I love my husband dearly and we disagree on 75% of things in life—especially when it comes to parenting.

Given the fact that we come from fairly different backgrounds, it makes sense that our beliefs around how to raise children vary. To add another layer, we are a blended family, so each of us came into our marriage with children from previous relationships and have been used to making decisions on our own as single parents.

But I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I realized at first just how differently we see things when it comes to parenting our children. It has been one of our biggest challenges as a couple yet.


What’s interesting is that fundamentally our parenting styles align in so many ways. We both believe in raising our children in faith, providing them encouragement and support, and teaching them to be respectful and compassionate human beings.

It’s the little things that seem to be the cause of our squabbles.

Food and sleep are common sources of friction for us. My husband doesn’t see an issue with greasy food and the occasional cupcake for breakfast, while this is enough to give me a panic attack.

A strict bedtime wasn’t something I cared that much about (despite being a sleep coach, shhhh don’t tell) but my husband very much believes our house should be “early to bed and early to rise.”

Discipline is another area where we differ greatly. I have definitely hopped on the positive parenting train and believe strongly that our children need to feel heard and validated as often as possible. While my husband is generally a gentle giant, he sees most behaviors as an opportunity to teach accountability and doesn’t put as much thought behind the why as I do.

At first I was worried that our dissonance meant disaster and that we would certainly mess these kids up in the process (#momguilt).

But thankfully, as with most things in marriage, we have learned to find some compromise.

Part of what makes our family dynamic work, despite our differences, is the opportunity to learn from each other. More often than not, I am finding that “my way” is not always the best approach, and my interjection isn’t necessary. Likewise, he will often step aside and tag me in when he realizes that he doesn’t know how to handle certain situations.

We have been able to complement each other’s disparate styles and actually teach our children that it is possible to have very different opinions and viewpoints on things, without living in conflict.

More and more we are reminded that we are each individuals and we don’t need to change each other’s minds to have a harmonious relationship. This most certainly trickles down to our children as well.

Here’s the thing—we are both learning as we go and just when we think we’ve got this parenting thing down, we are immediately corrected. It still takes a lot of continuous effort for both of us and plenty of moments when we wonder if it will ever get easier.

Being parents has been a huge blessing and has taught us more about each other than we ever expected. Through compromise, love, and a whole lot of grace we are working together to be the best darn parents we can be. We’ve got this.

It's official: You have a 1-year-old. Cue all the happy tears! As you think back over the past 12 months, there were undoubtedly highs and lows. Your baby's transformation from sleepy newborn to active toddler is major. But your own transformation shouldn't be underestimated either, mama. Just think of how much you've learned and grown in just one year!

Throughout this past year, you came into your own as a mother, bonded with your baby and made memories you will cherish for a lifetime.

After one year on the job, you probably have your day-to-day routine down pat and feel confident saying "yes" to more opportunities again—whether it's new work opportunities or a skill you want to learn during those rare moments of downtime.

As you look ahead, here are a few of our favorite items for the next stage: Life with a 1-year-old:

For educational play: Fisher-Price Little People farm set

Fisher Price Farm

Little People toys from Fisher-Price are classics for good reason: They feel nostalgic and promote imaginative play. This is one collection that will get use for years and years to come.


For those precious little feet: Surprize sneakers

Stride Rite Sneaker

As your baby starts to take their first steps, you'll want to get them used to wearing shoes. Podiatrists recommend looking for shoes that have a stiff heel, flexible toe box and rigid middle.


For introducing close-ended play: Melissa & Doug jumbo knob puzzles

Melissa and Doug Puzzle

Puzzles are fun, but they also help teach persistence, sorting skills and more. This kind of close-ended play, where your child can get to the satisfying conclusion of a completed picture, can help with building attention.


For open-ended play: Fat Brain toy suction cups

Fat Brain Cups

On the other side of the coin, open-ended play asks for more creativity and social interaction. When there isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, your little one will feel encouraged to use their imagination and free-thinking skills.


For bath time splashes: Skip Hop pour and stack bath buckets

Skip Hop

Bath time doesn't have to be all about washing and cleaning. It can also be a great opportunity for sensory play, especially with some fun bath toys in the mix.


For showing your skin some love: Honest Beauty deep hydration face cream

Honest beauty

You've probably streamlined your beauty routine in the past year due to time limitations, but one thing you shouldn't skimp on? A moment of self-care. A good face cream can improve the quality of your skin and help enhance your natural glow.


For your busy schedule: Ubrands dry erase calendar

Dry erase board

More time in the home means more dishes, dust and dirt to clean up. Rather than nightly debates about whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher, get everyone in the family on the same page with a visible chores calendar.


For easy style: A New Day t-shirt dress

A new Day

When you're a mama, getting dressed is all about ease and comfort. This dress is stylish, yet relaxed enough to wear around the house when you are ready to change out of yoga pants. Add a nice jacket or some fun earrings for a virtual-meeting-ready look!


For those birthday pictures: Project 62 matted frame

Project 62

Baby's first birthday is a great occasion to take lots of pictures. These will definitely be frame-worthy, so display them in style with this beautiful piece.


For some well-deserved rest: Threshold weighted blanket

Threshold weighted blanket

There's no way to really catch up on the sleep you lost during the past year, but you can start having sweeter dreams now with help from a weighted blanket. Seriously, people rave about these for good reason!


This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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