My husband was meant to be my son’s father. Before I met him, I went through life a single mother and I prayed for everything my husband is. After we had met and eventually married I remember watching my new husband work with our son with things that I had struggled with alone. He established early that he would not get away with some habits that he was able to when it was just the two of us. As a result, our son is almost five years old now and he is very well behaved.
In the beginnings of our marriage, and finding our balance in parenting, there were some difficulties along the way. Our son was learning not to test his father’s limits but he still loved to test mine. I cried so much because I really felt that I had not a clue how to be a good mother, no matter how much my husband would hold and catch my falling tears and assure me that I was amazing, I didn’t feel that way.
One conversation with my mother who lived five states away may have saved my marriage. I called her to tell her that I felt defeated as a mother. I felt that I had been doing motherhood all wrong because my spouse who was new to parenting could do things so effortlessly and our son would listen. I told her that when he was not around, all hell broke loose because my son would test all my limits. My mother’s response made me take a breath and realize things will eventually be balanced.
“This will pass. Children always test their limits. And E needed some stability and discipline in his life! The kind of discipline that he would receive better from a man. Think of a cake. A cake needs both sugar and flour to able to bake and stand on its own. E’s sugar will mostly always come from you. You will teach him the sweetness of life, you are where he will seek all the hugs and kisses. E’s flour will mostly come from your husband. He will teach him to stand on his own as a man, he will teach him to respect his mother, he is where your son will seek stability. You both will be his balance. Some days you will give him flour while your husband gives the sugar. It’s all about balance. You just need to find it. A cake needs both sugar and flour.”
My mother is a wise woman.
For those of you who may be going through what I was, or something similar…just know that she was right, it did pass. And we did eventually find our balance. Our son still tests his limits every now and again but he is learning and growing each day. Parenting is hard, but it can be easier when you have somebody there who can help balance you out. If you are a single mama, balance is still accessible to you. I seeked balance in my own parents, and in God…how I did this will be something I write about another day.
My husband and I still run into bumps in the road, and I’m sure that will happen for the remainder of our son’s childhood. And that’s okay, we remain on each other’s side at the end of our days and we are thankful to have each other. We both have bad days. Parenting is freaking hard. But at the end of the day, our son knows he is so very loved by mommy and daddy, and that’s what matters.