Parenting: The Approach is Irrelevant, The Ultimate Goal is Important

I think about parenting all day and all night, this has become a huge part of my life since I earned the title Mom. I honestly can say parenthood is the most important part of my life, a close second importance is my work. There are many ways to raise your child, every book and every other parent will lend you advice on what worked for them. The key is that those methods worked for them. The advice you receive, the suggestions others lend, are not made of gold and are not something you have to follow. Kindly accept advice and knowledge shared from one parent to another, but never question your ultimate way of living if it works for you and your children.

One thing about co-parenting or even parenting as husband and wife under the same roof is that not even both parents will have the same approach to every parenting scenario. Mom and Dad do things different, this is just a fact of life. Mom and Dad have a different approach to life, so why wouldn’t they have a different approach in parenthood? Makes sense that they would approach things differently, even in regards to their own children.

What is extremely important as two parents raising children together, is that both are on the same goal path. This means that Mom and Dad both have the same goals in mind with the type of child they want to raise into adulthood. It’s best that you have discussions beforehand about your wishes for your not-yet-planned child, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. Life seems to go on whether you are ready for it or not.

The best tips I have for you in regards to ensuring you both have the same goals for your children is to do the following:

  • Discuss what is important to both of you and collide them together in your child’s upbringing.
  • Be sure you both are on the same path to instill the same morals and personality traits in your child.
  • Be respectful that your approach and their approach may be different.
  • Keep open communication to ensure that you both are indeed still working to parent on the same path.

It’s really irrelevant if your spouse handles your child differently than you do, what really matters most is that you both are working to raise the same type of child. This is important. Everything else is just fluff, and honestly a child who has two parents who approach things differently will assist that child in having more of an open mind to life as they get older.

This Could Be The Hardest Part of Co-Parenting

The challenges that arise with co-parenting are plentiful, you see when you raise your children in a home where both parents reside then the fact that each parent is slightly or completely different can be balanced for the most part. Having a balanced household between Mom and Dad working together is amazing but when you take those same two parents, separate them and place children in the middle, all heck could break loose. It’s sometimes difficult for parents to step back and let the other parent do their thing without interfering, even in a household where two parents reside which means that is even more difficult when you realize you no longer have control over the rules placed in the other household while your children visit their other parent.

Co parentingIt can take a long time to adjust to both letting go of the fact that you have no control over rules in the other household combined with the fact that simply letting go of having your children away from you for a period of time. It’s an emotional ride when you start co-parenting for sure, but sometimes and I hope usually, things settle a bit. For me, co-parenting has been pretty simple but it wasn’t always that way. I had some difficult years where I couldn’t let go of the fact that I had zero say in who was around my kids, what rules were placed in the father’s household and mostly just had a hard time being away from the kids. It wasn’t an easy path to walk but I simply reminded myself that their Dad’s love them as much as I do. I had to let go and trust that they would make the right decisions that they felt were best for our kids and never knowingly put the kids in harms way.

The thing I see more often than not with co-parenting is this power struggle; one parent believes they are in control of everything and have the say to tell the other parent when, where and why. That is why the court system has this lovely thing called a Parenting Plan. The Parenting Plan is a legal binding document that sets forth when, where and how each parent shall spend time with the children. While I have an issue with this whole “let’s split the kids 50/50″ crap that NH plays a lot {and other states too}, most of the time the judge wishes to see that the children are spending equal or close to equal time with both parents. This helps alleviate the stress some children can have with going long periods of time without the other parent. Once the Parenting Plan has been put in place, there is little to negotiate because all of that occurred during the court battle, mediation and in a hearing. Once the legal system puts a Parenting Plan in place and states “this is how it is” then both co-parents and any children involved must oblige whether they like it or not.

Of course, as with any law, there are exceptions. Let’s say the Parenting Plan won’t work because “something came up” maybe a business trip or something, well then the parents can work together to negotiate something that helps each of them continue on in their own separate lives while working to share time with the children so that the other can work or travel or attend a family thing that the children cannot attend. If you are co-parents who cannot even speak to each other without one or the other jumping down the throat and swearing and causing a big scene then unfortunately the only people who are losing with this type of situation are the children.

