I theoretically love John Rosemond’s parenting philosophies. I say theoretically because I have a 6-month-old. Meaning that I’ve never had to put many of them into practice. I do think my mom thinks a lot like he does, so while I’ve never parented a child that way, I think I’ve been parented with a philosophy similar to his.
Recently, I’ve checked out one of his books (The New Parent Power) and he starts off pretty early in the book with the foundational concept that the marriage should be the primary and most important relationship in the family, not the one between parents and children. The quote:
Somewhere, back down the line, they misplaced the fact that the marriage is the most important commitment in their lives. Until they rediscover it, they will continue to become increasingly isolated in roles that do not complement one another and increasingly distant in terms of communication and intimacy.
In the last fifty years or so, we’ve done such a good job of training wives to be mothers and husbands to be breadwinners that by the time their children leave home, they’ve forgotten how to be partners.
By no means am I ignoring realities. Children must be attended to and money must be made. I’m simply saying that wives can and should remain wives first and foremost, even after they become mothers. Likewise, husbands can and should remain husbands first and foremost, regardless of the demands of their careers. Mother, father, breadwinner – these are all secondary roles. Husband and wife are the primary adult roles in the family. If all this is somewhat difficult to accept, it’s only because the cultural program to which I referred earlier is so demanding and insistent, so powerful and persuasive, that we succumb to it without thinking through the consequences. (emphasis mine)
I think it is really easy for the role of mom to trump the role of wife. I can see how the role of breadwinner can trump the role of husband. Our culture does gear us that way. There is money that is needed. And kids do need time and attention and training. There are other things too. Houses, laundry, food, church, sports, all kinds of things. I just like the way that he puts it – we don’t need to succumb to the cultural program if we give it some thought.
No magic answers, just something to chew on.