Parental Compromising


    This evening, Hubby and I disagreed upon a parenting moment.  We established the rule, a long time ago, that our boys would not be allowed to play video games on school nights.  Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Sunday considered a school night since kids have to go to school on Monday morning?  This is what I have always thought but my husband deviated from the game plan tonight.  You see, he played video games all afternoon in order to unwind before going to work this evening so he took up all of the kids’ time to play during the day.

    I’m not sure if he felt guilty about the fact that the kids did not get to play or if he was just being stubborn but, all of a sudden I see him setting up the boys to play the Playstation 3 at 7:00 p.m.  Immediately, I put my foot down and stated that they boys were not allowed to play because they have school tomorrow and that the rule stands that there are no video games on school nights.  My husband and I immediately began speaking in Spanish to discuss this issue because that is what we do when we want to talk about something and we don’t want the kids to know what we are talking about.

    I explained to Hubby that I have work to do such as preparing my grades for report cards and writing my lesson plans for the week.  He responded that it was Sunday which is still part of the weekend and that he thought it would be okay if the boys played video games until 8:00 p.m.  Obviously, we did not agree so I flexed my Mommy muscles and told the boys that there would be no video games tonight since there is school tomorrow.  Luckily, Hubby was supportive despite the fact that he disagreed with me because he knew that he was leaving for work soon and that it was best to follow our usual Sunday evening routine.

    I’m not sure if this ever happens to you guys but, why do husbands always throw monkey wrenches into already established routines and schedules?  I’m not sure if this happens because men are more spontaneous than women are or if they just like being the fun parents while mothers are the “enforcers.”  I would love to let the boys just play with their toys and video games and let them have fun all of the time.  This is not realistic and I know that, if I were to allow this, I would be the one who would end up paying for it in the long-run when they couldn’t get up for school the next day or if they couldn’t perform at school because they were too tired.

    Sometimes, being the Mom is not the role of the fun parent.  We are the ones who have to make the tough decisions and lay down the unpopular rules when it comes to doing what is good for our children.  In my house, that usually means limiting video game time, putting an end to wrestling and horseplay that is heading towards an injury, and turning off sports after hours and hours of sports viewing pleasure. 

    It’s not always easy to be the only female in an all male household and I suspect that it is going to get harder and harder as my sons get older.  Even if it makes me a little unpopular around here, I will have to keep putting my foot down when it comes to curtailing some of the testerone laden activities in this house.  It’s a good thing that Hubby and I are on the same page in terms of presenting a united parenting front to our boys, even if we don’t always agree on each and every parenting moment or decision.

© 2011, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. It’s bound to happen sometimes, especially when one of the parents is trying to “make up” for something. My youngest is 15 and is grounded right now until his grades are up. Grounded in our house means no cell and no video games. If I take away the TV too then we all get punished, if you know what I mean. Anyway, my hubby decides to help said teenager due some sort of fancy shmancy programming stuff with the X-Box today (hubby is IT guy). Now just because they weren’t playing it he thought this was okay. Really?

    You have my sympathy. LOL

    • Thanks, Carli. That is exactly how I felt, like “Really?” I’m the one who rules the evenings in my house simply because Hubby leaves for work at that time and I am left alone to rule the roost at that time. It kind of took me by surprise that he would change the game plan on me like that all of a sudden. Thank goodness we were able to compromise and he didn’t give me a hard time.

  2. Husbands can be difficult sometimes. Luckily, it sounds like you agree on most of your parenting aspects.
    They don’t understand that routines and rules are put in place for a reason.
    Dad’s tend to be the more ‘fun’ parent and we get to do most of the work 🙂

    • Chantelle, I am so glad that you chimed in on this post. I have always felt that Dads get to be the fun parents while we get the reputation of being the ones who impose all of the rules. Luckily, my husband and I do agree on most aspects of parenting. Hopefully, he will think next time before he tries to deviate from the game plan. 😉

  3. Right now The Boy is so little that there are not many things to disagree about. I’m sure it will happen though. I’m glad that you stuck to your guns and he didn’t try to undo the rules in the end.

  4. I’ve gone through similar situations with my DH. What I find really funny is that he tells me that when it comes to the kids I’m in charge (because I’m the stay at home/work at home mom) but then he comes along and throws a kink into my system which was working just fine — sigh. The fun of parenting sometimes 🙂

    I’m a new follower.

  5. newest follower here! would love for you to consider following me back.

  6. I think that Fathers sometimes feel like they need to form an “Us vs. Them” team and gang up on Mothers. It’s hard to be the enforcer! Stay strong!

  7. First of all, and off point, I think it’s so awesome that you can talk with your husband in spanish. How is it the boys haven’t picked up on it? LOL

    Back on point, I think what you did was the right thing. I agree that Sunday is a school night. Friday and Saturday would be weekend nights. I’m pretty fly by the seat of my pants, but there have to be some established rules or the kids will run the house and we’ll pay as parents down the road. My boys are 11 and 7 and still have a bedtime of 8pm. There are only a few rules that are pretty much unbending such as this one. I think it’s wonderful that your husband stuck with the rule, but now you guys have something else to discuss. I think we’re all just kind of winging this parenthood thing and we all learn as we go!

    • Mimi, they haven’t picked up on it because they are resistant to learning how to speak Spanish. It’s amazing, their father and I speak Spanish to them all the time and I know they understand more than they let on but they just won’t speak it. I guess they are too Americanized.

  8. Haha….I’m a bitch. I would have told my hubby that he was being a selfish tool by taking time away from the little kids. Then I would have reminded him that he was in his 30’s and maybe he should get a life and do something productive instead of rotting away in front of the Wii and then I would have kicked him off.

  9. Michele Bodenheimer says

    Hi!! I am your newest follower form Give it to me Monday!

    Michele aka MikiHope

  10. Yes, in our house, Sunday is most certainly considered a “school night”…But, also sometimes it’s okay to bend the rules once in a while.

    Your husband used up THEIR (the boys’) gaming time earlier in the day and didn’t get off til later in the evening. So, he (hubby) was being kind enough to allow them to get on and make up for the lost time that HE caused.

    This is where I consider it the “exception to the rule”. If my husband had done that to my kids, then yes, I’d bend the rule a wee bit for this one time. But make note to my kids that it will not be happening EVERY Sunday.

    And if it’s too close to their bedtime for a school night, then they will get extra time, along with their regular allotment the next day.

    To me it’s not fair to “punish” the kids for what myself or my husband took away from them. We didn’t “play fair”, so we give a little leeway as needed in this area.

  11. This happens to me sometimes. And sometimes, I let it. Because one deviation means the whole night deviates. Even if the hubby isn’t here for that part, the kids are and they have learned that Mommy’s word RULES the hut. They hate being rushed.

    • Bella, that is exactly how I feel. If something deviates from the evening routine, we end up going to bed late and I end up paying for it the next day when I have to go to work. You are right, “Mommy does rule the hut.” 🙂

  12. It’s life mommy but girl power, we make the rules and keep them. My little one knows the rules and if daddy tries to change them they look at me for approval. They know who is the chief. Not really but it does help to keep the rules, it pays off in the end


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