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Monday, February 25, 2013

What do you mean you got the children ready?

Yesterday ended up being a good day. I am often very busy on Sunday's fulfilling responsibilities in my local religious congregation (I serve in a volunteer capacity as do others in the congregation but it still takes up quite a bit of time). Yesterday I didn't have anything that I needed to do other than attend our regular services. I had been looking forward to yesterday and spending a relaxing Sunday with my family for several weeks. We all slept in a little later than normal, ate breakfast together, and enjoyed a laid back morning. Then I went to take a shower.

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When I am asked for advice on marriage I often remark that the one thing that has caused more contention and disagreement in my marriage is our children. We both love them immensely but our approach to parenting is different and this sometimes results in "heated discussions." The frequency of these discussions has decreased as time has gone on and we've learned how to work with each other and the children but when they do happen their intensity is just as strong. If you don't have children yet know that these disagreements will happen and that's okay. Just don't forget that you love your spouse more than anything and even the children and parenting should not be allowed to come between you.

So I went to take a shower. My wife had really been looking forward to yesterday as well because she anticipated that I would help get the children ready for church (I'm not usually home when they are getting ready), and I had planned to. The problem was a lack of communication between the two of us. She expected me to help get the children dressed BEFORE I took a shower. I had planned to help AFTER my shower. The result: my wonderful wife got the children ready by herself WHILE I was in the shower. There was some tension between us when my shower finished. We successfully discussed what happened, apologized, and made up after our church services but once again the children and a failure to communicate caused problems. In the future we will both do a better job helping one another understand our expectations.

I love my sweetheart and am grateful for all that she does. Our family would simply not function without her. Next time I have a Sunday "off" I plan to get the children ready BEFORE I take a shower. :)

MORAL OF THE STORY: help each other understand your expectations. It will prevent a lot of conflict.

I would love to hear about a time when you and your spouse successfully navigated conflict and your tips for how others can do it too. Leave a comment, send me an email (tysontcooper@gmail.com), or use the "Share" page. I look forward to hearing from you!

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