I'm writing about discipline (again! clearly I can't get off this topic) over at Faith & Family, and tangentially I started thinking about something that is sort of a Thing for me, and I wonder if other full-time stay-at-home parents have this same struggle.
I am a lot more permissive with Camilla than Bryan is. Not on issues of safety, of course, and I certainly don't let her get away with defiance or violence, but there are a lot of things that I let her do that he doesn't. For instance, if she asks, I'll often sit on the couch with her container of yogurt and feed it to her. Bryan would not do this. He makes her sit in her high chair. But I am really just too tired to make her sit in her high chair every single time, all day every day.
I try very hard to be consistent and Mean What I Say and follow-up on any disciplinary statements I make. I figure, though, that if I don't make a disciplinary statement in the first place, then I don't have the trouble of following through on it. I sort of figure that if I don't tell Camilla not to do something in the first place, then I haven't made whatever it is into an act of disobedience by forbidding it, and therefore she is not disobeying. (Like I said, obviously this does not apply to things she knows she's not allowed to do, like hitting or throwing her food on the floor.)
Bryan is much more in favor of the Perfect Behavior All the Time approach. But my thing about that is, there are 45 to 50 hours a week during which he's not around, and I am parenting solo. So if we jointly decide on the PBAtT approach, I am - by a conservative estimate - solely responsible for the Perfect Behavior during almost half of Milla's waking hours. It's too much, especially with pregnancy getting me down. So instead, we go with the Pretty Good Behavior approach, and I don't feel too crazed. Most days.
Does anyone else who is full-time stay-at-home parent with a full-time working spouse have this same difference in perspective? Have you had to do some adjusting? I really hope I'm not the only one who's ever said to my husband, "Oh, please don't tell her not to do that, because then I'll have to enforce it."