdies!”) I also don’t love my husband winding up the kids, but rough housing I how many men naturally interact with their kids. It helps develop their relationship, it provides a different “touch” sensation than mom might provide that kids sometimes crave, and it is an outlet for aggression (in a good way). Just because mom doesn’t get it doesn’t mean it’s not good for dad and kid alike. I just tell my husband, “for the love of God, don’t hang them upside down by their feet before bedtime. Please. If you love me at all!” Sorry, just a lot to get off my chest on this one. I’m not even hating on Rebecca, I just think some education is appropriate here.

      • EX

        Excellent points! Sometimes when my husband rough houses with my daughter I just have to walk away. I don’t want to be the anxious mother clutching her pearls and screaming “BE CAREFUL!” all the time. I know it’s good for them, but I don’t always like to watch!!

    • Marie

      Didn’t this woman write a book called, “Wiped, Life with a Pint Sized Dictator” in which she whined for page after page about how hard it was to raise her daughter those first few years? (I made the mistake of picking it up at the library once and made it through the first few chapters. Thankfully I didn’t spend money on that piece of crap). So either she’s lying now about her daughter being a perfect toddler or she was lying in her book about difficult her daughter was back then. So which is it?

      • whatlight

        You write the exact same comment on every single Eckler article. Can I suggest that you avoid clicking on her articles or picking up her books if her writing raises your blood pressure so much?

      • Marie

        She doesn’t make me mad or raise my blood pressure in the least. Every time I read her I laugh my head off at her. I find it amusing to see what piece of crap she comes up with next. Judge away at me if you want. If she wants to put her stupid articles out there, I’m going to point and mock. I don’t know anyone as entitled and annoying as her in real life, so she fills a little niche for me.

      • whatlight

        I guess it is really your constant need to point and mock because it gives you some kind of pleasure that weirds me out. But you do you. And on a related note, I really think you should also avoid anything written by Joyce Carol Oates as well. It isn’t easy to do since she has written about a bazillion and twelve books but if you think Eckler is so bad, the word salad of these books would absolutely make your head explode. Seriously, her writing is basically a bunch of random words. It reminds me of that new Gawker column “written by a dog” except that column is at least meant to be funny.

      • whatlight

        Well I guess if you get your rocks off that way that is up to you. I’m just saying that I think it is a little bit creepy, especially given your persistence and the way in which you seem to delight in repeatedly going after this woman. Perhaps you could find a better use of your free time? Find something you enjoy doing rather than make a hobby out of hating on others.

      • rebecca eckler

        you do know that even if you get it from the library, I still get money from it! I made almost one thousand dollars from people taking out the book!

    • Marie

      Didn’t this woman write a book called, “Wiped, Life with a Pint Sized Dictator” in which she whined for page after page about how hard it was to raise her daughter those first few years? (I made the mistake of picking it up at the library once and made it through the first few chapters. Thankfully I didn’t spend money on that piece of crap). So either she’s lying now about her daughter being a perfect toddler or she was lying in her book about difficult her daughter was back then. So which is it?

    • Kelly

      Jesus, I didn’t think you could get any bitchier and now you spout off about how you dislike toddlers who eat junk food.

      Damn, that’s cold. You know, the toddlers are only eating it because it was given to them. They aren’t driving to the store and buying it themselves. You don’t need to hate them for it.

      • rebecca eckler

        What? I don’t like toddlers who eat junk food. I don’t give my son junk food either. You can do whatever you want with your child(ren) I’m not judging.

      • Kendra

        I think the misconception we have here is you are saying you don’t like children who eat junk food. Toddlers, for the most case, are innocent parties in what they eat. I’m assuming you are meaning to say that you don’t like children TO eat junk food, which has a different meaning.

      • Kelly

        You used your own account to respond to yourself. Well, that proves beyond a doubt that you’re just an attention whore who pretends to be stupid to cause controversy.

      • Kendra

        Actually, I’m a different person, but I saw something like that happen earlier and I had the same thought. I believe the board is messing up, and if you refresh your page, it should show the correct name.

