Hmmmmm.... "One of my problems has been when to go for the straps/harness and in which order. "
OK, this pretty much says it all about your dilemma here.
You seem to think you need to "go for" the footstraps and harness.
When you get everything sorted, it will no longer be something you need to "go for".
You will simply know that you have the speed and stability needed to shift to that next "gear".
Please encourage your wife to snap a photo or 2 (video clips would be even better).
I'm sure that (just like all of us) you've developed some bad habits and you will have no idea (even when you look at them later) what you might be doing that is causing you the issues here.
Hope this helps,