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Why You Need To Back Up Your Partner

Supporting Sisters

Written By Gracie Revland
May 27, 2021

Whenever I’m catching up with a friend who doesn’t yet have kids, and they tell me they’ve been arguing a lot with their partner, I can’t help but make my first thought, “what do they have to fight about? They don’t even have kids”. Which I know is wrong.

husband and wife laughing on the beach

And if you’re not a parent, I’m not invalidating your arguments or feelings (there are definitely logical arguments before kids). But co-parenting together, adds a whole new world of challenges in a relationship. That seems understated. Co-parenting can be really damn hard. Once you have children, your world changes, and they become the center of it. Things are different, and it takes a lot of adjusting.

Both Sammy and I have dealt with harder times pd in our marriages after we had kids. It’s definitely common, so if you’ve been there, we get you. Arguments over who’s going to change the diaper, who’s getting up with the kids, how to handle different behaviors…these are all normal.

However, that little baby becomes a bigger baby, and then a toddler, and guess who they are watching? You. They will notice when you and your partner aren’t on the same page or when you talk to each other in not the most admirable tone. They are learning how to interact with others, and you are their first example of that.

Therefore, being on the same team as your partner is so important. You’ll notice I said important, not always easy. And, I don’t mean one of you listens to everything the other says. It’s truly a team that wants each other to win, so they back each other up in every way possible. In parenting, there’s no room for selfishness or comparison; you are both in this together, be grateful for that. Having private conversations, deciding on clear-cut parenting expectations (that you both follow), and striving to be each other support system will go far in raising your children.

husband and wife walking on beach after wedding

Here’s why you need to back up your partner

  1. You need your child to know you are a team. If they think one of you has different rules and expectations than the other, you’ll notice that in their behavior. It is super confusing for them, and they’ll be more likely to throw a huge fit when one parent tells them to stop jumping on the couch, but the other parent allows it.
  2. Disagreeing with your partner when they tell your child to do something invalidates your partner to your child. If your partner tells your child to put a jacket on and you say, “it’s not even that cold outside,” you are teaching your child that your partner’s request isn’t valid (this was actually a real-life convo me and the hubby had to talk about it). This will result in them not trusting them or saying the same things back to similar requests.
  3. When you and your partner go back and forth about parenting tasks or opinions, it tends to create tension and arguments. Your behavior toward each other is your child’s model for friendships. Showing that you value each other by staying a team gives a much better example of having a healthy friendship.
  4. It is no secret that parenting is hard, and it’s only natural to second guess things as you go. Having someone disagreeing with what you are doing or critiquing it only brings your confidence down. Showing your partner that you are in this with them and doing great is the support we need.

If you and your partner needed this read, it is in no way a reflection of your relationship. I must admit, this post was even a little wake-up call to me, and I’m writing it. We all grow up molding our views and opinions about the parent we will be one day. You don’t ever think that you might enter that parenting journey with someone who has slightly different views or opinions, and that’s ok. As an adult, however, you have to figure out how to deal with it, so it doesn’t end up negatively affecting your child’s behavior.

How to find common ground on things you disagree about.

  1. Talk about what parenting aspects you value the most and why.
  2. Discuss future personality goals for your child (kind, care-free, structured, etc.).
  3. Talk about things you want more help with and things you can take off your partner’s back!
  4. Create clear-cut rules and expectations for your child that you both agree with and what consequences come with that so you can stay consistent.

To wrap it all up, backing up your partner will avoid confusing your toddler on expectations and consequences, model how to have a healthy relationship, and create a positive space for them to thrive and grow. So I encourage you to talk with your partner, send them this post, or reflect on yourself.

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Gracie Revland

Hi! I’m Gracie Revland •

One of the two mamas who created Supporting Chaos. It's hard to put into words how excited we are to grow this community of support! So all I can say is thank you so much for being here...