Mothers and Fathers

Today I have as my guest Melissa from Motherhood is an Art Melissa is the mom to two school age children and one toddler. She is from Wisconsin and believes the key to motherhood is creativity and lots of humor!

I was extremely happy when Larry asked me to be a guest blogger on his website. I have known Larry since he became one of my first followers on my blog Motherhood is an Art. He has always been a very encouraging fellow blogger. However, I must admit I always cringe when I know that he has read a post of mine knowing that he is an English teacher. I am well aware that my grammar and punctuation ain’t no good (okay, the “ain’t” part is a joke but it’s true that many grammar and punctuation principles elude me). So I can only imagine that he is mentally red circling most of my stories!

It’s also notable that Larry is probably my only male follower. I realize I kind of slotted out this demographic when I named my blog Motherhood is an Art. It certainly doesn’t scream, “Come read this you testosterone-laden males.” In retrospect, I probably should have named it something to do with “parenting,” but in all honesty I do think there are distinct differences between Motherhood and Fatherhood and “parenting” generalizes the two. My voice is about being a Mother. I know about this particular side. I have been doing this mothering thing for almost 8 years to a daughter and two sons.

Let me break down for you how similar situations are dealt with by my husband and me in our household to further illustrate my claims that mothers and fathers are different creatures.

Beans Up the Nose:

My approach to this is to gently tell my child that you do not put beans in your nose. I explain that by putting a bean in your nose could cause it to get stuck in there and then it would proceed to sprout and create a twisty vine that grows throughout your sinus cavity.

My husband’s approach is to simply say, “Do not put beans in your nose!” There is no need for an explanation. It is just a fact that you cannot put beans in your nose.

Dinosaur Play:

My middle son and I used to play with his plastic dinosaurs together. I would hand him one and tell him it was the baby dinosaur.  I would then grab one and say it was the Mama dinosaur. Right away he would start roaring and make lunges to eat Mama dinosaur’s feet off. I would tell him that baby dinosaur needed to apologize for trying to eat feet and that it was time for baby dinosaur to eat his carrots and go take a bath. Needless to say, I didn’t get an overwhelming amount of requests to play dinosaurs with him.

When my husband and him played dinosaurs, there was only roaring and eating feet. There was no story line and the dinosaurs didn’t have to apologize for anything. My husband had more playing requests than me.

Danger and Messes:

I encourage my kids to make messes and to take risks. I was somewhat of a tomboy growing up.  I think the messes I made and risks I took make up an integral part of who I am today.

My husband shakes his head any time he comes home and finds the kids playing outside in just their underwear and covered in mud from head to toe. He nearly had a heart attack the first time our daughter climbed up the monkey bars at the park and went rushing to her side. I sat on the grass calmly taking it in with a smile across my face. He is the one who put a halt to the kids walking on rocks to cross a stream last year after I already gave them the go ahead.

I encourage my kids to play in the rain and get dirty

I encourage my kids to play in the rain and get dirty

So yes, I am convinced that there are clear differences between how mothers and fathers approach parenting, just as every mom is different and so if every dad. The common core is that we are parents. We are responsible for our child. We want the best for our children. We want them to be happy. We want them to grow up and be responsible and smart. We have no idea if what we are saying or doing is the right way, but we are trying the best we can.

Today I will say “Parenthood is an Art.” It takes a lot of creativity and humor to make it through!

31 thoughts on “Mothers and Fathers

  1. So very true! Great post! I’m glad there are differences between my husband and myself in our parenting styles, but enough in common to keep the wheels going in the right direction.

    As wife of an ear/nose/throat doctor, I had to laugh about the beans up the nose story. My dear husband recently became certified to perform an in-office sinus procedure involving a small balloon being inserted into the sinuses to open up the passageways–like angioplasty for the nose! He gets paid to stick things up patients’ noses! Ha!

    –Alison

    • More parents like Melissa – beans up the nose parents that is – and you may be able to get a vacation house.

    • Thanks Alison!

      I would love to hear how your husband would handle it if your kids were to stick beans up their nose!!

      I think it truly is a great thing that kids get raised and taught in different ways and that they can take a little from everyone who touches their lives!

      I hope your family has a wonderful Easter!

  2. There is certainly something to be said for taking risks and getting dirty, as a child AND as an adult! I realize the sexual innuendo there, but it was completely unintended! What I mean is that as kids, we are open to new experiences and with creative souls like yourself who nurture these opportunities, we can grow into adults who are a lot less inhabited and enjoy life that much more.

    Great guest post! Oh and for what it’s worth, this English teacher was NEVER red-penning your posts 😉

    • Thank you Stephanie!! I always thought for sure you were adding red circles and carats all over the place on my posts mentally too! Whew!

      I think what you said about growing into less inhabited adults due to taking risks and getting dirty as children is probably very true! I think it probably is best that my husband reigns us in from time to time though so we don’t end up in the hospital on a regular basis!

