Compromise and Move Forward!

10 Dec

I truly believe compromising is a good thing, especially in a relationship/marriage and in parenting.  I don’t see it as giving up or giving in, but rather a true meeting in the middle (or somewhere near the middle), letting go and moving forward with less stress.  Come on – who needs stress???

Here’s some examples of where I’m coming from –

When my wife and I got married, I was 35 and she was 31.  I had household chores since the time I was tall enough to stand at the kitchen sink and wash dishes.  My wife grew up with a nanny and housekeeper.   I had lived on my own since my late 20’s and kept my starter home clean and organized on my own.  My wife had a cleaning lady at her apartment and condo.  So, when our world’s collided in love and we moved in together…I still wanted to clean “our” place every weekend and she wanted it cleaned by the cleaning lady.  We were both use to different arrangements and I’d get pissed that I was doing most of the cleaning, while my wife’s point of view is that we both work hard M-F, so why clean on the weekends when we should enjoy our free time!  After a couple of months, I compromised and we used a cleaning lady every other week.  I have to admit – it was money well spent!  We got to enjoy our time together and not have to deal with mopping floors, dusting, etc.  At that time, as a double income couple with no kids, it really was the best choice for us – be happy, have more free time together and have a clean house.  No arguments or bad attitudes on who’s doing what chores!

Now, as a married couple of 6 years with two kids, the same holds true.  Having a cleaning lady come every other week is magical and money well spent.  If you don’t like to deep clean and can afford it , we highly recommend it!  What’s our trade-off or compromise to keep the cleaning lady now as a single wage earner household?  My wife cooks a lot, so we have healthier home-made meals and save money vs. going out to eat!  This is a great trade-off in our book and when we do go out once or twice a week for a meal, we really enjoy and appreciate it!

Compromising as a parent and lowering your stress.  We use to stress out about our kids not eating too much pre-cooked and processed foods.  But with work, laundry, an active preschooler & toddler, along with schedules for music class, dance class and playdates, we learned to compromise and relax about this and look at it another way.  The bottom line is that we eat balanced meals and do what works for our family.  So if our preschooler is having a hotdog as her protein, we offset that with veggies (carrot sticks, steamed broccoli, frozen peas & corn) and fresh fruit.  Don’t stress over the little things – just make sure we are mostly having good meals and a “bad” one every once in a while is fine.  We all know kids love cheese pizza and macaroni & cheese – NOT a complete meal.  But again, they will eat it and we supplement with fruits and veggies as side dishes or snacks!  Also, we do not have dessert in out house everyday – that way, a real sweet treat is a “treat.”  We also view fruit as a dessert in our home – when fruit is in season, it’s delicious, nutritious and on sale!

Compromising culinary shortcuts

For snacks:

  1. Have individually wrapped string cheese in the fridge.
  2. Fruit that’s easy to grab and go – like grapes, bananas, apples, plums, etc.
  3. Yogurt in a tube- grab and go and get your dose of calcium!
  4. Go ahead and buy pre-packaged individual serving size snacks like goldfish, cookies, chex mix or granola bars.
  5. If you don’t want to pay more for the pre-packaged individual sized snacks, use plastic snack/sandwich sized bags and prepare your own for a quick grab and go.

In cooking:

  1. Use frozen or canned veggies in recipes or to heat and serve with butter/seasonings.  Personally, for cans, I only like corn, tomatoes and beans.  I prefer frozen carrots, peas, green beans, etc over canned.  All frozen veggies are sold in steamer bags now for quick microwaving!
  2. Buy pre-cut/chopped/shredded/ready to eat carrots.  You can also get pre-cut brocoli and cauliflower that’s ready to steam!
  3. Buy pre-cut and washed/ready to eat salad in a bag/plastic container.
  4. Buy your meat cut the way you need it – just ask the butcher at the grocery store and you will have a lot less fuss at home in your kitchen.

Compromising with kids

Depending on the age of your kid(s), our’s are 1 and 4 1/2.  The 1-year-old doesn’t really understand or communicate it, but when we want her to stop an action or give something back to us, it is a trade-off.  We take her away from the fireplace and bring her to her toys – NO on climbing the fireplace, YES on playing with toys.

With our preschooler, who reasons with us very well and can make her own thought-out position on things – she may have a piece of candy for dessert after dinner, but not two or three.  The compromise can be that we let her pick a piece of candy to put in her lunch box for tomorrow.  Dealing with a child that you can explain things to, reason with and who understands, makes life less stressful and compromising easy.

So, don’t stress the little things and remember that compromising can be very good for you and the rest of your family!  Please leave a comment with any thoughts you’d like to share!

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