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Conflicting parenting style help?

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  • Conflicting parenting style help?

    (Sorry this is so long!)

    I'm a new mother to a one-month-old girl, and her father and I haven't spent much time talking about parenting in general. I'm a big fan of attachment parenting, though I haven't known anyone who's done it, but he seems to favor traditional parenting, and he's used those methods to help raise his niece and nephews. Ernest works 12 hours a day and is gone from 5:30am until around 6:15pm, then goes to bed at 9, so I've automatically been able to make most parenting decisions so far. We've talked about a few specific things and been able to sort-of compromise about things. For instance, before Lily was born we agreed that she'd sleep in our room, in a cradle separate from the bed. When she was born, however, she hated laying down flat and flailed around, pulled and kicked herself out of any blanket we swaddled her in, and kept herself awake unless we put her to sleep in either the cushy bassinet that came attached to her play yard or her mechanical swing; so I've been sleeping in the living room where those two things are since she was born (except for the few nights Ernest took care of her before he went back to work). Lately, though, she's been a lot more comfortable sleeping in her cradle, so last night I wanted to try sleeping in our room again with her in the cradle. He was extremely reluctant to the idea because she wakes up two or three times a night to eat, but he didn't come out and say "no" so through a general battle of wills she (and me) ended up sleeping in our room until around 11:30 when she woke up and wouldn't sleep in the cradle again. He's also already talking about moving her to her own room and that he's "not afraid to be the bad guy and lock her in her room, turn up the TV, and let her scream all night if that's what it takes," because that's what he did to get his niece and nephew to sleep in their own room. I said that I don't want to move her out of our room until she's at least six months old. Neither of us agreed or disagreed to the other's suggestion, and that's how these discussions have gone so far.The one thing we've openly disagreed on was covering up to breastfeed in public, and I ended up caving on that the one time he's been out with me because I couldn't argue with him and feed Lily effectively at the same time, with his parents there too. He's also commented lightly quite a few times that I'm spoiling her by holding her too much (and used her being really fussy the last two days as 'proof').

    I'm starting to get really burnt out from taking care of Lily and the house and cooking and shopping and laundry and everything, so his comments on my parenting are starting to make me very hostile toward him, especially since he's doing so little parenting himself. And since he's only home and awake a couple of hours a day, we have very little time to even make small talk, except on the weekends. I know we can't keep skirting around important topics, though.

    So how do I start the parenting conversation, and how do I explain what and why I want to do (because I can't just say "attachment parenting") without "proof" that it works besides studies and stuff that I've read on the Internet? I really hate arguing and debating, and I'm really bad at explaining my views on things to people because I've never cared if they agree with me or not.

  • #2
    would he be willing to do some reading on attachment parenting? "Attached at the Heart" is the perfect book for both moms and dads. There's also quite a bit of information (much of it research-based) in our 8 Principles of Parenting. I also highly recommend "Non-Violent Communication" to help the two of you have discussions that improve your relationship and communication. it's tough when you don't have a supportive partner, but that doesn't mean that you can't come to healthy compromises or a fit for your family. let us know how it goes!

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