      • Kelly

        Eh, shit, I’m sorry. It did correct itself. For a minute though, I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me? She’s just playing at being too stupid to understand what I spelled out for her?”

      • Kendra

        No problem :)

      • rebecca eckler

        Right. I don’t like toddlers (and mine) TO eat junk food.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I don’t get it, how do you fatten them up to eat them then? :(

      • JLH1986

        Bacon. It’s not junk food but fattens them up nicely…

      • rebecca eckler

        I think my breaking point was Pizza flavored Pringles. It’s. Just. Not. Right! :) Pizza? Yes! Pizza flavored Pringles? No! (unless you have the munchies which toddlers, ahem, don’t have.) I also don’t consider french fries junk food, so there’s that!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        idk, I don;t care who eats what as long as they are not eating my candy

      • Kelly

        How can you be a writer when you have such a piss poor grasp of the English language?

        You dislike the toddlers? Really? Do you walk up to them on the playground and knock them down and say, “I don’t like you!” because they were eating cookies?

        Or do you dislike toddlers being fed junk food?

        There is a huge, enormous difference between those two statements that anyone who speaks English fluently should understand.

    • Dixie

      Here’s a novel idea….how about actually being MARRIED to someone before you have a child with them. And what about having children who have the same father? Radical, I know.

      • candyvines

        There are several different ways to have a family.

      • Kendra

        If a traditional approach was best for you, then that is great. However, that approach isn’t what is in the best interest of everyone else so it would be kind of you to take into consideration that people come from many walks of life.

      • Fireinthefudgehole

        Radical? Naw. Antiquated and unrealistic for many? Yes.

      • Mel

        Of Course! A piece of paper and some tax breaks would definitely solve the problem of conflicting parenting styles! *slaps forehead*

      • Kate

        Fun fact, not everyone that’s married with kids benefits from tax breaks.

      • Mel

        Well, that’s actually not the point of this snark, but mmmmkay. And, you’re incorrect. You need to find a new CPA.

      • AP

        Depends on the country and if your marriage is recognized by your government.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        this comment makes me wanna get a divorce just so my kids can belong to two unmarried people to freak people like you out

      • TngldBlue

        Good point. I’m married so I have absolutely no conflict with my husband and our daughter is a perfect angel.

      • rebecca eckler

        Brilliant idea! Off to the court house right now! NOT! #2014

      • Maria Guido

        Couldn’t you find a pearl clutching gif to add to this comment?

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter
      • shorty_RN

        Yes, being married has definitely solved all of my parenting problems…

      • JLH1986

        That’s Right! Because people who get married have children with the same people NEVER disagree over how to parent! Never disagree at all actually because MARRIAGE!

      • whiteroses

        Is the air thin, way up there on your high horse?

      • Cabbie

        Right, my parents were married and all of my sisters and I have the same parents. I’m so lucky! Except for the part where my dad was an alcoholic who beat my mom and cheated on her openly. Thank God they did it right.

    • Susan Musgrave

      Rebecca Eckler is a fantastic writer — provocative, funny, warm, honest and never dull. This article is both hilarious and tragic. The commenters here sound as if they are responding to a piece I haven’t read.

    • http://www.heatherlauraclarke.com/ Heather Laura Clarke

      There’s no way parents can discuss everything about their parenting style before having kids — or even WHILE they have babies/toddlers. My husband and I have a three-year-old and a one-year-old, and there are still days when I’m surprised by how he handles a situation.

      You just never know how the other person will handle something until it happens. I think as long as you’re on the same page about the important things — and back each other up on everything — the smaller stuff isn’t so bad.

      My husband lets our kids watch more TV than I’d really like, but then again I let them do much messier activities than he would like. It all evens out.

      (Also: Pringles are frigging delicious! I’m with you, Holt!)

    • brebay

      I’m sure you didn’t mean “I don’t like toddlers who eat junk food.” Or do you seriously not like the actual toddlers? I can’t believe you get paid to write.

      • NYCNanny

        Yes, bre… she f’ing hates toddlers who eat cookies. She’s a monster. Duh.

        (Sarcasm.)

        Grow up and stop nit picking.

