I'm sitting here and flooded with gratitude for your soul!... So thank-you for being you!... I am grateful to be on this journey with you.
Grateful that we are interested and invested in making Motherhood extraordinary. That we are taking on being conscious in our expression of Motherhood... and that my gorgeous friend, is so beautiful! :)
John and I have been thinking about a second child... and as with our first; one of the key questions we ask is; "Why?" - What is the purpose and meaning that we want to create with expanding our family.
"Research" shows - Marital satisfaction declines the more children you have. I personally believe it has nothing to do with the children.
The quality of your relationship impacts your parenting.
One of the biggest assumptions that we can make when we enter into parenting - is that we both want the same things. That we are both on the same page. OR that our parenting styles will automatically blend.
When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart, bare all conversation with your partner/ spouse about parenting?
And.. how often do you check-in?
There is no right way or wrong way to parent. What I'm clear on though, is without a Shared Vision of Parenthood, without being on the same team (something I teach in The Motherhood Mindset) - parenting is the scapegoat for feeling distant with the one you love.
Marital satisfaction declines the more children you have - It is too easy to blame the children. Too easy to blame the choice of becoming parents.
When we look deeper, the root cause of the dissatisfaction is the "feeling" of doing parenting alone - or being in conflict with how we want to raise our children.
What was meant to be a partnership, something you both chose to do to bring you closer - is now highlighting a chasm in the way you feel about one another.
Parenting becomes hard when there are two visions that are in conflict.... we didn't know that we had "assumed" that our partner was on board with what it was that we envisioned for parenting.
We might get away with it with one child, when the family expands to two - the cracks show.
It's never about the children.
It takes immense courage to have these conversations and to check in with one another to ensure you are on the same page when it comes to parenting.
If we're one to avoid conflict and keeping the peace is more important than having a tough conversation with our partner; we're going to feel alone.
If we're one to constantly be on guard, ready to battle, ready to be defensive and hear everything as a judgment, our partner feels alone.
Having a healthy relationship with conflict matters. Learning how to resolve conflict with Love, honour and respect matters.
Having the courage to have these conversations - will make all the difference to whether parenting is something that expands your love and life; or whether parenting is a bittersweet experience that comes at a cost and sacrifice.
.....And you are the company you keep.
We are the average of the 5 people that we turn to for advice, spend time with, or are heavily influenced by.
If we are surrounded by a "reality" that it's "normal" for couples to feel distant or grow apart as the family expands, our sub-conscious will buy into that reality.
If we are surrounded by the belief that parenting is a bittersweet experience that comes at a cost and sacrifice to your relationship - that is also the reality that we manifest.
Equally, if we are surrounded by families that demand excellence, that believe in growth, and cultivate courage - we are inspired by that realm.
The foundation of a healthy relationship requires an intimate understanding of having healthy and productive conflict.
Healthy is when it is more important to say; "I'm sorry" than being right. It is more important to work things out and hold each other accountable rather than ignoring the elephant in the room. It is knowing how to check in with one another daily.
It is creating a practice of acknowledgement, gratitude, and focusing on growth, learning, and finding ways to continue to be on the same team.
When we are too scared to lose the one we love or feel that they will take their love away should we bring up something controversial - when we choose to hide rather than speak our truth with a commitment to expand our love, our relationship is then subjected to the laws of Fear - it starts contracting. We are in protection mode.
Most of us didn't grow up with a healthy model of conflict, partnership, or learning what it takes for two parents to work together to craft a life.
Most of us grew up with a model of survival, of parents feeling alone, being defensive, being on guard, or one person completely submissive to the other.
There is no right or wrong way to parent. As there is no right or wrong way for a partnership to look.
What matters is how you think, what you believe in, and what it is that you want.
A coach of mine once said; "When you go to bed at night, you're the one going to sleep with yourself. Are you fulfilled? Are you overflowing with Love? Are you feeling you rocked that day with your essence and your true-self?".
That stuck with me.
John and I have tough conversations. I feel for him ;) Being married to a coach, doesn't allow him to stay in his comfort zone for too long.... and equally, I am grateful for the space he gives me to have these uncomfortable conversations.
... It's never easy. Anything worthwhile can never be achieved by choosing easy or craving for the "status quo".
Here are 3 questions to ask your partner/ spouse to check in with your parenting:
- "What's been challenging for you in being a parent?"
- "When do you feel unloved or distant from me since we have become parents?"
- "What is your biggest Fear about parenting - and how do you think it impacts our family?"
... Then practice active listening. Listen free from judgement. Listen free from wanting to give advice or fix what they are feeling. Listen from a place of curiosity and getting to "know" them.