First You Eat, Then You Drink!

    It is not uncommon that my husband and I disagree sometimes on some of the small details of how we are raising our two sons.  The important thing is that we wholeheartedly agree on the larger, and most important aspects of our parenting.  Obviously, we are on the same page with regards to teaching them respect, honesty, integrity, and all the other good stuff that makes for good parenting.  Actually, this is something that we agreed upon as early as our courtship and was one of the things that convinced me that this was the person that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and to raise a family with.
    Now, back to the little parenting details that we often disagree upon…  Where do I even begin?  It stands to reason that two totally different people who were raised by totally different parents would have some totally different ideas regarding how certain things are done sometimes.  I suppose you could call these “pet peeves.”  I was raised in a Nuclear household with two siblings and he was raised by a single mother with no siblings.  I spent most of my childhood living in Europe and he spent all of his childhood living in the United States.  As you can see, these differences make for some very interesting parenting moments where we have had to compromise and discuss how we were going create a united front and not undermine each other’s parenting.

    Let us begin with debatable parenting rule #1:  You must eat all of your food before you drink anything.

    According to my husband, allowing the kids to drink would fill them up with liquid and cause them to not eat all of their food.  Also, he claims that one digests food better if they eat first and drink later.  Now, I’m not here to debate back and forth about whether his theory can be scientifically proven but, I disagree.  There is no way that I could ever eat an entire meal without drinking something simultaneously.  As a result, I would never expect my children to do so either.  In his defense, he was raised this way by his mother and, to this day, will eat an entire meal before drinking anything.  So, in his mind, he wasn’t asking anything of his children that he wasn’t prepared to do himself.  The victorious parent in this debate?  ME, because I made a better “drinking keeps them from choking” argument.

    This leads us to debatable parenting rule #2:  Children should tuck their undershirts into their underwear so they don’t stick out.

    A lot of you are probably chuckling over this one but it is no laughing matter to me.  I was raised to tuck your undershirt into your underwear because it looks sloppy if it sticks out from under your blouse or your pants.  My husband was not raised to place much importance on this and actually states that it is uncomfortable for boys to have their undershirts tucked into their underwear.  The victorious parent in this debate?  HIM, because little boys are generally sloppy when they play and their undershirts end up sticking out anyway most of the time.

    Lastly, we come to debatable parenting rule #3:  Boys should wash themselves with washcloths and not loofah sponges.

    Again, another funny one that actually sparked a debate in our home.  According to my husband, boys are supposed to wash themselves, when they shower, with a washcloth.  I agree that washcloths are probably more sanitary since they get washed regularly, however, I have found it easier for them to use the loofah sponges because they are able to lather them up with soap better.  The victorious parent in this debate?  ME, because we tried it his way and the boys went through a whole bottle of body wash in one day just trying to effectively lather up their washcloths.

    Luckily, these little battles of the will are few and far between and almost insignificant.  In the end, we are in total agreement about the parenting debates that really matter.  It is important to validate each other’s backgrounds and to allow some of the positive things that we both experienced and learned from our own parents to come through in our parenting.  It is even more important to make sure that, at least in front of the children, Mommy and Daddy are in total agreement about everything.  Remember, kids can smell fear…

© 2010, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. OMG, first off, I have to say, you made me laugh. Ok, it was very easy for me, because I raised my kids by myself and liked it that way. I made all the rules, I made all the decisions, it was how I wanted it, what I felt and I had no one else to worry about. I have always liked being in charge and doing it my way, so that worked out well. For the very short time I was married, I was in charge anyway, it was my way.

    Now, to answer your questions. Definitely drink while eating. I must drink while eating and I have always given my kids liquid while feeding, from when they first started on cereal.

    I tucked t-shirts into pants, not underpants, but I'm with you, hanging out looks sloppy so I would always fix it when necessary or tell them to fix it once they were about 2 1/2 or so. They did it just fine.

    I think boys should wash with whatever is most comfortable for them. So, IMO, it doesn't matter.

    There are pros to being a single mom. No one to "argue" the big or little stuff with. I took care of it all. I'm proud to say, I did a darn good job! They turned out wonderful. I'm very proud.

  2. Doreen, thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. You made me chuckle by saying that you were in charge during the marriage too. It is different when you have to compromise with your spouse and you don't get to do things entirely "your way." I have to admit that my husband and I have pretty good communication so we generally are able to talk things through. During those rare times when we can't come to an agreement, I either use my feminine wiles to get my way or make him think he is in charge. LOL Also, let me congratulate you on being the first person to enter my first ever blog contest, I really appreciate it and appreciate you following.

  3. LOL, this made me laugh, but I can definitely relate. My husband used to be an over the road truck driver and was gone for days at a time, so I pretty much made all the rules for the household 🙂 It was difficult once he changed careers and was home everyday to adjust, because I still wanted to be in charge. But I learned to compromise…most of the time anyway….but we have our small disagreements here and there when it comes to raising our kids too, but I think as long as you agree on the major issues, then thats all that matters 🙂

    Love your blog, new follower, hope you stop by and visit me soon!

  4. Wow, that must have been difficult, running the household all by yourself while your husband was on the road driving the truck. I'm sure it must have been hard to be away from him so much. I think that it is true for all married couples to sometimes disagree about the details of raising children. Thank you for following and I am thrilled that you love my blog. Please feel free to pass by often. I will definitely be checking out your blog too.

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