I work at home (although me being independent is almost a euphemism for being unemployed). My wife is the primary breadwinner in our household. My wife is also currently under a lot of stress, as her job responsibilities have increased in the lasts months, we have faced some unexpected payments, her mother died after a long deteriorating disease, etc.
We also have some disagreements in how to upbring our children.
I rather have the kids take responsibility of their acts (v.g. if you don't make your bed you have to sleep in an undone bed; if you don't to your homework you will get a bad grade) while, on the other hand, I am pretty relaxed on enforcing behavior. Probably too much relaxed.
My wife, on the other hand, prefers to watch them more tightly, giving orders and expecting orders to be followed, or else. She rather prevents undesired consequences (v.g. living in a mess, getting bad grades, etc.) so if the kid does not follows an order, he or she will be punished but the chore will be made by someone else.
This leads to some conflicts, and while I attempt not to reverse her orders or decisions in-front of the kids, she is a little less reserved in criticizing my parenting, and pointing that bad behavior from our kids (particularly from the older boy, 8) is induced by my bad example. She also accuses my relaxing parenting as just laziness.
While she might be right at some points, I do believe I am not always wrong. When I try to point out some disagreement she usually feels attacked. I do believe she should calm down, and having a more relaxed attitude that would even help her with her own stress.
But my main concern is how my kids are getting these mixed messages. Too controlled by their mother, too relaxed by their father, and not having to deal with direct consequences of their behavior other than being grounded or having TV and gaming privileges revoked.
Am I right in this last concern? How can I prevent giving these mixed messages? How can I (we) mitigate the effects or how would I prepare to the consequences?
I had already read both the question and answers of How to deal with the child when both the parents are not on the same page? before posting this question; and I find that the situation is not the same, the requested advice is not the same, and the answers, while useful, are not the ones I need.