      • brebay

        Someone paid as a writer should be able to formulate a simple sentence to convey the right meaning. That’s not a nit.

      • NYCNanny

        I hope the rest of your day is ok because an 8 word sentence confused you.

      • Sara610

        You don’t really think she was confused by the meaning of Eckler’s sentence, do you? I think you were being hyperbolic to make a point…….exactly like brebay was doing. It’s a pretty common thing. People do it all the time. We can go around and around like this: “I can’t believe an 8-word sentence confused you!” “I can’t believe you actually thought she was confused by that 8-word sentence!”

        And yes, someone who writes for a living should be able to put together clear sentences that accurately convey the meaning of the writer.

    • NYCNanny

      Rebecca,
      Everything you wrote resonates with me. My mom, a normally easy-going, laid back lady, was “Bad Cop” with us as kids… with SOME things. She was stricter when it came to homework, chores, and how we acted in public. My dad, also a very easy going guy, was “Bad Cop” with other things such as food (like super healthy, no fatty food, etc), bedtime, and entertainment. Looking back on it now, I can see the stress my parent’s different parenting styles put on their marriage… for better or for worse it was what it was. Yes, I picked favorites year to year growing up… but as an adult, looking back on my childhood, I appreciate both my parents’ styles and Bad Cop moments. You’re doing fine. Just don’t let it become personal between you two. You both want what’s best for your kids and nothing really matters in the long run. ;) Peace.

    • Nikki

      This is the most baffling response to what I thought was an excellent light-heated read. Either the people responding aren’t parents themselves, or they’ve forgotten the very manners they (hopefully) teach their kids. To all the negative, mean-spirited haters – lighten up!! There is no way any parent could possibly discuss everything in advance of a baby. Real life takes over. It’s called being a real person. Rebecca, I admire your honesty and charming humour. Keep it coming!

    • Buffy

      My husband has a diffrent approach on parenting —but I think that’s great! Sometimes I am too stuck in my way of thinking (and I am very strict). I am glad that he adds his own style.I know that there is not one way of “right” parenting ( and if there was, I am not so sure it would be mine) so I don’t feel like he’s stepping out of line^^ He’s just trying to be the best dad he can be and I think that’s awesome. He does not have to be my clone to be a good dad.

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      My husband thinks I’m ridiculous for wanting to go over parenting styles before we start TTC! I’m going to show him this article.

    • Lucy

      My heart skipped a beat when I read about your fiance letting your son tease your dog. You have the right idea, but please, PLEASE sit down with your fiance and explain that it is so important that your son leave the dog alone, ESPECIALLY while it’s eating or playing with a toy. If the dog looks uncomfortable, for instance if its body stiffens, it starts licking its lips, its mouth closes, or even if it starts trying to move away, those are all signs you need to get your toddler away from the dog stat.

      Children are bitten every year and dogs lose their lives unnecessarily because their parents failed to recognise the signs of a dog that was at the end of its tether and reacted in the only way it knew how, because nobody stepped in to help. Kids will be kids, but it’s up to their parents to teach them to treat animals with respect.

      • Allyson_et_al

        Agreed. You and your fiance should read the story about the 4-year-old who got mauled almost to death. That should scare some sense into both of you about letting your baby tease the dog.

    • KarenMS

      My boyfriend and I had been dating for about 4 months when I got pregnant with my daughter. Needless to say, we hasn’t discussed “parenting styles.” We have learned a lot about compromise though! To be honest, I think even if we had discussed things ahead of time and found out our differences, we would have just gone the compromise route anyway. I can’t imagine that we would have ended our relationship over it.

