My husband and I don’t always see eye to eye on parenting. He’s more authoritarian, while I tend to be a bit more moderate or even gentle. Like most parents, we also struggle with fitting in date nights. But one night this past weekend, we decided to try something different.
We cleaned up the house, lit a candle, and… turned on a parenting podcast. Yes, really. Sure, it wasn’t the sexiest date night we’ve ever had, but it was definitely the most productive. Here’s how our new date night activity—listening to parenting podcasts together—has changed our parenting life for the better.
Adding to our toolbox
I’ve long been a podcast aficionado. In fact, it’s how I digest most of my parenting content, and I’ve also been known to rip through some true crime podcasts, but that’s another story. I like that I can multitask while hearing from my favorite experts. Doing laundry or resetting the house at night doesn’t seem quite so mundane when you’re learning at the same time.
Plus, I knew next to nothing about being a mom when I was pregnant with my first baby. So I jumped headfirst into researching everything I could, from bedtime routines to differing parenting styles to milestones. While I don’t agree with everything any particular expert says, I tend to pull ideas and strategies from each, formulating my own personal parenting toolbox. It’s a strategy that’s served me well in my five-year parenting journey and it was something I was eager to share with my husband.
And as many couples know, it’s easier to take advice from a licensed expert than it is from your own spouse. Somehow, information from a more objective standpoint just lands better. And it’s worked wonders for us both.
Navigating a tantrum or unexpected (or undesired) behavior is a lot easier to deal with when you have some strategies or phrases ready to go. I’ve noticed that my husband has started implementing some of the things we’ve learned, even when I’m not around. There’s nothing sexier than listening to your 6’3, former offensive lineman husband validate your 3-year-old’s feelings.
It sparks conversation
The first time we listened to a podcast together, we stopped it maybe eight times to discuss certain scenarios, perspectives, and whether or not we agreed with the advice. It was honestly the most comprehensive and open conversation about parenting we’ve ever had—and we’ve been married almost 10 years.
I learned so much about what makes my husband tick as a dad, and I think he understood a lot more about where I was coming from, too. That’s not to say we agreed on every point. Sometimes, we stopped to discuss and it ended with us not agreeing in a respectful way. And that’s OK, too.
I am extremely opinionated in general, even more so when it comes to parenting. I’d describe my parenting style as a combination of respectful and authoritative, and I like my husband to take a similar approach to keep it consistent across the board.
But my husband is a bit more authoritarian, probably a result of his Type-A personality and upbringing. While I don’t agree, it’s been good for me to consider that other parenting styles are OK, too. (As long as there’s mutual respect for all involved).
As one of my friends told me when I was venting about my husband and I not being on the same page regarding parenting, “It’s good for kids to learn how to deal with all different types of people and personalities.” I couldn’t agree more.
Our Favorite Parenting Podcasts
We’ve only just jumped headfirst into joint podcast listening, and so far, here are some of our favorites: