Sunday, March 11, 2007

Don't Argue With Your Pregnant Wife

Why Sometimes It's Better to Be Wrong

So, early last week, my wife was dropping some hints that she was ticked at me for either something I had done, or something I was supposed to have done, but didn't. Just to set the record straight, my wife is the greatest woman in the world, and fortunately our arguments are few and far between. And I'll give her credit that usually when she gets mad there's at least a half way good reason. Having said that, my experience is that pregnant women in general are more apt to get ticked at the smaller things, than those that are eating for one, so to speak.

So anyways, she's upset about something. How did I know? Besides the looks and body language, I always know something's up when I hear an abundance of the words "fine", "ok", and "nothing". And the context doesn't really matter. "How's your mom doing?" "Fine." "How are you feeling today?" "Ok". "What's wrong?" "Nothing." Uh oh! "Is it ok if I play basketball tonight?" "Nothing would be finer." When those words start flying, I know I'm in for a "talk" sometime soon. And I love talking to my wife, but I am a man, and so this type of "talk" doesn't rate as my top 10 things to do.

Moving on to the point of all this. I had an idea as to why she was upset, and after three days of fines, oks, and nothings, I knew the "talk" was coming soon. (As a side note, things are always better after the "talks", but again, I'm a guy.) Before I leave for work she says, "I think we need to talk when you get home." Thanks honey. Now I have all day to think about it. So what do I do? I start to plan my defense. On this one I know I'm right. I've got argument A, B, and C. I've even got exhibits and even a little DNA evidence. There's no way she's going to win. As I get home from work I'm going through my opening statement one last time.

After we get the baby down to bed, it's time to battle it out. I've got my notecards out, and I'm ready to take her down. Then something happens as she begins to let me know why she's upset. I still know I'm "right", but I start to think about the consequences of my being right. What will I get out of it? Will I win the argument? Maybe. Will my wife get more upset? Probably. Can anything positive come out of me convincing my bride why she is wrong and I am right? I couldn't think of even one thing. So what did I do?

I sat there and listened. (Again, I'm a man, so actually listening instead of just pretending to listen is a step ahead in itself.) I still felt the urge to at least bring out exhibit B because it really was good, but I didn't. I told her I understood why what she was talking about had made her upset, that I was sorry for making her feel that way, and promised to try to do better to keep it from happening in the future. We hugged, kissed, and everything was good. And it was over in less than 10 minutes. And I meant every word I said to her.

A couple last thoughts. I still believe I was 100% "right" as far as the argument went. The things she said I had and hadn't done weren't completely true. But that doesn't matter. Perception is reality, and how she was feeling was true for her. To try to convince her otherwise would have been useless. And, the last time I'll say it, I'm a man, and I'm sure I probably did do something to tick her off. The pregnancy aside, you have to look at the outcome you want in deciding how to handle a fight with your spouse. There are times to battle, but when it comes to the feelings of your baby's mother, sometimes it's best not to be "right".

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Why did I start this Blog?

So why did I start this blog on parenting?
A number of reasons, actually. First of all, I can't tell you how many times me or my wife have been online this past year looking for answers to the numerous questions we have had. While our nervousness has somewhat subsided, (I still get real close to baby girl every night before I go to sleep to make sure she's breathing ok), we have done enough research over the past year to write several volumes of text. And for every place that says plan A is the best route to take, there's another telling you to take plan B. Parenting is a tough gig, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. And while what has worked for us might not work for you, I wanted to share my experiences in hopes that they might benefit someone. This will also be a good journal so to speak, that hopefully I can share with my children some day down the line. And finally my hope is that writing this will help me to become a better father and husband. I like to think I do a good job at both, but we can all improve. By writing my thoughts, experiences, and ideas, I will continue to become more conscious of living the way that I know I should. I would love to hear from visitors to this blog. Maybe you're a woman who wants to know what men are really thinking and why. (Its a lot easier to write those thoughts than speak them. Just ask my wife.) Ask away. Maybe you're a fellow father struggling with the same things that I do. I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to seeing you again.