Parenting with Different Backgrounds

Last night was another fight in the Von Poopenberg household over our kid. Well maybe not fight. Let’s go with discussion instead.  Sure, that sounds better.

Today is the hubs birthday.  Last night, we had a sitter lined up and had plans to meet some friends for dinner and drinks.  We bring V home from daycare yesterday, and while I was holding her, she starts throwing up.  She threw up on me twice, and then again, after I had hauled her upstairs and had given her a bath.  She didn’t have a fever or anything, but I didn’t feel right about leaving her with a sitter while she’s not feeling well.  The hubs suggested that we go to dinner anyway, bring her, because she appears to be fine now.  I vehemently disagree.  As the time ticks away, we try to figure out what to do.  He tells me “I don’t want to leave you alone while she’s sick.”  I tell him I don’t feel comfortable leaving her, regardless of the reason why she is sick.  I tell him I want to stay home to monitor her.  Five minutes later, he tells me he’s going to meet our friends for drinks and will be back later.  With that, he grabbed his keys and left.

I was a bit dumbfounded.  And then I was angry.  So I put the kadiddle to bed, and I end up staying in the bedroom because I don’t want to be far away from her.  What if she throws up again?  Sure, I could turn on the monitor but I don’t want to be on another floor if she needs me right away.  So I lay in bed, reading for awhile.  I try to sleep but every time she rolls over or makes a sound, I sit straight up in bed panicked.  Then I sit listening, straining to make sure she is still breathing.  And still stewing about the earlier interaction with the hubs.

He starts texting me, telling me that “I felt bottled up and trying to understand your perspective when mine was fighting was making things hard on me” and “our perspectives were clashing in my head” so that’s why he left.  He got home later and we had a very pained conversation about it.  He doesn’t understand why I was so worried, because as he said, “If your finger was still attached, then it wasn’t a problem”…meaning in his family, you didn’t get attention for simple sickness.  Only when it was something catastrophic.  He went on to say that he is trying to see things from my perspective but he’s having a difficult time.  And that I’m a first time mother, so compared to his mom (who had 6 kids) I react differently.  So I tell him that from my point of view, when my kid is sick, that is my first priority.  And I’d rather be home with her than out and about.  And then I ask him, “After you’ve thrown up, for whatever the reason, did you feel like doing anything?!?”  And what I don’t tell him is that it felt like friends won out over his family.  That his daughter had thrown up three times, and he still felt the need to go out and have beers, even though he was out with the same gang the night before, and would be going out again tonight.

Our conversation ended with no real resolution.  I feel like we camped over in our corners, respectively, waiting for the bell to ding again for the next round of fighting.  I’m struggling to understand how he’d want to go out still (granted it was his birthday celebration) and he’s struggling to understand why I worry so much about her, when in his mind, she is fine.  I think our different styles of parenting are a positive thing – we both bring different strengths to the table, and that can only benefit our daughter in the long run.  But how do you come to some sort of compromise when you are in opposite corners?  How do you get each other to understand your point of view?

I’m stumped.  And kind of sad about that.  So I guess on that note, let me wish you all “Happy Fucking Valentine’s Day.”  This parenting shit is hard!

 

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