  3. Everything is so true! Why do you think it is that dads worry more about safety (monkey bars) than moms do? It’s always been that way in my house, even now that they are nearly grown! Are all men worry warts?

      • I find this so mind boggling as well Julie! My Dad was exactly the same way! My Mom always tells a story about how I would ride my little bike down the carpeted stairs when I was a little kid. My Mom was completely fine with it but my Dad would put the stops on it right away because he was so nervous! I would definitely think it would be the other way around!

  4. Oh, so funny about dangers and messes! My husband is exactly the same! Today, my just turned three year old, who is normally very reserved, clambered up this monkey bar ladder thing at the playground and my husband nearly had a heart attack too! I did stand underneath her, just in case, but I certainly wasn’t worried 🙂 He also gets so annoyed with the mess!

    • I am surprised that so many of the husbands are the worriers. I definitely have my moments but would say my wife is mote the worries.
      The messes – well, I probably am more hyped about it than my wife.

  5. Interesting . . . I put a bead up my nose when I was a kid. Never thought of doing that again, though, and I don’t think any of my siblings did it at all.

    Sometimes I feel like I take more of a daddy approach and my husband plays mommy; sometimes we switch. Lately, I haven’t had too much energy to fight (or discipline) and I just choose my battles very carefully. On the other hand, my husband is much more careful about every little thing (except if he’s overlooked it, like a knife near the edge of the counter). But, that may be because I am the eldest of five (and the eldest cousin) and he is the fourth of five (with almost no cousins).

    One day, someone should research this topic. Volunteers are accepted.

  6. My husband and I have very different parenting styles, too, but I think we level each other out. On most things, we’re similar to y’all. I’m definitely more of a worrier about them playing crazy than he is, but he worries about outside things hurting them more than I do. (I think the latter has to do with his career as a firefighter/paramedic, and all the things he sees at work.)

    The bean up the nose thing? My daughter’s was a bead. It was pretty tricky getting that thing out! My husband was keeping an eye on her for a few minutes while I was cleaning up for the day. I’d asked him to take the cat toy from her when I heard it from the other room, but he didn’t want to. She busted it and stuck the bell up her nose before I was finished brushing my teeth. That was quite an episode in our parenting story! lol

    • It sounds like quite an incident. The poor cat must have been confused too. I think leveling each other out is a good thing. It’s good to have multiple perspectives and try to come to a consensus.

  7. I love, love this post! Melissa, as usual you make me laugh and it’s so true, motherhood and parenthood can be very different sometimes! 🙂 I laughed really hard when I read about Larry circling in red most of your stories! I have thought the same thing every time! Mine are worst, I did my all studies in French. All my written exams have been in French, so you can imagine what I think when Larry reads mine! Thanks Larry for being one of my most loyal followers! 🙂 & Melissa your post was so good, I had to read it to my husband! 🙂 (he laughed too!)

  8. I don’t have an English teacher following my blog and I am always worrying about grammar, puctuation, wording… Great post Melissa!

    • I wish people would not be so hyped about the English teacher thing. However, I must say I am glad that you check for grammar, etc. Also, I would think anyone who write should check for these sorts of things.

      • I think it’s funny that everyone is teasing you about being an English teacher. Maybe you are just making them polish their writings more than they would, so their illusions of your critique is making them do their own critiques more thoroughly? I used to do alot of proofreading for newsletters, catalogs, etc. I still find myself mentally “red circling” glaring mistakes. LOL Generally, though, I just enjoy whatever I’m reading. I deliberately allow myself to write as I speak when writing my blog, though, because I don’t want to sound “stuffy”. The exception would be if it doesn’t translate well in the written word compared to coming out of my (very Southern) chatterbox self. 🙂

        • To be honest, in general, I am very hyped about the grammar I have on my blog. I almost feel like I have to be based on my profession. And yes, maybe, I do mentally red circle mistakes but I am not so annoying to point them out. Anyway, I think others get paranoid because they see the words English teacher. It conjures up past memories of red lines and they put those memories on me.

  9. NIce story. Men and women often do take different approaches to child-rearing. You made this point in an interesting fashion in this post.

    Thank you.

  10. Listen, Sister — I’m all for the willy-nilly, the wild-and-crazy, the madcap — but put some pants on those children, for heaven’s sakes. You live in Wisconsin. Home of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Not Louisana. Home of those “Duck Dynasty” people. Sheesh!

    Love the Dinosaur story! As you know, I only have a daughter; when she was little she was more interested in playing Barbies than she was in playing dinosaurs. I never had the patience for the whole Barbie thing myself, but my husband was awesome at playing Barbies. Awesome! He has excellent fine motor skills, which came in handy for helping Barbie and her friends slip in and out of “outfits”!

    Nice post!

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