By: Queue Murphy
Should I be my husband’s mother? Is it my job to keep reminding him what he should not be eating…and when to exercise?
My husband was recently diagnosed with kidney disease - because of this, he has a restricted diet. When we found out about the disease, we first spent a few days surfing the internet, trying to find out what he could and could not eat. Talk about internet information overload…. From what we read, depending upon the stage you were in with your kidney disease, you had a specific diet. Was it high protein, or low protein, lots of water, little water – we were very confused, and he started to become afraid to eat anything!
We called the doctor and asked to sit with a nutritionist. She went over his daily diet in detail, telling him what he could eat, what he could not eat, and where he was falling short on his requirements.
It’s been 6 months since our visit with the nutritionist and my husband frequently forgets what he should or should not be eating. I watch him eat lots of junk food when we go out, and even go to the store to bring it home. He always feels achy and bad. I have told him how much he means to us – even the kids have. We have asked and even begged, and even ignored, hoping he would take care of himself better. I have found myself scolding him when he goes over on his protein, or does not drink enough water with lemon. He gets frustrated with me telling him what he should not be eating all the time and I don’t want to do it. He’s a big boy – but at the same time, I am scared about his disease progressing faster – we need him!
How do you convince someone you care about to take care of themselves so you don’t feel the need to keep reminding them?
I read this posting that describes: 1) Not nagging or bullying; 2) telling them how you feel from your own truth – how you feel when you see them not taking care of themselves – don’t speak in a way that blames them (hard to do when you are scared and worried); 3) Model healthy behavior yourself; 4) Give them space; 5) Reflect back their choices; 6) Try to understand their pain. http://www.wikihow.com/Get-a-Stubborn-Family-Member-to-Look-After-Themselves. I am going to consciously try these things from a place of love and see what they bring. Any other thoughts out there?
Queue is a mother of 4. She is raising her second generation of kids and loves to create. She loves to travel, bike ride and swim. She loves diversity, politics and long drives on untraveled roads.