Sometimes putting a lot into our relationships can feel like exhausting work. You may find yourself sometimes wanting to throw in the towel, screaming inside, “This isn't fair! It’s just so hard!” If you’ve ever felt like that, it’s likely because you’ve lost sight of how worthwhile effective effort is. You’ve forgotten why you’re trying. It's happened to me, too! Sometimes a little reminder can go a long way towards keeping our eyes on the prize. I got a great reminder recently I want to share with you: Out in the sunshine on a walk the other day, with hardly anyone on the streets, I passed one of my neighbors. We paused to say hello, she on one side of the road, me on the other. She asked how the kids were doing with the stay at home orders and all... What popped out of my mouth in reply had me pleasantly surprised. I said, “They’re doing surprisingly well with all of this. It’s showing me what good kids they are.” She responded, “And that’s on you!” My heart warmed. I felt so proud of my kids. And it felt good, for a moment, to really take credit for having raised these boys into such a great soon-to-be-men.
Though an imperfect parent, I’ve modeled really important things to them:
To put love first, that it’s more important than quick fleeting pleasures.
That being with each other matters.
That they can trust they are loved.
That it’s safe to love.
That it’s OK to feel sad and angry and it’s also OK to laugh and bring humor into hard situations.
That taking alone time and space for ourselves helps us have more energy and presence with others when we do come back to being together.
How to be respectful and considerate of others.
To share when hard things are coming up with people they trust
In short, I’ve taught them the basics of being a resilient, loving human, able to have healthy harmonious relationships, which I myself have had to learn. The same things I help my clients learn and bring to their marriages. I wasn’t born a natural parent-- or wife. Sometimes I still don’t act how I want to. But ultimately I’ve learned how to create an environment of love, respect, compassion, understanding, independence, and cherishing in all my relationships. My kids, I’m seeing, are soaking that up.
It’s taken focus and perseverance to get here. Sometimes it all felt too hard. Sometimes I wanted to quit. I’ve had to stretch and grow in big ways, and every day remind myself of who and how I want to be with the people I love, and why that matters so much to me. It’s important to note I didn’t raise great kids alone. It helped that I’ve put a lot into creating a loving environment in my relationship with my husband, and in my relationship with my ex, too! That ongoing effort has made it possible to feel like we’re a team collaborating together in the work of having a happy family. It has taken work, yes, but I would never ever trade it. Because putting so much into creating the loving culture in our homes is some of the most powerful important essential things to do if we want healthy harmonious relationships with those we care about. If we want to help make the future a good one for the younger generations. If we want to have a great future ourselves. For my family, it’s made all the difference. Even in lockdown we are happy. You can have this, too, even if you sometimes doubt yourself or your marriage. When you step up and do the work to overcome those doubts, and create a culture of love, respect, understanding, and cherishing in your own home, somewhere deep in their little hearts your children will thank you, your partner will thank you, and most especially, my friend, you will thank yourself so very much. Need some more motivation to feel good about putting in the time and energy? A question you can ask yourself (and answer!!) to provide the fuel you need is, “WHY is it worth it to me? Why does improving my relationship matter so much to me?” Once you know clearly what the payoff is for you, it is SO much easier to step up and do the work it takes to get there.
If you think you may need more than motivation to create that culture of love in your home (like targeted guidance on what actually works to do so-- and what's a waste of your effort, proven clear steps to change all the things you feel upset about, a love expert’s mind on your specific challenges, and the support of someone who has already done the work herself to have a marriage and family life she adores), come coach with me.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “I’m in” and we’ll pick a time to talk about exactly what that will look like for you--and what it will mean for your entire life.