    • Kat

      Well, I’m a noob here, & I think this blog post is great. Especially for parents who don’t actually plan to have their kids- they just DO. I tried talking to my fiancé about these things, but that was like talking to a brick wall. I tried harder when I started seeing a woman from a parenting program, but with his work, my sleep, our baby came with no real discussion on how to parent our child. I got no help from my mom, really, or my fiancé’s sister, like I thought I would get. I basically googled everything & asked my one friend about things, as well as the woman coming to my house.
      My fiancé joked about giving him the belt, we’d always have a fake argument about it, & that was our “discipline” conversation. We should’ve had a real one, but now, it turns out, I think I’m going to be the Bad Cop parent. DH gave our son some yogurt, ice cream (name brand- apparently some people think that matters), I think that’s it (I hope that’s it) when he was about 3 months old. I had a fit. He lets him stay up past his bed time of 10:30 (we sleep late & wake up late)- that HE set. I’m also deathly afraid of his cousin, my fiancé’s nephew, being around him. He’s 2 years & some months, my son is 5 months. His cousin would hit my pregnant belly, then when I had him, first time we visited, he went behind us while I was nursing & threw glass jars of preservatives, breaking them, trying to throw them at us. The torcher hasn’t ended. So many other things we should have discussed. But routine should’ve been priority. Then safety.
      As for the commentators of this post, just because he had previous kids, doesn’t mean his parenting with them would be the same. All kids need different attention, discipline etc.. So it was just something they should’ve discussed, period.

    • Boots

      to be fair, my husband and i discussed our parenting styles before we had munchkins. then – once she actually arrived – it all went out the window and i found that what i said (for many, many years) and what i did were two very different things. i found that the way that i had been parented didn’t marry with the sweet girl in my life and i just couldn’t be the type of person my father was. in my case – i had always thought i’d be a strict authoritarian with iron discipline and felt zero maternal instinct. after the initial issues (hello depression!), i found i was a mallowy soft attachment parent type who loved and snuggled with my girl at every opportunity. take that swiss-boarding-school-until-she’s-old-enough-to-drink plans!

      so discussions are all well and good, but when reality comes along they can sometimes fly right out and be replaced by something neither parent expects.

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      My husband and I talked about parenting styles at the very beginning of our relationship, and we still are often not on the same page. We both agree in not feeding our kids separate suppers, or only ‘kid friendly’ junk. However, this means different things to different people. For instance he believes this means if you cook a meat, veggies and a sauce for the meat (because he thinks the sauce makes the meal more special), the kids need to absolutely eat the sauce on their meat like him, because that is the meal. I am fine with them eating the veggies and the naked meat. If we are making sandwiches because he is having Swiss cheese, ham and spinach, the kids must have exactly the same composition to their sandwiches. My little one hates Swiss cheese. I would be fine with dropping the cheese since it is the least healthy part anyway, or even swapping out for Cheddar, but he says no, that is catering to her. I think it is just being respectful of her tastes within reason. Especially since this child is not picky, but rather has a few reasonable food items that she consistently does not like.

      Then there is the fact that I read and research and adapt. As I grow as a mother, my parenting values will adjust to fit reality. His are made of stone, so they are exactly the same as before he had kids. He does no research but rather his ideas remain solely fixed on positions based on what his mother and brother have told him. All I can do is silently pick away at them by thrusting research in his face, which he discounts upon reading but I have noticed over time, like water chipping away at rock, they gradually bend somewhat.

      Anyway, my point it, you never know what you are going to be like as a parent until you are one. Perhaps you guys may have had some idea going into the relationship, since you already had a daughter, what it would be like, but kids are different. There is no guarantee that your son would have turned out exactly like your daughter even if you parent exactly the same way. They have different personalities. You will need to adapt.

      What seems to work best for my husband and I, is to discuss situations calmly once the kids are in bed, and come up with a plan. This means both sides need to compromise. If he throws a truck, what is the plan of action, listen to both sides and try to find some middle ground plan of action then stick to that (both of you).

      Also, we tend to be with the kids at different times of the day. He handles the mornings, I pick them up after school and am alone with them until dinner. In those times, we are king/queen. He has his morning routine, and even if I am still home, I do not interfere. I will respond to the kids when they talk to me, but I know what his routine is, and I try not to disrupt it. In the afternoon, I have my routine. If I do the occasional mornings, they know, Mommy mornings are different, but when Daddy is back it is back to Daddy routine and vice versa.

      It is frustrating to parent from different pages, but it can be done. Both parents need to feel listened to and validated.

    • Brandon Isaacs

      Is this a joke? This lady has published books?! What the actual fuck is going on here? This is, like, the most totally, poorly written article I have ever seen.