Our children have seen a lot, and chances are, they’ll continue to see a lot as the years go by. They see us in our cringy lovey dovey moments, just like they see us when we’re at each other’s throat. These days, for example, they see an abundance of love, affection and unity, whereas a few months ago they witnessed quite a lot of anger and pain as I struggled with aspects of my mental health.
We want them to see what a loving marriage looks like, and this includes the imperfect and fragile moments too. The key for us is to be intentional about turning every argument into a healthy and valuable lesson in how to confront issues. And learn the art of apologising, forgiving, being slow to anger and turning the page without holding grudges. Something we keep getting better and better at as time goes by, and the kids can also learn from.
So yes, the children do see a lot. It’s unrealistic to expect them not to, in such a small confined space. We don’t try to sheild them from the realities of marriage, and reassuringly, our reality has never ever involved anything that would be deemed too intense for our children to witness, such as violence or abuse.
What they see is the ups and the downs, and I no longer beat myself up about it – it’s life and it’s real. But more than anything, they’re exposed to so much love and surrounded by so much positivity, encouragement, affection… They see Christianity played out between a husband and a wife, they see wisdom and kindness… all of which far outweigh any bad patch we go through as a couple. Our home is first and foremost a healthy environment for them to grow in, just as it is a learning field.
And so I’m actually so proud of our family unit. I don’t think I’ve ever said it like this on here before and I certainly don’t want it to come across like it’s all our doing – it’s not; we’ve put Jesus at the centre of our marriage and our faith has really kept us strong. But yes I am very proud of how we do life in the Harnais household.