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What happens when parents don’t agree on how to parent?

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Everyone parents their child slightly differently – even partners don’t always do things the same way. But as with all relationships, there has to be a bit of give and take.

One mum recently took to Reddit to vent about how her husband doesn’t change their toddler’s night nappy first thing in the morning, but not everyone sympathised with her dilemma.

The woman explained that she likes to change her toddler’s nappy the minute he wakes up in the morning, while her husband has different approach. “It’s been about 12 hours since our toddler’s nappy was changed before bedtime. When he wakes up, isn’t it the first thing you change?” she wrote. “Not for my husband.”

She goes on to explain that on the mornings her husband wakes up first, he gets their little boy something to eat before changing his nappy. “On the mornings he wakes up first, husband will give him snacks and hang around for upwards of 20-30 minutes until their morning stroll, which is when he’ll finally change the nappy,” she explains. “I keep telling him to change it first thing.”

“This is my style”

The woman plays out the scene between her and her husband where she asks him, “Can you imagine walking around in a urine-soaked nappy for 12 hours?” To which the husband answers, “I don’t know how it feels. But he looks happy still. I change it when we go out anyway. What’s 10/20/30 minutes more?”

The mum disagrees with his reasoning, saying that if it makes no difference, then why not change the nappy first thing? “Because there’s no reason to do it,” answers the husband. “I want him to get comfortable and settle down with some snacks … This is my style”.

The mum explains that by this point she starts to get worked up, and her husband usually tells her she’s nuts and also being a control freak, in front of their child.

Who is in the right?

The husband’s comments may seem a little harsh, but are his parenting choices unreasonable? The post attracted nearly 80 comments, and not all in the favour of the mum.

While some agreed this would be irritating, others didn’t think it was such a big deal. In fact, many said that their own toddlers hate having their nappy changed first thing.

“This is my little guy as well,” wrote one parent. “It’s like trying to wrestle a baby alligator and I haven’t even had my coffee yet. So little guy gets to happily eat and then he gets changed. It makes a huge difference in his attitude if he eats before he’s changed.” They go on to add, “And let’s be honest, I don’t have the mental energy for alligator wrestling first thing in the morning!”

“Unless your kid is prone to rashes this really isn’t a big deal,” wrote another follower. “Other then a poopy diaper in the morning, I usually change ours about 30 or 40mins after he gets up. He HATES being changed and messed with in the morning first thing. So we just wait.”

“This is exactly my son,” said yet another. “He has to process being awake for a little bit and HATES getting his diaper changed.”

“Stop micromanaging!”

Other readers push a little further and suggest that perhaps the mum needs to let go and stop trying to organise her husband and control how he does things.

“He’s his dad. Stop micromanaging him,” wrote one. “Seriously, don’t be that mom. Men are not lesser parents just because they do some irrelevant little thing a bit differently than you.”

“Sounds like you’re micro-managing too much,” said another. “It’s normal for your husband to do things a little differently than you – accept it and only intervene if it’s actually a big problem (which it doesn’t like this is, since kid is happy), or you’ll both endlessly be frustrated.”

However that particular follower continues with another helpful comment: “Talk to your husband about not undermining each other in front of the kids though.”

Overall, it’s an interesting point and, no doubt, a common problem. It can be hard to see things being done differently to you, particularly when it comes to parenting. But as many of the readers have intimated, it’s important to give each other space to do things in your own way. Luckily the mum appreciated all the advice, even the criticisms.

“Thanks for your comments, everyone!” she wrote. “It was great hearing from those who agreed with me BUT also very grounding to hear from those of you who didn’t.”

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