The birth of my friend’s second daughter has started a period of contentment in my life.
Helping parent this time is more relaxed, much more relaxed than it was with the first. Many parents will say the same. I feel it is more than that though. We have learnt over two years how to parent together.
Having two mothers roles in a relationship has its advantages and disadvantages.
The main advantage is that my daughters have two females, to take on the nurturing role. When one is not able to take the strain due to ill health, the other can step into the role.
The main disadvantage, is two females are taking on the nurturing role. We clash on many occasions. We both have contrasting parenting styles and this has caused problems. It is also more difficult for me because I am not the biological mother. I have no say over what happens to the children, although my friend listens to me.
For example, one of us believes that children should practice controlled crying. The other, children should be picked up straight away.
Through constant communication, we have worked through the role split. We have a stronger and healthier friendship because of it. The work we put in with our first little girl has paid off with the second.
We have a rule in place that if both of us don’t agree about a life decision, then we go with the least activity.
We had long discussions over vaccinations. I believe they are valuable. I have read the information about all the pro’s and cons and believe children should be vaccinated. Their other mother was not so sure. When we sat and discussed the issue in-depth, the issue was the time frame when all the injections were given. We reached the compromise, of spreading them out over a longer time. Both of us had our parent views respected.
Communication is the key to all parenting. Not hearing what the other is saying, but actively listening.
At the heart of everything we do is the girls. They will grow up knowing that they have two people that love them, accept them and will always be their cheerleader.
Through constant communication, we will ensure that we joint parent. Children need stability and consistent boundaries. Only through open communication can you ensure boundaries are consistent.
Regardless of your circumstances, communication is the key to a secure child.
Please note, for all the single parents out there doing a double shift you rock. No part of this article is meant to be negative about the amazing job you do solo.