The Day I Became My Wife’s Partner Instead of Her Helper

BY: - 10 May '17 | Marriage

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I can remember really early in my transition to becoming a parent (I say early like it’s been a long time…but my little girl is only a year and half) I truly didn’t know what I was doing. It’s not that I was lazy or anything, but I think some fear of not doing things right caused me to be very passive in helping to tend to my daughter.

I depended on my wife to initiate most things. Now, I look back and laugh because it’s not like she wasn’t a first-time parent too. But I guess I figured she just had woman-like magical powers to know what to do. Anyway, I realized that she was still exhausted with the baby even though I was there to help. Then I realized that just “helping” was the problem and it wasn’t good enough…I needed to become a partner!

I realized that just “helping” was the problem and it wasn’t good enough…I needed to become a partner!

So what’s the difference you may ask? Well, I think of it in terms of business relationships. It’s almost like the difference between someone who is a part owner and someone who is just an employee or part time help. Here are some key differences.

A partner is proactive!

Helpers might do well at taking orders or suggestions and they might do just enough to get the job done.  But true partners are proactive about finding the gaps and problems and finding solutions. “Oh, mom is overwhelmed with the baby tonight so let me step in and take care of bath time or let me step in handle drop off and pick up from practice.” The partner mentality is trying to increase productivity and minimize stress instead of just taking orders.

Partners don’t babysit their own kids!

Just like when you’re a partner in a business you don’t just work at the business, you work ON the business. Well the same thing holds true in parenting; if you’re a partner you don’t just “babysit” your child for a few hours at a time or until “the boss comes back,” instead you’re always parenting when the boss (mom) is in or not.


A partner is fully vested

In business, if you’re a partner you’ve probably invested some money into the business.  And as a parent, you’ve invested the very best parts of you into your child as well…talk about being fully vested! This means you have to be vested in everything from schoolwork, to activities, to nurturing and discipline. You are vested because you know the outcomes depend heavily on your input and decision making.

A partner learns multiple roles and wears many hats

When you’re an entrepreneur, often times you play multiple roles: marketing, sales, IT, and HR. Even though your strength might be marketing, you learn other roles so that the business can survive. The same holds true in parenting. You have to learn how to be a cook, carpooler, shopper, custodian, and a hair stylist (I’m not doing very well in this skill by the way). You might not be great at all of them, but you need to be at least competent to keep things running smoothly.


A partner is consistent

When you’re vested in a business one thing is for sure is that you’re always showing up. You come in early, leave late, and make meeting and appointments because you know the business depends on it. Well with parenting showing up consistently is vital as well. Not only is it to help your partner but your child notices when you don’t show up and too much not showing up hurts them more than you know.

A partner picks up the slack

When your business partner is having a bad go at it or a bad season, you can’t just argue about it and hope it gets better. The business is depending on you and you may have to pick up some of the slack. Likewise, if you are parenting and your spouse gets sick or is going through something, the show doesn’t stop because she’s sick.  So, pick up the slack like a true partner does!

Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes, I fall back into helper mode instead of partner mode.  But now, I’m way more conscious than I was and I take way more initiative than I used to. I think I’ve graduated from helper status to partner status (I just hope my wife agrees…) I hope that after reading this you may even go for your partner degree as well!

About the author

Troy Spry wrote 225 articles on this blog.

Troy Spry a Certified Life, Dating, and Relationship Coach and the one and only "Reality Expert", resides in Charlotte, NC. He created his blog, Xklusive Thoughts, with the intent of putting out a very realistic perspective and using it as a vehicle for inspiration! He hopes to challenge people to think differently and inspire people to do and be better in relationships and in life!


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Why We Have to Stop Giving Young Couples Bad Advice

BY: - 10 May '17 | Marriage

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“Don’t marry young, it won’t work.” If you haven’t heard this before, you probably will. For some reason, most people are not readily supportive of young marriage. Not real ones at least. Fans may show excitement over young love in Hollywood, but that’s not the way it is in real life. In real life, most young engaged couples hear things like:

  • You don’t have enough life experience
  • You’re too young to know what you want
  • Don’t cut your options off so soon
  • Statistics show young marriages won’t last
  • What’s the hurry
  • What did your parents say
  • Is she pregnant
  • You haven’t established yourself in a career

The words may come from a place of concern…but come on people. These are not words of encouragement and they surely are not wise counsel.

I was 19 when I got married; my husband was 20. It wasn’t my parents that I heard crazy stuff from it was others. But I’m glad we didn’t give in to what others were saying. It’s not always the age you get married, but the preparation, loving and learning between two people that causes a marriage to succeed.

Challenges come in marriage because two people, no matter the age, are learning to live together as one. It’s a learning process not a problem.

This is encouragement for those of us who know young folks in love, to step back and think about what we are saying. Speak words that counsel, coach, and instruct. Speak words that encourage and cause young couples to honestly evaluate their decisions and properly prepare for their future.

Now, fast forward and it’s been almost 30 years since I got married. I have a son who is 25. He’s been married for a few months. Leading up to his wedding, following the announcement of his engagement, you best believe he heard all the same things that I heard thirty years ago – you’re too young, what’s the rush, are you sure about this?

How do we change this conversation so that young adults feel supported and prepared for marriage?

My husband and I did our best to be a good example of a healthy marriage. Our son sees the way his dad treats me. He sees the way we care for each other. My son has been raised to treat me, his mom, with respect and honor. By choice he and his new wife went through 6 months of premarital counseling to prepare for their lives together. They are young, in love and armed with the truth about marriage.

Don’t marry young it won’t work. That’s a lie. Don’t believe it. I’m not encouraging the young or old to marry. I’m encouraging us parents, mentors, clergy and friends to find healthy ways to train and encourage young adults in family life before they are marrying age. Instill in them the proper outlook on marriage, so they will make wise informed decisions concerning their life choices.

I’m a living example – a young marriage can thrive and survive. Some of you are living examples too. So you understand and can offer a helpful perspective.

BMWK what would you say to a young couple desiring to get married?

About the author

Deborah L. Mills wrote 186 articles on this blog.

Coach, AUTHOR, Speaker, WIFE, Mom, and GRANDMOTHER. That's the gist of who I am. I love people and love to see their life and relationships thrive. As a coach I am ready to support your dream when you don't feel like it. As an author and speaker I am ready to pour into your life so that you can live your best life now. I am a personal and executive coach. Together with my husband I also marriage coach. GO TO MY WEBSITE. THERE IS A FREE GIFT THERE WAITING FOR YOU.


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