Dear Dr. Norquist:
As a new mother of an adopted 6-month-old, I wonder how other couples work out differences in child rearing? For example, I want to stay home with my child, my husband wants me to work. I want to raise her using intuitive attachment parenting and he wants to use the method that lets her “cry it out.” This is causing a great deal of conflict in our marriage and I am wondering how we can communicate about this. We have waited a long time for our daughter and were fortunate to be able to adopt her as an infant. Now all I want is to be with my baby, but he still wants me to keep working. What should we do to find compromises in our approach to raising our daughter and find peace again in our marriage?
Dr. Norquist responds:
It sounds like there are many significant differences between you and your husband with regard to how to raise your daughter, and how your new roles as parents should affect your daily lives. Integrating a child into your relationship, and learning the dance of how to parent together is no small feat for couples. This integration happens over time. The amount of change that has to be integrated by both of you is significant. These new demands can feel depriving to one or both partners. Since you are experiencing such strong and diverging beliefs regarding this issue, I’d suggest you engage the services of a third party to help you come to some agreement on these issues. This could be a marriage and family counselor, a counselor from your church or synagogue, a psychologist or a therapist. What’s important is that you work together to understand each other’s needs, and to establish parenting styles and values that can unite the two of you.
Check out Dr. Norquist’s new blog GrowingThroughParenting.com
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.) Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanyacounseling.com or by e-mail at email@example.com. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns. Ó 2019 Chaitanya Counseling Services