My husband sat across from me over breakfast. Our son sat in his highchair playing and eating. It was over this morning meal my husband confronted me about my parenting.
He gently and respectfully asked,
"Honey, what has changed with you when it comes to feeding our son? We use to be on the same page, but lately I feel like you have thrown out things we have agreed on. You give him whatever you want to and disregard what I think is appropriate."
I immediately wanted to defend my parenting abilities. I wanted to justify why I give my child portions of things that are not nutritionally valuable including: I don’t want him to miss out, he is over one so its ok, and a little won’t hurt him. I heard these excuses jump out of my mouth before I could soundly consider them. None of which answered my husband’s question as to why I decided to deviate from the plan without his consideration. I wanted to fight for what I had done, for the choices I'd advocated for our son, and for the example I lead in my own eating habits, but as I was confronted, God showed me the best thing I could do was apologize.
I wasn’t able to apologize right away because my flesh always gets in the way of that! We got hung up on a few frustrating arguments surrounded around he said/she said, what was generally said and exactly mentioned. Then finally I came around…
"I am so sorry. I am aware that I lack self-control when it comes to my eating habits and I am sure that a part of me that justifies poor eating for me, also does the same thing with our son. I am also sorry for choosing to disregard decisions we made as a family to offer him healthy food over junk food. That was disrespectful of me. I want to be on the same page with you as we parent together."
Those words took a little more effort to blurt out than the ones that seem so confident about justifying poor behavior. But once said, I realized how much they were truly needed.
My husband is a patient man. Although he had made small comments here and there over the last few months to encourage healthy eating, I pushed his words and his intentions to parent a specific way aside, pridefully believing that it would be ok.
The truth is that I neglected to follow through on goals we made together to feed our son in a healthy way. Although my son receives some of the best nutritional food on the market, I was sneaking him ice cream bites, cookies, crackers, fries and many more types of foods that are not as nutritional all under the banner of acceptability. I told myself a little won’t hurt him, in fact he will love it!
If my actions were never confronted by my husband, I could have been a catalyst for poor eating throughout my child’s life. If I am not careful, I still can be. The choices I make for my son will influence how he makes decisions as an adult. I am helping shape him.
Parenting also affects marriage. If my parenting disrespects my husband the contention from that will cause strife and bitterness. It is vital that I am aware of the choices I make in parenting and consider how they will affect my marriage. All of which I should be submitting to God.
I believe it is important for husbands and wives to parent on the same page and give each other room to confront each other. We are our children’s greatest advocates and there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that, there nutrition being a big part. After being confronted, I was humbled and then I was inspired to make changes to better the quality of life my family experiences. I want to respect the goals my husband and I make together and I want to help advocate for good clean eating, as well as so much more.
If any of you have been confronted as a parent, especially if your spouse confronted you, I urge you to grip the defense that wants to fight and prayerfully consider if God wants to use that confrontation to show you how you can be better!
- Jennifer Smith Unveiledwife.com