Whether it’s by faith, politics, or parenting strategies, for numerous reasons, many of us live in a divided household. For example, I am a Catholic and my husband was raised Methodist. I am a veteran parent of 13 years and my husband is a newbie. The parenting strategies we were raised with were different; therefore, he references back to his childhood to parent and I to mine. And brace yourselves dear readers . . . we have different political opinions! Aahhh! Really, it’s ok.
We’ve had our share of rocky conversations, but guess what? We compromise. I also find him super handsome, so that helps. A lot!
So, how do we do it? Well, the hubs and I have the same end goals. We want our family together in everything, and having to adapt to make it work is ok. We want our children to be positive, productive, compassionate, hardworking individuals. While I doubt they will ever be cooler than us, they will certainly be cool and respectful of others, and that includes any opinions different than theirs. I obviously want them to steer clear of bad influences, but not simply dismiss others right off the bat due to a conflicting opinion.
In this polarized world, I’m sharing with you some ways we unified our household and alleviated some pressure off ourselves in doing so.
Religion (Be flexible)
There’s no pressure for us to participate in only one organized religion or any at all. We actually go to both Catholic and Methodist services. If I do pick one over the other some day, it will likely be based on the services it can offer a young family like ours–such as a great childcare program for squirrelly kids so the hubs and I can peacefully reflect and enjoy services. Worship date for the win!
Parenting (Be proactive)
We came up with parenting strategies that were different from how we were raised. This helps level us out and be a team. We didn’t want our kids to fear one parent over the other because Mom was the law and Dad was the leeway. They’ll just learn to manipulate it anyway; kids are smart. It also eliminated the dreaded, “Well, that’s how I was raised,” discussions.
Politics (Relationship trumps issues)
In politics, we have conflicting views on certain issues. However, we gave up swaying each other long ago. We are both smart people; we trust our reasons have merit and they don’t have to match. No matter what we are dealt, we are living this life together anyway! Plus, I’m a chick and change my mind all. the. time. (I’m sure he finds this adorable.) With our kids, we focus on serving others and citizenship. Until they are of voting age or close to, it’s just not even a topic of discussion. We focus on teaching them values and why voting is important, and hope they will apply those to their political voice when it’s time.
My husband and I are different in so many ways, and it took some convincing (from him) that it’s really ok! He can make even the hardest work fun, has dad jokes for daaayyysss, and can be so sweetly embarrassing in public that my heart swoons, despite the fact that I’m walking fast to hide in another aisle. Ha! I am very organized (or try hard to be), rarely waver from my daily routine, and am much more introverted. I’d seriously rather sit at home watching baby goat videos with our dogs and ordering groceries online than go out in public on purpose.
But our differences help us come together, as it puts us in a supportive role. There are so many things that weigh us down with worry as parents, that anything to lighten our hearts is simply bliss.
Team work makes the dream work.
“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”