Words by Psychotherapist Jane Faulkner
When I began my parenting journey 11 years ago I was very idealistic, my son was not going to eat sugar or watch TV – I was a little extreme in fact! I look back now and role my eyes, my idealistic notions of parenting were exhausting and ensured that I was constantly critical of myself, my husband or my child. It was horrible.
My husband, on the other hand was a little too loose, our son was his second child and although he agreed with everything I said and the rationale behind why I wanted to parent that way, when it came to following through he crumbled. He often seemed to choose the easy road, which made parenting more difficult for me and confusing for my son.
Over the years, I have realized that his way of doing things also has value (how humbling), but also that without structure everything falls apart. Homework doesn’t get completed, nourishing meals don’t get prepared and it feels chaotic. So our journey together has been one of finding the middle way, not too little, not too much; respecting and honouring one another’s parenting decisions, so that we stand as a united front, rather than disintegrate at the first sign of trouble.
In my quest for a healthy, happy home, we have had many battles and I have often felt alone on the journey. I have been committed and many times my husband hasn’t, this often left me feeling frustrated, alone and stuck! It’s difficult to guide and lead a family if only one partner is paddling, it often means that the family goes around and around in circles and everyone ends up feeling exhausted, frustrated and defeated!
So these tips have helped me stay sane in finding the middle way and getting my husband on board to live a healthy, happy life:
We’d love to hear your stories of getting your partner on board or receive your questions. Post a comment below.
Jane Faulkner is a Reg. Nurse with a Masters Degree in Gestalt Psychotherapy, a certificate in Initiatic Art Therapy and A Certificate in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy; she is also a yoga teacher. Jane works in private practice as well as in a local health retreat. She has worked in the Wellness industry for the past 20 years.
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