Believe it or not children are extremely resilient and get over situations that they may not like, may not understand or are stressful. In other words, kids get over crap faster than most adults do. I swear. So if you or a friend is co-parenting with a lot of resistance from the other parent to work together and form a Parenting Plan that 1st benefits the children and 2nd benefits each parent having a life aside from parenting, then maybe they should meet a mediator, go to a family counselor or utilize any outside sources to help open their eyes to what this situation is doing to their children. After all, once two parents are in a co-parenting situation nothing matters except the children from that point forward.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

Tis the Season to go Fishing, soon!

I have been a fisher since my early days of childhood, I was deemed my Dad’s fishing buddy. I swear I am no longer his fishing buddy simply because I always showed him up, usually catching a larger fish and so forth. Maybe it was just that time got busy, I grew older, we grew apart for a bit, I do not know. What I do know now is that my Dad is still a fisher and my sons wish to be!

NH Fly Fisherman

One year I bought a fishing license and so did my ex husband, we took them boys out fishing along with my daughter. Let me tell you what, I did not realize how gross it is to try to get that worm on that hook! Apparently I have part girly girl in my genes because there is no way on Earth I shall ever put a worm on the hook by myself … wonder if I had ever done that as a child? Probably.

The boys love worms. The boys love fishing. The boys do not care if they are bit up by 100 mosquitoes to go fishing. They are just happy to be fishing. The daughter is more into fishing than I am, but still is bothered by the bugs from time to time like me. A couple years ago, my ex husband and I taught Kiara how to use a woman’s pole instead of those little kid fishing poles. She used it amazingly, all the while telling me I could not touch the darn thing because I would get it caught in a tree every single time I tried to set it out to water for fishies to bite.

While snow is still on the ground and ice is thawing out, it’s time for this family to start looking into getting a fishing license again and getting some fishing gear, thankfully there are many websites and in person stores to help with all of those fishing rod, tackle and shopping needs such as AnglingDirect. Those kids will make a fisher woman out of me yet ….

What Would You Grab If…

You had to leave your vehicle on the side of the road, not knowing if you would ever see it again?

For me, it was all of my kids random toys, my $500 stroller {that I never use}, my umbrella stroller {again, that I never use}, the kids 3 booster seats and last but not least – my fishing license out of the glove-box.

I thought grabbing my fishing license was a brilliant idea, after all if I never see this van again I may just want to go fishing to get over the fact that the transmission died going 68mph down an interstate while my two sons were in the back, which left me vehicle-less.

Nah, that was just a silly idea of fishing because the one thing in the glove-box that I grabbed, the fishing license, yeah, that thing is expired!

Hey, as my Dad said, at least my head was in the right place. He would have done the same.

So… what would you grab if you thought you were never see that vehicle that broke down on side of road again?

10 Things Every Child Should Hear {and mine do}

Raising children is not an easy task. One would think the older they get, the easier it gets but as a mother of two young boys and one girl heading into the tween years I say some areas of parenting become more difficult with age. Here are 10 things I will want or do want all children to know, including my own:

  1. Failure is having the courage to try something new & realizing that not everyone has the courage to try something new. You are courageous in your efforts.
  2. A smile can brighten even the most grumpy of people in the world, even yourself on a grumpy day.
  3. Be kind to your neighbors and friends, one never knows when trouble will hit and you may need their shoulder to lean on.
  4. Realize that mean people have deep emotional issues that are not your responsibility to understand nor heal. Be compassionate & kind.
  5. Be kindest to those who appear to be your enemy for that will make you a stronger, better person than them in the long run.
  6. Hug your siblings daily and never let a moment go by without letting loved ones know how you feel. Life is not a guarantee from one day to the next.
  7. Try your hardest, do your best and never let anyone tell you that your best isn’t good enough.
  8. Realize making mistakes is okay in life and use them as something to learn from, not something to regret.
  9. Never spend a moment allowing others to make you feel negative. One can only make you feel the way you allow them to make you feel.
  10. Keep your head up. Realize that you are loved. Realize that you are beautiful, that you are handsome and no one can take that self confidence away from you.

I love you my children.

All children deserve to hear positive praise. All children deserve to have more positive attention than negative.  Let your child know today that they are amazing and that they can be whatever they dream to be.

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