I thought the biggest things most couples fought about were money or sex. My husband and I really do fine in those areas. We get along beautifully, enjoy a shared sense of humor (thank goodness!) and are really quite happy together. When we do disagree, ninety percent of the time it's about: The Kids!
Why did no one tell me about this?
I'm still trying to figure this one out. I guess when my boys were babies, their father really didn't get the whole baby thing, knew I already had experience in this area and left most of the decision making to me. By the the time my boys were toddlers, I was a single mother making all of the decisions by myself. As they get older, their care becomes slightly less physical and more about what goes on in their little minds. So much more is about taking advantage of those "teaching opportunities" when possible, answering the constant questions, and setting the moral expectations in the family.
Blending with Batman has been a crash course in shared parenting. It's been great at times, because my interesting husband is so good at answering the kids' questions about everyday things. How does this work? How many people have ever been to the moon? Why do you stack the wood that way in the fireplace? The boys have gotten so used to his explanations, that if I hesitate after they ask me a question, they automatically say "that's a Batman question, huh?" My husband has made me give more thoughtful, in-depth answers to their questions simply by his example. And he really enjoys sharing his knowledge, as most dads do. Also, I now have reinforcements! It is so nice having that other adult there to back to me up.
It's interesting, though, because here we are, years into our children's upbringing, and there's suddenly someone else to consider when deciding whether or not your child can do this or that and how certain situations should be handled. And not to mention the miscommunication!
"Why are you letting him do that? I just said he couldn't."
"Well you didn't tell me that. How was I supposed to know?"
I could list many variations of the above exchange, but for all parents, it's probably familiar. We've come to an agreement that above all, we need to present a united front to the kiddos, and work out any disagreements or objections out of their earshot. If one of us convinces the other to change their mind about a decision given to the children, we always come back to the kids and say we've discussed it and we've decided on the new decision. This way, it's not "Mommy talked Batman into it" or "Mommy was wrong and Batman was right."
We certainly are far from perfect, but I think we are finally getting it more right than not. We are kind to each other when we disagree, try to fight fair, yield to the other's wishes when appropriate, and keep our sense of humor. Our love for each other and that sense of humor are what get us through each time.
Well, that and watching Modern Family together on Wednesday nights after the kids are in bed.