There will be times of high stress and low sleep that may provoke you to say something dramatic to your partner. Don’t let it linger—take it back as soon as you can.
A good way to do this is come up with a code word or catch phrase that can quickly reset the tone. Early on Tinkerbell Mom came up with “same team.” Whenever we say something we don’t mean the receiving partner can throw out “same team”. It is a good one. We are on the same team. (If you are not, time to reevaluate your living situation.)
Now I know that at our wedding, like every other wedding, there is the advice to “not go to bed mad.” While that is all well and good, I think it is better to clear the air as soon as possible. If you know you said something wrong get to the apology and correction. A throw-away pointless statement can fester and grow into something bigger. Don’t let it happen.
In this post I am talking about the little things, not major differences of opinion that should take a while to hammer out. You know you shouldn’t say what you are going to say, but you do it anyhow. Call it lobbing one out there because you are feeling dramatic or punchy. Sigh. Never a good idea but it will happen.
I remember way back, when Boogie was about 4 weeks old. We found out you could get her to sleep by marching swiftly around the house. The house we were in had a circular loop. I switched the direction based on the time of the day so that her face was mostly away from the sun. It was early in the morning, say 3 or 4 am…and Tinkerbell Mom was not having success I thought she was too quiet, too soft. I get up: “That’s not how you walk a baby!” taking Boogie, I say “THIS is how you walk a baby!” and proceed to march around stomping and swinging her side to side. I looked like one of Monty Python’s silly walks. Plus I was a total jerk. She quickly said “same team”. We laughed. I apologized and reset. (This is probably not her version of events, but it is what I take away from it.)
Here on Tinkerbell Road we do have a flare for the dramatic. We can get caught up in the moment and say the wrong thing with no ill intentions. But we are always on the same team.