Breaking Parenting RolesMoving away from unsuitable parenting norms creates opportunities and almost all parents these days are breaking a rule or two. Breaking the traditional takes honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness of parents.
You've probably heard of one of these: the stay at home dad and the working mom, the couples who are gender-inclusive in every facet of raising their child, breastfeeding for more than three years, raw vegan kids, children with no scheduled bedtimes, and until recently, homeschooling kids.
What the above (and so many more examples!) all have in common is they break the traditional norms of what parents "should" do with their kids. Almost all parents these days are breaking a "rule" or two.
Here's how my family breaks away from a few of these parenting tropes.
With each change, the way we handle time evolved. I took care of our son most of the time for more than a year, but with my husband home more, we had to evolve our time management.
It took a lot of talks about gender roles and what we each need to feel like a complete person so we can be effective parents and partners to get here, but here we finally are. Honesty, however much it stung, created the opportunity for us to grow.
It wasn't easy for my partner to warm up to the idea of me being the primary breadwinner. He grew up in a culture where that's what the man does. I was raised to be financially independent, but I had to learn to be empathetic to his release of that role. I saw money as money and, and it didn't matter who was making it as long as it came in!
We both wanted to work remotely so we could both be there for our son. My skillset simply transferred better online. We'd rather be at home with our little one than worry about how it looks like to have me work.
Honestly though? I love both being a full-time mom and working. With our new land, he puts in a new non-monetary value of physical labor. I'm watching my dream homestead getting built while our son is learning how to build and plant from his father.
On my end, I get to haul the monetary support. Working makes me feel more balanced. I've been knee-deep in momming for over a year. Selfishly, working a few hours a day is part of my me time.
Head of the Family
I struggled to yield in my relationship at the beginning. It was pressed into me to be an independent woman, man present or not. So, the idea of a man being the head of me didn't sit well. My partner was incredible at being mutable, and I eventually learned the true meaning of partnership.
We've both realized it's about equal partnership through respecting the parameters of each other's strengths. Most of the time, he does lead. Why?
Because I prefer to focus on the little things, the day-to-day. Sometimes I get too technical and become paralyzed with indecision. He's better at seeing the whole picture. We both remind each other what the other is missing so we can grow and see the full scope of our life together.
I lead the things I'm great at, some of which are traditionally for the woman/wife, and some aren't. The same goes for him. We've both got heads to lead, but conflict is significantly reduced when we yield to the other's area of expertise.
Break Up With Stereotypes
Breakups, as in breaking up with unsuitable parenting roles, can lead you to where you and your family need to be. It takes honesty, open-mindedness, and the willingness to move away from roles that hurt to creating opportunities that feel good.
What parenting roles do you break?
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.