Making familylife run a little more smoothly

An example of how a one-page profile can be used in the home to help families communicate and support each other better. 

Written by Julie Malette

barbBarb is a mother of three and a single parent during the week. Her husband comes home on weekends, which changes the dynamics of the home significantly. He also has four children who visit  frequently. Barb has two jobs as well as community commitments.

Barb was feeling quite overwhelmed at home. She had recently been given a medical diagnosis that she felt her family were leaning on when she was frustrated or tired. She was feeling like she was the person that was expected to ensure the home was just as everyone wanted it…like superwoman would. Although she appreciated being valued in this role and wished she could do that, it was just getting to be too much for her to balance so she created a Mom and Wife one-page profile.

She sat down one afternoon and created the profile on her own. She took an appreciation activity they had done as a family in the past and used it to develop the Like and Admire section of her wife and mom profile. Barb printed it and shared it with all of her children and her husband. She then stuck it to the refrigerator with a magnet so it would not be forgotten.

When her children first read it they mentioned that some of it they already knew and some of it was a surprise. Her youngest son started asking before cuddling up to her on the couch. Dishes and meals were more often taken care of by others. Barb began experiencing less resistance from her children to do their chores. Her diagnosis is never used as an excuse anymore, instead her family asks if it is a bad day medically or just a rough day in general. A few times, her children have made her a nice Jacuzzi while she is out on her daily walk; when she returns it is prepared for her. Overall, the profile has really helped everyone understand that Barb is not a machine and they have more respect for her needs. Gentle reminders sometimes need to be given but for the most part it has helped make home life go much more smoothly.